As we move forward into 2020, you may still be analyzing last year’s numbers, setting business goals or refining your sales efforts to reach new customers. Within the home improvement industry specifically, business owners aim to find the perfect combination of technology, customer service and marketing efforts to make this the most successful year ever.
While now is the perfect time to reflect on what went right with your home improvement business last year, it’s also a great time to research business trends and practices to implement for this year.
Trends in the home improvement industry
Every year, some of the brightest business analysts and industry experts forecast the most relevant trends they expect to see on the horizon. Within the home improvement industry, this means many forecasters are focusing on the ways technology can both help the customer and the business owner.
Here are a few trends we’ve identified that may be particularly interesting to your business:
Building better customer service through technology
Technology can benefit managers and business owners by making customer service goals much easier to reach and maintain throughout the year.
Whether it’s the use of chatbots on your website or providing new ways for customers to reach you (such as Facebook Messenger), technology makes your job easier. It can be there for your customers when an actual person can’t be.
Even simple technology upgrades, such as the use of clever financing apps, can put you ahead of your competition.
Technology empowering customers more than ever
On the flip side, technology means that your customers are better educated than in years past. During the 2019 Home Improvement Insights Summit, many researchers pointed to the increased use of mobile technology to empower customers like never before.
Where customers or clients once asked their friends and neighbors for recommendations, many now ask Google, Siri or Alexa. If you don’t produce content or publish information online about your business, your customers may not find the information they need to decide on a product or service. Make sure customers know where and how to find the information they need, quite literally, at their fingertips.
Intensifying weather patterns can mean business
Apart from technology, Mother Nature may also play a factor in the success of your business this year. From flash droughts to unexpected arctic blasts impacting our state within the last year, Alabamians are paying more attention to the weather than ever before. And with good reason: weather patterns are getting more extreme.
Did you know that 18 of the 19 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001? It’s an interesting statistic. For your business, it means more Alabamians are making sure their HVAC units are working correctly. Understanding these weather patterns will help you gain an understanding of your customers’ mindset and priorities. And, it will help you inform them of where they can get the most bang for their buck when it comes to home improvement.
Moving-averse homeowners want major improvements
According to Moving.com, many Americans are staying put in their existing homes rather than purchasing new ones. The percentage of moves has dropped significantly in the last 20 years – from 16% of Americans moving in 1998 to only 10% of Americans moving in 2018.
And many of those moves happen within the same state.
This information provides a golden opportunity for you to show homeowners in our state why they should improve upon their existing homes and where those improvements will help them save money in the long run.
How will your business grow in 2020?
As you evaluate your business’s performance from last year, ask yourself: how prepared am I to meet future trends head-on?
If you’re not ready, don’t sweat it. There’s still time.
By changing up your sales process to embrace just one of these trends, your 2020 vision for your business will be crystal clear.
Want to learn more about how our Smart Financing program can benefit you? Contact us today.