IAB Finds Search Strongly Influences Those Making Home Improvements

Search is the No. 1 source for home improvement ideas among Southerners, and one of the top three sources overall, according to research released from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tuesday.

For those making renovations, online ads influence decisions. Home renovators are nearly twice as likely as the general population to be influenced by digital and mobile ads in their home improvement purchases; with 22% admitting that display ads influence purchases; 23% citing emails, and 18% citing social media.

While all these ads seem to influence purchases by renovators, 45% said they look for home improvement ideas in magazines, followed by 41% at stores and showrooms and 40% through online searches. For those planning home improvements, word of mouth triggers an online search 54% of the time. Reading an article and television are next with 35%, followed by magazines at 34%.

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The findings in the report IAB Digital influence on Home Improvement Plans were based on an IAB analysis of Prosper Insights & Analytics Annual Media Behaviors & Influence (MBI) Study conducted in Jan. 2015 of 16,228 respondents and Prosper Insights & Analytics Monthly Consumer Survey conducted June 2015 among 6,087 respondents, surveyed online. The report defines "home renovator" as adults 18 or older who plan to make major purchases in the next six months to conduct major home improvements or repairs.

Renovators are more likely to share their findings from search on social media. About 24% will post to Facebook, 17% to Facebook retailer or brand pages, 12% to Pinterest, and 10% to LinkedIn, while 9% will write product reviews, 9% will post to Twitter, and 5% will write a blog post.

When it comes to product advice, home renovators will search for product advice from others on social media. About 19% of the 75% who log on to social media sites will check it for home improvement ideas. Some 92% are willing to give advice on social media.

When it comes to searching for information, this market segment uses multiple devices and locations. Some 45% of those planning home improvement projects will search for information while in the store and 19% on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet; and 53% will use a desktop or a laptop. Overall, 94% will research products online before buying in the store.

The numbers are similar for those searching for information about appliances before they buy. Some 44% will search for information while in the store, 23% on a smartphone or a tablet, and 60% will use a desktop or a laptop.

Home renovators also are more likely to buy products on desktop or from mobile devices. About one-third of home renovators purchase home-related products online, and about one in 10 make the purchases on mobile devices.

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