4 Keys To Appealing To Millennial Mom DIYers

Millennials are driving disruption in retail with their preference for browsing and shopping online over brick-and-mortar stores. But a funny thing happens when they become homeowners — and especially when they become parents. While they still dream on Pinterest and check out YouTube and blogs for ideas and advice, suddenly the big box store has a purpose. 

Our research found out what drives them when it comes to “home improvement” and how retailers are (or aren’t) meeting their needs.

It’s About Self-Improvement

The first thing we learned is the term “home improvement” isn’t relatable to them. While #DIY is prevalent, Millennial Moms rarely mention “home improvement” in their posts. 

Home projects are often as much about accomplishment and self-fulfillment as functional outcome. It appears to be less about improving the home and more about improving themselves. When finished, they’re as excited with positive feedback from people online as with the actual outcome. 




Millennial Moms say that doing DIY projects — and even visiting home improvement stores —  make them feel more adult and more like their parents.

"Drove home from #homedepot in my new #hybrid with radio blasting. Pretty sure I just hit peak #momlife." 

Online Education

For many Millennial Moms, the big box store is the last place they turn for inspiration and advice to get started. As the internet and social media have brought resources to their fingertips, it’s where they go for advice, ideas and help. 

“I’ve started using YouTube for everything.”

They’re more comfortable asking for advice from online peers than actual experts. There’s an innate level of trust with members of their online communities even if that community has more to do with parenting than replacing tile. And, they often feel that retail store associates — when they can find them — either don’t know the answer, provide answers that are way too complex or are just trying to sell something.

Bottom line

Millennial Moms treat retail stores more like a toolbox rather than a place to get useful advice from experts. By the time they walk in the door, they’re often only looking for products. Ironically, this isn’t working for them.  

This research confirms what we’ve seen before, that DIYers rarely get everything they need in the first or second trip to the store.  On average, they need five trips to complete the job.  As a result, they’re often disappointed:

“We didn’t get the lights up. Two more trips to Lowe’s…”

“@HomeDepot, it took a million trips but our garden is finally done.”

By digging deeper into many thousands of online comments to get at the greatest sources of both frustration and satisfaction, it’s clear there are ways retailers can earn the trust — and business — of Millennial Moms. Here are a few thought-starters.

1. Intercept them online at the inspiration point

  • Pictures are worth a thousand words and video is better. 
  • Moms love a good hack — get them hooked with little projects first.
  • Advice should come from people who’ve actually done the work.

2. Change up the store experience to give them a reason to come

  • Classes are great if the instructor is relatable and uses language beginners can follow. Adding food and drink makes the experience more social.
  • Step-by-step displays and videos with product/tool lists with pictures and the aisle where the products is located go a long way in reducing return trips. 
  • Make the store a place to share accomplishments with photos of projects completed by local customers.

3. Tap into the sharing economy mindset

  • Let local customers post information in-store about tools they’ve purchased and want to share.
  • Encourage tool subscription or rentals so beginning DIYers don’t have to make big upfront investments.
  • Offer a tool trade-in program to move up to new projects and levels of sophistication.

4. Millennial moms care about what brands stand for, so earn their trust and build brand loyalty by being a purposeful brand but keep it real

  • Support local housing-related efforts and invite customers to join you.
  • Offer a program in which customers can donate tools they’ve purchased to those in need for a discount on new ones.
  • Invite customers to teach their skills to local kids or volunteer to work on homes of families in need 

Homeownership continued to rise in Q2 2017, and the rate for those under 35 increased a full percentage point from Q1 to 35.3% — the highest increase of any age group. Don’t miss out on this growing opportunity to help them make their dreams come true.

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