Kitchen & Bath Design News

OCT 2013

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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➍ Average Time Between Initial Client Visit and Purchase 3.7% More than six months 8.2% Less than one week 10.4% 9% Three months to six months 40.3% One month to three months One week to two weeks 28.4% Two weeks to four weeks they did not see any one age group as being dominant among their clients. THE BUYING PROCESS There's plenty of talk about how much harder it is to close a sale than it was in years past, how much competition there is, and how much comparison shopping consumers do. But, while kitchen and bath consumers are certainly doing their research online, they're not actually visiting numerous showrooms before making a buying decision, the survey showed. In fact, according to those polled, 58% of consumers only visit one or two showrooms before making their purchase, and another 41% visit three or four showrooms in their shopping journey (see Graph 3). Only 0.8% visit fve showrooms or more, according to survey respondents. That's good news for dealers and designers who are getting strong showroom trafc, as the odds are good that your prospects aren't visiting many other storefronts to see what else is out there. However, that doesn't mean they're not doing plenty of "pre-shopping" online, so having a strong online presence remains critical. The way one dealer sees it, "If you get them into your showroom, they are yours to win, or lose. If they come, they probably already have researched your frm and liked what they saw, so you just need to make sure their showroom experience is as good as their research. If you have a great Web site and are even better in person, you should be able to close a lot of sales from your showroom trafc." Another survey respondent agrees: "We don't get as many tire kickers anymore because they do that online. When they come, they come because they are serious about buying." As far as how long the buying process takes, the days of spur-of-the-moment buying decisions are clearly gone, with only 8.2% of dealers/designers saying they close the sale within six days of their initial contact with the prospect (see Graph 4). Another 10.4% of consumers make a purchasing decision within one to two Expenditure on a Complete Kitchen Remodel 3.9% 16.5% $50,001$75,000 7.9% Under $15,000 13.4% $15,000$20,000 19.7% $20,001$30,000 14.2% $40,001$50,000 More functional layout New cabinetry New countertops New/improved appliances Budget/saving money Better lighting Personalized or unique appearance Adding an island Improved accessibility Increasing the size of the kitchen Energy effciency/better air/ water quality/green issues 16.5% $30,001$40,000 weeks of the initial contact, according to dealers and designers polled, while 28.4% make their purchase within two to four weeks of the initial contact. However, for many consumers, it's still a slow process getting from that frst meeting to the signing a contract phase. In fact, a 84.5% 82.2% 82.2% 82.2% 58.9% 55% 49.6% 43.4% 40.3% 35.7% 27.9% 7% Clients' Top Concerns When Remodeling a Bath New fxtures/fttings Personalized or unique appearance More/better storage Improved accessibility Budget/Saving money Comfort features Increasing the size of the bath $100,000+ $75,000$100,000 More/better storage Replace tub with larger shower ➐ Average 7.9% Clients' Top Concerns When Remodeling a Kitchen More amenities/bells and whistles Water savings/green issues whopping 40.3% take one to three months to make a buying decision, and another 9% need three to six months to be ready to buy. Finally, some 3.7% require more than six months to make the decision to purchase a new kitchen or bath. WHAT KITCHEN/BATH CONSUMERS WANT So, what do consumers really want in a kitchen or bath? In the kitchen, where consumers tend to be looking to remodel within an existing footprint rather than adding to the space, functionality tops everyone's wish list. In fact, dealers and designers polled cited more and/or better storage as consumers' number one priority when remodeling their kitchen, with 84.5% pointing to this as a top consumer desire (see 84.3% 53.5% 52.8% 51.2% 48% 44.1% 40.2% 29.9% 28.3% 4.7% Graph 5). A more functional layout was also a hot request, with 82.2% of those polled saying this was a high client priority. But while functionality is important, style is also a priority, as consumers begin to worry less about resale value and more about enjoying the homes they live in. As such, more than 80% cited new cabinetry and new countertops as a top priority in their kitchen remodel. Cooking has also been seeing a resurgence in recent years, so it's no surprise that new or improved appliances were also high on the list, with 58.9% citing this as a client priority. While the economy is clearly improving, consumers remain cautious in their spending, with 55% citing budget consciousness as a October 2013 priority in their kitchen remodel. And, with an aging buying demographic, it's also no surprise that nearly half of those polled saw clients looking for better lighting, and more than one third asking for improved accessibility. Interestingly, energy effciency, better air or water quality and green issues ranked low on consumers' wish list, with only 7% saying these are priorities among their clients. In the bath, where the smaller space means clients can get more bang for the buck, aesthetics topped consumers' wish list, with 84.3% of dealers and designers saying new fxtures/fttings are a top client priority and 53.5% saying a personalized or unique appearance is high on their clients' wish list (see Graph 6). ForResidentialPros.com | 39

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