Working Smarter and Staying Ahead: Know Your Customers

Man and woman use digital tablet on moving day

Whether your store has been around for decades or just a few years, your customers are changing. At the bare minimum, they are getting older and their buying habits and needs change as they age. But you have also felt the rapid changes in technology, in your products, your showrooms, and your marketing. At Riley & You, we know you work very hard to help your business succeed. We want to help you work smarter so that you can use all the tools available to you in order to accomplish more and stay ahead of the changes that are coming. We believe that if you understand your customers more,  you will then be able to predict and adapt to their changing needs.

KBIS recently shared research with insights on how you can work smarter and stay ahead. They surveyed 279 dealers and designers in order to identify overall trends in the current market. It all starts with knowing your customers, and their research broke them down into four categories in order to understand their habits and preferences better. 

  • Younger Starters – These are homeowners in their 20s or 30s who are buying or have just bought their first home. They make up about 10% of your customer base. The challenge of selling to this group is that they have high expectations and want more than they can afford. They enter the scene with research under their belt and are very tech-savvy. 
  • Moving-Ups – Homeowners in their 30s or 40s who are making more money and buying a move-up home, one that is likely bigger than their first starter home. This characterizes 20% of your customers. They watch a lot of HGTV and may not have a realistic view of their space, budget, and time constraints. Their children also factor heavily into their decisions. 
  • Midlife Made-Its – Homeowners in their 40s or 50s who are at the peak of their earning years and want a nicer kitchen or bath. This is the largest percentage of your buyers (39%) and can be some of the most challenging people to sell. They have high expectations and can be more demanding because they know what they want. 
  • Older Next-Phasers – Homeowners in their 50s or 60s who are at or nearing the end of their traditional work lives and planning for or entering the next phase of their lives. They typically make up 31% of your customer base and may not have current perceptions of budget constraints and inflated prices. They are also creatures of habit and can resist change. 

When we look at all the data together, we see some important trends. In the past five years, the Moving-Ups and the Midlife Made-Its have become an increasingly larger part of your customer base.  In the next five years, the Moving-Ups and the Midlife Made-Its are expected to see the most growth. This means that your business needs to focus on serving these two groups in order to experience growth in the coming years. 

Over the next few months, we are going to share some ideas for how these trends will impact your marketing strategy, your design services, and your showrooms. Riley & You is here to help you stay ahead of these trends and to work smarter, not harder. Let us know how we can help you get to where you want to go!

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