Unplanned Building Supply Purchases: Not Just About Convenience

“Time is money.” This adage rings true across a multitude of industries. But perhaps nowhere is timing more critical than with professionals in the construction industry. Does last week’s announcement of Lowe’s ProExpress quick-response jobsite delivery spell a simple solution to tap further into the pro market? Our new research says it may not be so simple. With a variety of variables at play, the fastest solution doesn’t always hold as optimal, according to insights from Sales Factory + Woodbine.

The research, presented at last week’s Cleveland Research Home Improvement Summit, reports the average construction pro spends more than $7,000 per month on building supplies and materials. And the interplay between time and money in the selection of where pros allocate their purchases is actually quite complex.

According to the study of professionals, nearly half (47%) don’t usually settle for the closest available retailer when they run out of a needed material on a jobsite. At the top of why pros will drive the extra mile for a preferred retailer: relationships. Pros that don’t settle for the closest retailer to avoid downtime on a jobsite are 45% more likely to express loyalty to one retailer. They’re also 25% more likely to agree with the statement “It is difficult to develop strong relationships with associates at home center retailers.” While pros are more likely as a whole to turn to home centers for unplanned purchases, there is more than convenience alone at play.

According to a company press release, Lowe’s ProExpress is “an on-demand delivery service to get pros the emergency and last minute supplies they need.” The service will be piloted in 200 stores. Can the big-box home center provide pros the right ingredients to win more of their business? Our insights indicate that the recipe for success lies in building relationships and trust along with the convenience factor. For a free download of the Sales Factory + Woodbine research, go to www.sfwinsights.com