The opportunity for growth within the Construction Sector

The United Kingdom has the most advanced e-commerce market in Europe. In 2021, digital marketing ad spend surpassed TV advertising spend in response to the changes in consumer behaviour. Besides the fact that digital media offers the opportunity for better targeting and personalisation of ads, 54% of adults admitted that they don’t pay attention to TV ads. It is predicted that internet traffic in 2022 will exceed entire traffic up to 2016. If your business isn’t online, and prepared for the age of digital consumerism, you risk being left behind. Businesses focused on growth are taking eCommerce seriously.

Despite the events of the last 2 years and the disruption caused by Covid-19, 52% of companies still intend to increase their spending on digital marketing. Although the appetite for digital transformation is not consistent across all sectors, surprisingly the construction industry is leading the charge with 75% confirming that they have plans to invest this year. Arguably, the industry still lagging behind when it comes to digital transformation is construction with 62% believing that the sector is behind others when it comes to adopting digital technologies.

The graph below details the eCommerce sales distributed by industry sector in the United Kingdom from 2014 to 2019. During this period, construction eCommerce sales increased by 109% with an average of 14% improvement YoY, proving that there is both a place and an appetite for the Construction Industry in the eCommerce world.

It’s safe to say that the construction sector was one of the industries most effected by the pandemic. In 2020, the value of new projects in Great Britain dropped by a record 16.3% reaching its lowest level recorded since 2013, owing to projects within the entertainment sector coming to a halt along with a decrease in public spending on schools, colleges and universities.

The industry has made a swift recovery in the latter half of 2021 with new orders recovering to their pre-pandemic level in Q2 2021, thanks to a rise in private industrial activity. The change in consumer behaviour following covid-19 and the rise of D2C presents an insurmountable opportunity to the construction sector.

  • More than a quarter of consumers in the UK (26%) believe that dealing directly with the manufacturer will make the returns or processing warranty claims easier.
  • 23% of consumers believe that they will get better customer service and a fast delivery by cutting out the middleman.
  • 32% feel passionate about supporting UK manufacturers and local businesses during the current economic climate

Why D2C?

D2C is not new and has been the talk of the town in the eCommerce world for a couple of years, with brands such as Hire Station, IRSAP and Screwfix leading the charge. The opportunity that D2C presents for manufacturers is far bigger than that of start-ups. The deployment of a D2C strategy gives manufacturers and wholesalers the ability to overcome several challenges, such as the impending “cookie-pocolypse”, and a great way to detect and take advantage of changes in consumer behaviour. Other benefits include:

  • A better understanding of your consumers and their behaviour. Where are they? What else do they expect to buy from you? How do you get more out of them? Right now, your wholesale customers own all of this data, not you.
  • More profit. Cutting out the middlemen means less money out of your pocket and more money into your pocket!
  • Emotional Connection. As well as understanding more about the nuts and bolts of a product’s origins, consumers want to feel an emotional connection to the product creators, and the story behind them.
  • Data! You own the sales data. You know who bought what, when they bought, what offers and marketing led to the purchase. This information is going to prove invaluable after the deployment of the iOS14 update for improving products, expanding product ranges and adjusting your marketing strategy.

The D2C Blueprint

Before embarking on your D2C journey, you need to have a clear understanding your customer journey, what they want and how they want to be served. From there, there are additional complexities involved that aren’t necessarily considered when selling B2B such as payment methods, warehousing, delivery and other software.

As with any construction project, the success of your D2C strategy relies upon a strong foundation. Download the whitepaper here.