Building Pros Opt for Online Shopping

Study finds building professionals are increasingly turning to online sources for building products pricing and information

By By Sara Elliott, Associate Editor | May 19, 2015
Image of digital shopping cart--the increasingly popular way for builders to buy products online.

Many architects, builders, remodelers, and specialty trade professionals purchase home improvement products online, according to the findings in a new study from The Farnsworth Group.

The report from the Indianapolis-based consultancy for clients in the building products supply chain found that 76 percent of contractors purchased home improvement and/or construction products online during the last year. Additionally, 40 percent of those professionals are buying a product online at least once a month.

The top categories shopped by builders and home improvement professionals included: plumbing (43 percent), lighting and ceiling fan fixtures (40 percent), home-related products (35 percent), and tools and tool accessories (34 percent).

When searching for these items, 93 percent of home improvement professionals are seeking product information, 77 percent are checking for prices, and 71 percent are in search of specific products. 

“This study underscores the importance of having a sound strategy for reaching home improvement professionals online,” said Brad Farnsworth, president and CEO of The Farnsworth Group. “Having data that is both in­dustry- and category-specific will help retailers and manufacturers understand their customers’ online purchasing tendencies and do business more effectively and efficiently.”

Approximately one-third of home construction pros said they plan to purchase more home improvement or building supply products online in the future. PB


Sara Elliott, Associate Editor,


PB-Building Materials,PB-Industry Data + Research