Friday, March 2, 2012

Contractor Purchasing Forecast for 2012

This week, a new study on contractor purchasing behavior came out from management consulting firm L.E.K. Consulting. You can read the full Building Contractor Behavior Survey, but here are some of our key take-aways:

  • Contractors are planning for growth in 2012.

  • Professional distributor channels will win more business. Big box retailers have done well with low prices over the past few years, but contractors have loyalty to the "pro channel." This shows that value-added services and personal relationships do make a difference.

  • Thirty percent of contractors are using social media more today than they were a year ago.

  • Contractors will continue to increase use of the Internet for product research, price comparisons, and purchasing.

  • Energy efficiency and sustainability continue to factor (in equal parts) into product choices for commercial contractors.

All this spells good news for construction manufacturers and their distributors who have been hard hit these past few years.

I leave you with this great take-home:
"Building products manufacturers have an opportunity to capitalize on growth by continuing to promote trusted brands, introducing product features that will command a premium and reevaluating how they reach their customers across traditional and online channels."
--Chris Kenney, Vice President and Head of L.E.K. Consulting's
North American Basic Industries Practice

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