What are the most used websites in Europe for DIY product purchases?

E-commerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe.

E-commerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe. Online sales in the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Poland and Spain are expected to see a growth of nearly 17%.

However the European home improvement market in general and the DIY retailers specifically where quite late in adopting E-commerce.

In Germany for example, it was not until 2011 before the leading DIY retailers adopted online shops. This is in some way surprising, because large parts of the DIY product range (like power tools and garden products) are quite suited for e-commerce. This late adoption had its consequences as can be seen in the image above.

The more specialized online merchants (like Amazon) were already active on the market by then. These pure online players had a role in forcing the DIY retailers to adopt a more profound online strategy. They also had to rethink their age old motto of whomever has the most floor space most close to the customer wins the battle. Furthermore, the price wars (like in the UK) threaten to make the big box stores less profitable and in general the pure online players have an edge in low price wars (but that’s a topic for another post)

That being said, it would be very interesting to see which websites are being used by consumers to buy DIY products. Are DIY retailers catching up or is the market dominated by the specialized online merchants?

This question, and many others, are answered in the Q1 2016 report (theme: Online buying) of the European Home Improvement Monitor. This quarterly research is based on 26,800 successful interviews with consumers annually.

In the image above it’s clear to see that Amazon, in the countries where they have a presence, has a leading position in France, Germany, Italy, Denmark and Austria. Furthermore, Amazon is a runner up in Spain and the UK. In Germany and Austria Ebay also has a strong position. In countries with no presence of Amazon or limited (like in the Netherlands and Belgium) the top spots are taken by the DIY retailers (Brico & Gamma). The second place in these countries goes to Bol.com, which is also a specialized online merchant. In the UK the top place is also take by a DIY retailer even with the presence of Amazon.

In all of the countries, the DIY retailers are on the list (the full report has a top 10) and it will be interesting to see how this battle will continue. Will the DIY retailers be able to take over the top spots from Amazon or will we see even more places go to the specialized online merchants?

We will keep tracking of these developments in the European Home Improvement Monitor.

In case of any questions please feel free to contact me at Hoogenboom@usp-mc.nl