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What does corporate social responsibility mean for a DIY store?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR), the ethical and moral responsibility of a company regarding the economic, environmental and social realms it operates in, is a hot topic for various reasons. Aside from the inherent philosophy of leaving the world in a better shape than you found it, or laws and regulations enforcing certain aspects of corporate social responsibility, it is important because consumers find it important.

That means the CSR efforts of your company can be an effective marketing tool, attracting customers by improving the company image and reputation. It sounds easy, as long as you know which of the wide spectrum of economic, environmental and social elements that fall under the CSR umbrella, of which some are more abstract and others quite tangible, matter to your potential customers the most. What would be the ways for a DIY store to improve its CSR image, for example?

Of course the DIY store is not a randomly chosen example, as we included several aspects of corporate social responsibility in the Q1 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Home Improvement Monitor. In 11 European countries, we asked consumers of DIY products about the importance of CSR aspects.

Initiatives to improve the impact on the environment are found important

When looking at the top of the list of CSR aspects, the top-four aspects are deemed more or less equally important. Around 70% of the European consumers find those four aspects important. What jumps out is the focus on environmentally friendly aspects.  What does corporate social responsibility mean for a DIY store?

European Home Improvement Monitor Q1 2021

Offering a broad assortment of environmentally friendly products, packed in environmentally friendly packaging, are very palpable and direct ways of working on a better environment. Consumers will see and feel these aspects directly when browsing through stores or websites. Actively contributing to a better environment, a broader and more abstract statement, is also deemed important.   

Aside from actively preventing environmental suffering, preventing human suffering should be high on a DIY store’s to do list as well. 70% of European consumers find it important that labour rights are respected both in the DIY store’s own company, and in its supply chains. On top of that, stimulating diversity among its own employees, and contributing to the local community are social aspects that, although not in the very top, will improve the CSR image consumers have of your store.   

Why bother? 

You may find the above statements important as well, and you may see the importance of knowing which of them are found most important by consumers, but will doing well on these aspects of CSR really attract more consumers to your DIY stores? According to a majority of those consumers, it will. 57% of European consumers say that their choice for a DIY store will be influenced by the above CSR aspects. When focusing on millennials, an age group that is generally more concerned with CSR aspects, that share even rises to 65%.   

So taking responsibility by establishing CSR strategies and policies is not just good business ethically, it is also good business for DIY stores in the sense that it will pay off in customers gained and money spent in your stores. All the more reason to gather more detailed information on the importance of CSR aspects in the European countries you are active in, for which we refer you to the Q1 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Home Improvement Monitor.