In December, Shaw surveyed about 300 consumers to find out how COVID-19 has affected their lifestyle, behaviors, and attitudes toward home improvements and flooring. The company revealed the data this week during SFN Open, the virtual convention series for retailers. 

“Of these 300 point consumers we spoke to, we learned that they're actually doing pretty good,” said Valerie Clift, vice president of U30 Group, a market research firm in Knoxville, Tennessee. “They've learned to live with COVID. They're weathering it with positivity and optimism, and they really settled into this current normal.”

Most consumers surveyed said they are still working, haven’t seen a large loss of income, and are still spending money, Clift said. 

“All this increased time at home has really magnified the things around the house that bothered them, so they're starting to identify more projects…and this time with COVID at home has really accelerated the changes that they perhaps have been putting on the back burner,” she noted. 

The home improvements consumers are making are permanent, which is encouraging them to seek out good quality products. The research showed that one in five consumers have converted a room because of COVID-19.

Over the past several years, Shaw has surveyed more than 3,000 flooring consumers, and through that research the company identified four distinct shopper types and their behaviors, categorized by confidence and key attributes. The December research updated the company's findings, according to Heather Yamada, director of consumer marketing and merchandising, Shaw Industries. 

The Dreamer
These shoppers have lower confidence and are easily overwhelmed with too many choices. They need help realizing a vision and are very aesthetics focused. Their finished projects say something about who they are. The new research shows Dreamers are miserable at home and yet are also the most overwhelmed. They have a lot of home projects, however only one-third of them had followed through with flooring updates. 

The Realist
These moderately confident shoppers want function and aesthetics, but no trends or anything overly flashy. They will pay more for higher quality. These consumers are happiest at home and love being home with their families. They had projects planned before COVID-19 and were the group most likely to have completed these projects during the pandemic. “They really take in this increased time at home and turn that into a resource to convert,” Yamada said.

The Pursuer 
These style-driven consumers are confident in what they want and the vision that they have in their mind. They are open to do-it-yourself projects to reach their goals.  This group was the most likely to plan changes during COVID-19 and also pre- COVID-19. “They’re really just constantly thinking about updates, projects,” Yamada said. 

The Achiever
This group’s DIY habits are perfect for the pandemic. Very confident, function-driven, they want the best quality at the best price. “This has not slowed them down,” Yamada said. “Their ability to take on a project means they're able to resource the tools they need and keep on moving. They're most likely to have made multiple home improvements during COVID.”

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