Web-to-store is a concept that reflects a consumption behavior involving Internet and sales in stores. Nowadays, it takes an important place in the consumption habits of the French.Eachof us uses Internet searching for a product, identify resellers (whether or not pure-players), compare prices and specifications, read reviews on social networks, to find a store and to complete purchase.

73%¹ of French people realize their layout projects by “envy” rather than “necessity”; for 57%¹ of them, it is a pleasure involving seeking inspiration sometimes for several months. Bonial in partnership with GFK realized a study focused on DIY-Gardening sector to study how important digital sources are in the purchasing process and how important web to store is in this area. In correlation, Unibal and Credoc also did a study to measure the impact of digitalization on consumer behavior and on retailers/brands strategy at a 2020 perspective.

What can we learn about consumer behavior?

Consumers are really involved in their layout projects. Indeed, 70%¹ of persons who did a purchase in DIY past 6 months did a research of information before the act of purchase. The process of research starts a long time before the purchase itself. 66% of those researches have started weeks before or even some months 28%. 85%¹ of the people who did a research has used digital as source of information. 60% of the visits are made on retailers’ website versus 16% for pure-players.

As Matthias Berahya-Lazarus, President of Bonial said while commenting this study “Despite the crisis, DIY projects remains a pleasure for most of French people, who spend as time as preparing as realizing their projects. They expect a fair price for their purchases but they are also attracted to innovation and original ideas that brands and retailers know how to suggest”

What consumers are looking for*?

  • Pricing (82%)
  • Inspiration, Ideas (57%)
  • Promotions, Special Offers (52%)
  • Technical Product Information (50%)
  • Stock availability (32%)
  • Store’s information (18%)
  • Clients’ recommendations (14%)
  • Brands (12%)

What are the challenges for DIY and gardening brands?

When people are looking for information, only 18%² are doing a research in term of brand while retailers and dedicated website represents 65%² of total researches. What could brand could do to reach a largest audience? Create a real brand awareness and develop a digital strategy around before-post purchase.

Content, as we saw earlier, is also really important as consumers are looking for inspiration, ideas and advices. Brands need to develop commercial videos, DIY videos tutorials and articles, guidelines but they need to adapt content to both men and women, either for beginners than experts. Women tends to engage layout projects but content remains a bit masculine.

What are the challenges for DIY and gardening retailers?

E-commerce remains quite limited in this sector. Indeed, 10 % of handymen using internet purchased items online past 12 months. On the contrary, 69% of purchases are done in store. That represents18,3 billion euros in sales while e-commerce only represents 1,5 billion euros. At a 2020 perspective, French people’ equipment with tablets and smartphones will increase – The Credoc studies shows a trend of 68%² of French equipped with a smartphone and 48%² with a tablet.They also did a projection of sales realized on e-commerce. Purchases will be multiplied by 2.3 and represents 3,5 billion euros².

What can they implement to grab a piece of the cake?

In my opinion, it goes with store digitalization and service development. It is important to create store-to-web gateways to extend the customer relationship started online and enrich it in-store. Retailer tends to develop appications, to accompany customers all along their projects. In parallel, retailers needs to develop services and Leroy Merlin’s initiative is pretty smart. They lauched a MOOC with 82 courses on 4 different themes, available in store and online. It a real value added as long as it helps customers in their projects, increase their skills and create a loyalty to the retailer.


¹ « De l’inspiration à la décision d’achat, les Français plébiscitent les sources digitales » – Bonial and GFK, 2014

² « Enjeux et perspectives du marché du bricolage à l’horizon de 2020 à l’ère du digital » – Credoc and Unibal, 2014


About the author

Sandra Menez

Sandra Menez

Student in Digital Business Strategy at Grenoble Business School and Digital and Data Product Management Assistant at AkzoNobel Decorative Paints France.