I’ve been having my bathroom renovated over the past couple of weeks, which has given me my first real taste of shopping DIY, and I’m not impressed.
Big-ticket shopping isn’t necessarily last-minute but – mainly because of my apparent inability to use a tape measure – I needed some items for the revamped bathroom pretty urgently.
Easier said than done. First I tried market-leader B&Q. I found what I was looking for on its website – a bathroom cabinet from its Cooke & Lewis own brand. Perfect.
So, I proceeded to checkout to find I had to wait 21 days for delivery. Seriously? In this day and age when next-day delivery is the norm.
I even tweeted the B&Q customer services team to make sure it was true (it was).
Affronted, I decided to take my custom elsewhere – Wickes, in fact.
Now, I’ve read a lot about Wickes investing in multichannel. Last year it launched a one-hour delivery window and does same-day delivery on up to 7,000 products.
Getting my new bathroom cabinet before the end of the week would be a doddle then. Or so I thought.
Said (fairly basic) bathroom cabinet would be delivered within 28 days.
It was a similar story at Homebase, which also offered a 21-day window.
Surely I can’t be the only person who needs bathroom furniture sooner than a month’s timeframe?
Luckily, I found a wide array of smaller online retailers happy to help. I eventually bought my gear from BigBathroomShop.com, which delivered the goods the very next day.
DIY lags behind other sectors in terms of online penetration, with only 5% of sales made via the internet. This compares with 22% that are made online across all of non-food.
Is that lag down to a weak consumer appetite to buy DIY online, or the poor offer from the big players?
The sector is ripe for disruption. B&Q and the like are missing a trick by not serving the ‘want it now’ online shopper – and with a plethora of smaller pureplays biting at their heels, they stand to be left behind.