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Three Tips for Reaching the DIY Market Posted on Wednesday, June 7 in Increasing SalesBinghamtonElmiraIthacaRegional.

Though you may think of professional painters, property maintenance companies, and interior designers as your top paint and wallpaper customers, don’t forget about all of those do-it-yourselfers out there. DIY has been a hot trend for years. In fact, major paint manufacturer and retailer Sherwin-Williams lists do-it-yourselfers as one of its primary customers. [1]

If you want to reach the DIY market, you need to be what they’re looking for.

1. Be Visual

Despite your well-stocked shelves, you’re not really selling paint and wall coverings to this market. The items in your store represent work; harder work than DIYers may realize they’re in for. What you need to sell them on is the end result—living spaces that wrap them in the colors of their choice, that inspire, motivate, and comfort them.

To keep their eyes on the prize, incorporate aspirational images into your store. Show them how they’re rooms could look: a bright kitchen, a cozy living room, a calming bedroom. And don’t forget your website. Consumers are more and more interested in interactive online experiences that allow them to view design ideas. Provide galleries and palettes on your website and be prepared to match those colors in store. Building interactive galleries that allow for room design may exceed your web development budget, but you can consider leveraging the websites of the brands you carry (as long as they aren’t local competitors). Provide links on your website or consider incorporating an in-store kiosk (tablets are cheap, durable, and easily installed). For example, Benjamin Moore has a Color a Room tool that allows site visitors to choose and view paint colors.

2. Be Knowledgeable

To compete with name-brand stores such as Sherwin Williams and big-box chains such as Home Depot, you need to sell more than paint and wallpaper. No, we’re not talking about expanding the products you carry. We’re talking about providing customers with what they really want: knowledge. Do-it-yourselfers aren’t experts. In fact, they’re trying to side-step experts like professional painters and interior designers.

Realizing that providing excellent service and advice would foster customer loyalty, one successful retailer took the time to assemble an experienced staff. “They want specialized treatment,” said Tim Stotler, Manager of Village Ace hardware in Milwaukee of his customers. [2] To make service a differentiator, your staff must be ready to do more than haul paint cans and ring-up purchases. Employee must be able to mix and match colors, make recommendations, and give customers pro tips.

3. Be Educational

DIYers aren’t just doing it on the cheap, they genuinely want to learn how to do things themselves. For many it’s a point of pride, and they relish the sense of accomplishment they feel. Help them get this glorious feeling by giving them not only the tools, but the training they need. By making your business a resource, you’ll build brand affinity and encourage brand loyalty.

Connect with the community by hosting in-store workshops and events that show customers how to do anything from removing wallpaper to edging baseboards. Considering complementing these live experiences with a video series on your website. No longer bound by time or space, you can think bigger with topics like arranging a room or go more niche with topics like how to paint a popcorn ceiling. And if you take time and invest the energy to develop a video series, be sure to upload it on your YouTube channel and feature it on your social accounts.

We Can Help You Reach Your Customers

Whether you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, position your business as a local resource, or create video content, we can help. We’re marketing strategy experts and we have the tools to help you launch successful campaigns that reach the right audience. Contact us today to learn more or call 607.798.1325 for your free custom consultation today



1. "2016 Annual Report;"; The Sherwin-Williams Company; 03/30/2017 2017

2. “One Retailer’s Fast Climb to the Top of the Local Paint Market,’ by Jesse Carleton; Hardware Retailing; 02/28/2017

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