Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Consumers in the U.S.: DIY Markets in a Down Economy

Jun 1, 2009
202 Pages - Pub ID: LA2118693
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As the worst economic downturn in living memory stretches relentlessly into 2009, American consumers in every walk of life are searching for new ways to cope with their diminished financial circumstances and to empower themselves by taking more control of their lives in uncertain times. One increasingly popular survival strategy adopted by more and more American consumers is to take on routine chores and tackle major projects themselves rather than paying others to do them.

This completely new Packaged Facts report takes an in-depth look at the exploding population of do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) in remarkably diverse sectors of the economy, including home improvement, food gardening, financial services, automotive and beauty care. By drilling down into Experian Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS) data, the report highlights what makes DIY consumers tick and shows how they differ from their do-it-for me (DIFM) counterparts. The report reveals how the DIY movement is taking hold throughout the American economy, creating both challenges and opportunities for marketers in a wide range of industries.

The report begins with an assessment of the trends shaping the DIY consumer movement and an evaluation of the opportunities created by the shift toward self-sufficiency on the part of American consumers. The next chapter provides an overview of the demographics of DIY consumers and an analysis of the size and projected growth of the DIY consumer population. The report continues with separate chapters on DIYers in five major areas: home improvement, food gardening, financial services, automotive and at-home beauty care. Each chapter includes a demographic profile of DIYers, highlights key DIY consumer attitudes, analyzes DIY consumer shopping behavior and assesses the importance of DIY consumers to marketers in each area.

Read an excerpt from this report below.

About the Author

Dr. Robert Brown and Ms. Ruth Washton have written more than 30 Packaged Facts reports analyzing demographic trends and marketing strategies in key consumer segments. Topics have ranged from kids to mature consumers to multicultural groups such as Hispanics and African Americans. Dr. Brown and Ms. Washton have co- authored several Financial Times Business Reports on strategic business issues and have provided market and competitor intelligence studies for clients in a variety of industries. Dr. Brown has a B.S. from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. degree from The George Washington University. Ms. Washton has a B.A from Skidmore College and an M.A. from the State University of New York.


Additional Information

Market Insights: A Selection From The Report


Many Factors Support Continuing Growth in Number of DIY Consumers

Demographic and economic factors combine to form a powerful impetus to the continued growth in the number of DIY consumers in areas besides home improvement.

  • As a result of the projected rapid growth in the population of multicultural women—who are more likely than non-Hispanic white women to use at-home hair coloring products—Packaged Facts projects that the number of women using at-home hair coloring will grow faster than the rate of growth in the female population as a whole between 2008 and 2013. The number of women using at-hair home coloring is expected to total 40 million, an increase of 10% during this period.

  • Those in the 18- to 34-year-old age group are more likely than other taxpayers to use computer software to prepare their tax returns. Packaged Facts expects that the proportion of DIYers using computer software to prepare their tax returns will increase as members of Gen Y continue to mature, enter the job market and file tax returns. Based on these assumptions, the number of taxpayers using computer software is expected to increase by 13% between 2008 and 2013.

  • The financial need to keep cars running longer in order to avoid purchasing another vehicle will encourage more car owners to take the plunge into DIY car maintenance. Packaged Facts expects that the number of automotive DIYers will increase 16% between 2008 and 2013.

  • Packaged Facts expects that interest in food gardening will continue to grow as a result of economic and cultural factors. The number of GIYers is expected to increase by an average of approximately 6% annually between 2008 and 2013 and register cumulative growth of 34% during the forecast period.

In the News


American Consumers Discover Empowerment, Cope with Economy Through a “Do-It-Yourself” Mindset

New York, May 28, 2009 - After decades of extravagant spending, 2009 became the year many American consumers finally began to confront their fundamentally changed financial circumstances and sought to empower themselves by asserting more control over their lives. One increasingly popular strategy to survive the recession was to adopt a do-it-yourself (DIY) mindset by personally taking on routine chores and tackling major projects rather than paying others to do them.

Leading market research publisher Packaged Facts interpreted Experian Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS) data and examined the growing legion of do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) in the all-new report, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Consumers in the U.S.: DIY Markets in a Down Economy.

The DIY trend has swept up tens of millions of Americans across all walks of life. Though only 46% of the American population as a whole classifies as DIYers, the segment accounts for 56% of American shoppers and wields considerable influence over the retail industry. The diverse spectrum of the economy influenced by DIYers includes home improvement, food gardening, financial services, automotive, and beauty care.

“As consumers began to take more of their economic lives into their own hands, they inevitably change the financial landscape for a wide variety of businesses,” says Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. “Research shows that here are 58 million DIY food gardeners, 67 million Americans who change their own motor oil, and 36 million women who color their hair at home.”

Based on demographic and economic factors, Packaged Facts makes several substantial projections about the continued growth of DIY consumers during the 2008 to 2013 period. The number of women using at-home hair coloring is expected to increase 10% to total 40 million, a number growing faster than the rate of growth in the female population as a whole. The proportion of taxpayers using computer software will increase by 13% as members of Gen Y continue to mature, enter the job market, and file tax returns. More car owners will plunge into DIY car maintenance seeking to avoid costly vehicular problems and will increase the number of automotive DIYers by 16%. Meanwhile economic and cultural factors will increase the interest in food gardening, and Packaged Facts expects DIYers in the segment to grow by an average of approximately 6% annually during the forecast period and register cumulative growth of 34%.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Consumers in the U.S.: DIY Markets in a Down Economy takes an in-depth look at the exploding population of DIYers in five diverse sectors of the economy. The report highlights what makes DIY consumers tick and shows how they differ from their do-it-for me (DIFM) counterparts. Further, the report reveals how the DIY movement is taking hold throughout the American economy, creating both challenges and opportunities for marketers in a wide range of industries.

About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of Market Research Group, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer industries, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet, and financial products.  Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. 

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