Home Decor Category Analysis

Part
01
of six
Part
01

Insights and Trends - Home Decor

Home decor options are abundant. As smart home options grow in popularity in Canada, the decor options grow as well. Several Canadian smart home companies are utilizing the recent trends in designing smart home options.

Window Treatments Going Green

  • A recent trend in smart homes is becoming more eco-friendly, otherwise known as going green. This is due to a growing focus on social responsibility to preserve the environment for the planet. Window treatments are beginning to reflect this need for smart homes.
  • Eco-friendly window treatments are designed to save energy related to heating and cooling, which also saves costs for the homeowner. Energy management has been identified as a primary trend in the needs of Canadian smart homes.
  • Somfy Shades, a Canadian supplier of smart home window treatments, has initiated a trend of going green as of 2019. This initiative has 3 focus points: green buildings, green teams, and green products. Somfy shades has a goal is for 80% of somfy shades sold to utilize the "act for green" approach.
  • Somfy shades has developed a "green ambassadors" community and practices considered eco-friendly in their groups sites, to enhance this initiative.
  • Experts have reported a desire to see more eco-friendly developments in the future of smart home.

Brilliant Control

  • Brilliant Control is a system using a single wall switch to control multiple devices within the smart home, which has been identified as a trend expected to gain popularity in 2020. Control and connectivity needs are predicted to be the primary trend in Canadian smart homes through 2024.
  • The Brilliant Control technology allows homeowners to control the lighting, climate, music, and security systems for the home with one switch system in a single location.
  • This technology has user-friendly operations, allowing anyone in the home the ability to use the system.
  • Brilliant Control technology is available for single and multiple-family smart home units and as an addition to a home not built as a smart home.
  • Brilliant technology began being offered in Canada in late 2018, joining the movement for smart home trends in Canada.
  • Experts at Techhive noted the Brilliant switches are able to connect and control smart and traditional light switches and have lower prices than other smart controls, making this technology more desirable currently and in the future.
  • Patrick Sisson of Home Tech stated Brilliant technology is "upending" the smart home market by being incorporated into new home builds, which will make this technology more standard in smart homes.

Voice Controlled Climate Systems

  • Smart homes using voice-activated devices continue to grow in popularity, which includes voice-controlled heating and air systems. These systems fall into the control and connectivity category, which is a rising trend in Canadian smart homes.
  • The voice-controlled heating and air system has been identified as one of the predicted top desires for smart homes in 2020.
  • Canadian manufacturers of smart homes, such as Sonic Systems, are offering voice-controlled climate systems as part of smart home packages for new and current construction.
  • Experts at LiveWire have stated voice-control continues enhancing technology of the future, including smart home climate control systems.
  • NBC News noted smart and voice-controlled climate systems continue to raise in popularity due to their ability to save on utility costs in addition to convenience.

Smart Light Bulb and Controls

  • While smart lighting is a current component of smart homes, the controls for smart lighting are evolving and developing new trends.
  • Multiple Canadian smart home builders, such as KRU and Sonic Systems, offer up-and-coming smart lighting controls, keeping up with the ongoing development of these systems.
  • It is predicted that smart lighting controls allowing automated control of light color in addition to intensity will be a growing desire in 2020 smart homes.
  • The Yeelight smart LED bulb, available in Canada and the US, is an example of this trend. This light allows users to determine intensity of the light and choose from 16 million color options, connecting to the home's wireless network for control.
  • The Yeelight Smart LED Color Bulb and Phillip Hue A19 were identified as two of the top smart light bulbs in 2020, both offered in Canada. Experts at Wirecutter noted the compatibility of smart bulbs with AI systems will allow this technology to continue keeping up with technological advances.
  • NBC News identified smart light bulbs as a rising trend in smart lighting controls in smart homes.
  • Comfort lighting has been identified as a rising trend in Canadian smart homes, which is predicted to continue rising through 2024.

Smart Usage Designs in Lighting

  • Smart usage designs in lighting in Canada include the light bulbs used, smart plugs, and smart light switches designed to save energy.
  • A trend in smart home lighting designs include smart usage. This means the lighting options use less energy, which saves the homeowner money and reduces the carbon footprint by up to 17%.
  • Energy monitoring systems included in the lighting design allow the energy usage of the home to be monitored, to ensure the smart usage needs are met.
  • Canadian companies providing smart home options are offering lighting designs using fewer switches and minimalist designs to save costs, which contributes to the trend of smart usage.
  • Energy management is the top rising trend for Canadian smart homes, which makes smart usage design an increasing need in Canada.
  • Experts at Consumer Reports noted smart usage designs have multiple options for varying budgets, giving multiple options for usage in traditional and smart homes.Research Strategy

Research Strategy

    Research began with review of smart home technology trends. This information was cross-references with major companies building smart homes in Canada. The compiled information was further cross-referenced with expert reviews and discussions of the technology, to confirm each concept is a current trend affecting Canada.


Part
02
of six
Part
02

Customer Journey - Home Decor

Residential construction in Canada and North America are expected to increase online purchases of home decor between 2020 and 2024. While these projections do not include window treatments, flooring, paint and paint coatings, or lighting, new construction necessitates new purchases of these items and materials. Our research suggests Canadian consumers have regional preferences specific to items such as flooring and paint and paint coatings.

Flooring

Laminate flooring sales were down 24% in 2018 in Canada according to the Global Flooring Alliance. Research suggests Canadian consumers are swayed by economic as well as environmental impact including what resources are locally available. Given climate differences and available natural resources such as granite or lumber, a comparison between flooring choice in Canada and the U.S. would be less applicable here.

Paint and coatings

The Canadian paint and coatings market grew 2% since 2008. Raw materials suppliers, retail stores, and contractors make up 64% of the market.
Architectural paint or decorative paint for home interiors and exteriors accounted for 49% of paint sales or $1.5 billion dollars in 2016. Canadian consumers primarily purchase wall colors from corporate-owned paint manufacturers, independently-owned paint stores and large chain box stores.

We first searched for aggregate data of purchasing behavior for window treatments, flooring, wall colors/treatments and lighting. Given the fragmented nature of the home decor market and the size of the U.S. market we decided to separate out each topic specific to Canada. We were unable to find individual data points for either lighting or window treatments; its likely this data is included in home decor sales statistics that include furniture and decorative pieces.
While data suggests consumers are using both online and in-person store visits to make purchases for these items it was difficult to discern which was the point of entry for the consumer. For example, paint sales were not divided as either or in-person store visits or at which point consumers chose online or in-person interactions in order to make decisions based on paint color or type. More data is needed in order to better predict how consumers make decisions about home decor and how influenced they are by media, VR or AR experiences, and/or trying out the item in their home.




Part
03
of six
Part
03

Competitors - Hunter Douglas

Five competitors to Hunter Douglas with a significant presence in Canada are Sun Glow, Craftsman, Concord Shading Systems, Elite Window Fashions, and Blinds To Go. Details for these companies are below.

Hunter Douglas

Sun Glow

Craftsman

Concord Shading Systems

Elite Window Fashions

  • The website for Elite Window Fashions can be found here.
  • Elite Window Fashions manufactures and sells window treatments such as blinds, curtains, and shades for both commercial and residential uses.
  • This was selected as a competitor to Hunter Douglas because it offers similar products including blinds and shades.
  • Elite Window Fashions is headquartered in Concord, Ontario, Canada.
  • Annual sales are not available, but Elite Window Fashions has an estimated annual revenue of $6.2 million.

Blinds To Go

Research Strategy

Annual sales were not available for any company, specifically for Canada or otherwise. Therefore, we had to use another metric to determine competitors to Hunter Douglas. Since it is unknown how much revenue Hunter Douglas generates in Canada, we were unable to use revenue as a comparison metric. Therefore, we selected the competitors based on similar products manufactured and sold. All competitors also have a significant presence in Canada.
Part
04
of six
Part
04

Competitors - Hunter Douglas: The Findings Part One

Sun Glow, Craftsman, and Concord Shading manufacture, design, and install custom blinds, shutters, and other window coverings. An overview of each company's offerings, pricing, sales channels, and marketing can be found below.

Sun Glow

  • Sun Glow offers window shades in variations such as Vision Rollers, Interlude Shades, Illusion Shades, Roman Shades, and Panel Tracks.
  • They also offer custom shades like the Atlas Bottom Up Shade System, Nimbus Skylight Shade System, Gemini Dual Shade System, NEO Chainless System, and Light Shelves.
  • They have their own mobile app-controlled shade control system.
  • Due to the custom nature, prices are not available on the website.
  • There is one website that sells Sun Glow roller shades, and pricing varied by size from $159 to $673 per shade.
  • Orders can be completed online, but only after working with a customer service rep and creating an account.
  • In-person dealers are also available, but their locations are only disclosed after filling out a request form online.
  • There are no Sun Glow marketing campaigns in the past 12-18 months online, but they did publish a "year in review" video on their YouTube account.

Craftsman

  • Craftsman offers interior shutters in styles like traditional, plantation, California, and oceanview.
  • Their blind styles include roller, vertical, silhouette, roman, solar, and motorized.
  • They also refinish existing wood shutters and kitchen cabinets.
  • Wholesale commercial services are also available.
  • Due to the custom nature, and the fact that Craftsman is a dealer for other window covering brands, pricing is only available via quote.
  • Craftsman has a showroom in Scarborough, and also does free in-home quotes. It appears all services must be ordered through the company directly.
  • There are no marketing campaigns for Craftsman in the past 12-18 months. They appear to do all of their marketing through their Facebook page.

Concord Shading Systems

Part
05
of six
Part
05

Competitors - Hunter Douglas: The Findings Part Two

Blinds To Go sells blinds, shades, motorized shades and blinds, vertical sheers, and shutters. Elite Window Fashions sells residential shades and blinds, plus commercial fabrics, hardware, and motorized window shades. Concord Shading Systems sells a variety of shades, screens, shutters, drapery systems, awnings, specialty hardware, and its own Constant Tension Spring Systems.

Blinds To Go

1. List of Products Offered

A. Blinds

B. Shades

C. Specialty Products

2. General Price Ranges

  • The general prices for blinds ranges from around $16.84 (for a faux wood blind) to $82.04 (for a wood blind).
  • The general prices for shades ranges from around $51.51 (for a cellular shade) to $192.47 (for a Roman shade).
  • Pricing for specialty products is not provided online, as the company instructs people to go to a showroom or requested the catalog for pricing information.

3. Sales Channels

4. Recent Marketing Example

  • This link is to a video ad/commercial from February 2020.
  • This link is to a Twitter ad from October 2019.

Elite Window Fashions

1. List of Products Offered

A. Residential

B. Commercial

2. General Price Ranges

  • Elite Window Fashions doesn't provide its pricing information, as the company instructs people to "[f]ind a dealer near you or contact us for more information."

3. Sales Channels

4. Recent Marketing Examples

  • This link is to a content marketing example posted on Facebook in May 2019.
  • This link is to a video marketing example the company posted on Facebook in August 2019.

Concord Shading Systems

1. List of Products Offered

2. General Price Ranges

  • Concord doesn't publish its pricing online, as it instructs people to contact the company via an estimate form or by phone.

3. Sales Channels

4. Recent Marketing Example

  • This link is to a video marketing example the company posted on Facebook in February 2019.
Part
06
of six
Part
06

Digital Media Habits - Home Decor

Home décor buyers post photos of their homes on social media and use social networks such as Pinterest to guide their purchase decisions. Canadian Millennials in general consume video (YouTube and Netflix) more than any other digital media per week. These and other findings are outlined below.

Home Décor Buyers' Digital Media Habits

Canadian Millennials' Digital Media Habits

  • The survey results showing Millennials have a greater interest in home décor than other generations can be extended/applied to Canadian Millennials as well.
  • eMarketer reported that there are 7.3 million Millennials in Canada in 2018.
  • Media Canada reported that Canadian Millennials spent an average of 2.4 hours on Snapchat and 1.9 hours on Twitter per week, compared to 3.3 hours reading physical books.
  • Canadian Millennials also spent an average of 3.9 hours on Instagram per week.
  • The article also reported that Canadian Millennials spent an average of 8.1 hours per week on YouTube and 7.3 hours on Facebook per week.
  • Canadian Millennials spent an average of 7.4 hours on Netflix per week.
  • Podcasts only got 1 hour of attention per week on average.
  • The Canadian Media Usage Trends Study (CMUST) 2018 also reported that 90% of Canadians aged 18 years and older use the Internet for 1,328 minutes per week.
  • The report noted that French Canadians are heavier users of media than Canadians in general.
  • Canadian adults also spent an average of 39 minutes per week on eCommerce sites.
  • In general, eMarketer reported that Canadian adults first started spending more time on digital media compared to traditional media in 2019.
  • Canadian adults spent 4 hours and 55 minutes on digital media in 2019 compared to 4 hours and 54 minutes on traditional media.
  • Time spend on digital versus traditional media is projected to steadily grow in 2020 (5:02 vs 4:48) and 2021 (5:07 vs 4:42).
  • Video is a major driver in digital media consumption among Canadian adults and expected to directly replace TV time.

Research Strategy

The Meredith Better Homes & Gardens "New Home Buyers" study surveyed over 2,000 U.S. female new home buyers aged 25 to 64 years old as well as 500 real estate agents in the company's network. The report was published December 2019.

Due to lack of surveys or studies focusing directly on Canadian home decor buyers and digital media habits, we used the report's available findings on US Millennials. Most of the data available for Canadians only documented general use of media without any direct relation to home décor purchases as was presented by Meredith. However, we applied/extended the findings of Meredith's US survey to Canadian Millennials. This approach is primarily based on the survey results showing that Millennials, more than any other generation, have greater interest in home design and décor. We therefore researched Canadian Millennials and their digital media habits, using authoritative sources such as Media in Canada.com, PHD Canada, and eMarketer. We also included digital media habits of Canadians in general to broaden our findings. These have been outlined above.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "As we build new houses, I would hope we’ll have progressed from bricks, to buildings that are modular, eco-friendly, cheaper and faster to build."
From Part 04
From Part 05
From Part 06
Quotes
  • "Millennial Home Buyers Report Greater Interest in Home Design and Décor, DIY Home Improvement and Entertaining Than Other Generations"
  • "Nearly Half of Millennial Recent Home Buyers Have Posted or Plan to Post Photos Of Their Homes on Social Media vs. 36% of Gen X and 20% of Boomer Buyers"
  • "The study found that Millennial home buyers want their homes to be entertainment and social-media ready: one in three Millennial recent home buyers say they need their home to be "attractive enough for social media," and almost half of Millennial recent home buyers have posted or plan to post photos of their homes on social media (versus 36% of GenX and 20% of Boomer buyers)."
  • "Millennials also use social media to inform decisions during the home-buying process more than other generations. Twenty-one percent of Millennials report using Pinterest to gather information about purchasing a home versus 14% of GenXers and 6% of Boomers."
  • "Nearly half (47%) of Millennials also use social media to decide what changes to make to their home, more than other generations compared with 35% of GenX and 16% of Boomers."
  • "It's also worth noting that home buyers often approach the purchase process having gleaned a lot of knowledge and insights from social media and home design and décor programming, so it's up to the agent to manage expectations of what's realistic while also working to deliver the home of their dreams."
Quotes
  • "The books figure – young adult Canadians report spending an average of 3.3. hours per week reading books (of the non-electronic variety), compared to 2.4 hours on Snapchat and 1.9 hours on Twitter – may relieve some of their parents, but another stat may bring more relief to brands who buy TV ads."
  • "According to the study, millennials spend an average of 4.1 hours per week watching live television, which outranks Instagram (3.9 hours per week)."
  • "But the big players for millennials, according to eMarketer, are YouTube, Netflix and Facbook. YouTube ranks the highest, with an average of 8.1 hours spent per week, followed by Netflix (7.4 hours) and Facebook (7.3 hours)."
  • "Despite the rising popularity of podcasts, it ranked as one of the lowest media for consumption, with an average of only one hour listened per week."
Quotes
  • "In 2019, adults in Canada will spend an average of 4 hours, 55 minutes on digital devices, compared with 4 hours, 54 minutes with traditional media, such as TV, radio and print."
  • "Consumers’ time spent with digital media, which includes all online activities, will grow 2.6% this year. This growth has been in steady decline since 2011, when eMarketer began its forecast."
  • "Video is a major driver of growth in digital consumption. In fact, video time is directly replacing TV time. "
  • "Average daily video time this year will jump by 5 minutes to 1 hour, 32 minutes, reaching nearly one-third of total (digital video and TV) viewing time. Traditional TV time will drop by 5 minutes to 3 hours, 4 minutes."
Quotes
  • "Total Canada Adults Weekly Reach %/Minutes per Capita (p.4)"
  • "Deep reach and a growing share of wallet Retail sales in Canada added up to an estimated to $588.8 billion in 2016 (YTD to July ‘18, Stats Can) and Stats Canada estimated that 2.7% of that total was generated online through eCommerce sites."
  • "The chart (right top) shows the eFunnel that exists in Canada today; 85% of adults in Canada visit an E-Site; 69% visit the top 11 E-Sites, which converts into 15% purchasing on the top 11 sites; converting into 10% who purchase on the top E-Site. Adults spend 39 minutes a week on all E-Sites."
  • "With the exception of Magazines, French Canadians are heavier users of media than Total Canadians."