The 4th edition of the 'Internet Plumbing and Heating Market Report - UK 2016-2020 Analysis' comprises a detailed study of the online plumbing and heating product markets and analyses current trends by product sector. It includes comment on future prospects and implications for all companies that sell plumbing products online, including specialist online plumbing retailers and the industry as a whole.
Key sections covered:
- Market overview - size, change, current trends and forecasts.
- Product sector review - size, product mix, trends etc. - baths and sanitaryware; shower controls and bathroom taps; shower enclosures, screens and trays; towel warmers and decorative radiators; and heating products.
- Supplier review - market shares of leading online specialists, supply structure, overview of non-specialists.
- Sector characteristics - website functionality, pricing and discounts, distribution and delivery, and marketing.
Key areas of insight include:
- Internet market size by product sector - overall growth rates in recent years and forecasts to 2020.
- The UK has the highest rate of online purchasing in Europe, driven by faster broadband internet access and increased confidence to buy online. Almost 40 million UK users access the internet every day.
- With the roll-out of the 4G network across the UK, the number of consumers using a mobile device has nearly doubled in the last five years. Around one third of users now regard their smartphone as the most important means for going online.
- The market has continued to consolidate with the leading specialist players taking greater market share. However, there remain a large number of smaller specialists operating in addition to multi-channel non-specialists.
- Key online players - market shares of leaders - split by specialists and non-specialists.
Some of the companies included:
Amazon, Argos, Asda, B & Q, Bath Empire.com , Bathroom City, Bathroom Express, Bathroom Heaven, Bathroom Supplies Online, Bathrooms.com, Bathstore, Better Bathrooms, BHL, BPS Direct, Choice Bathroom Shop, Discounted Heating, Doble Bathrooms Direct, Grafton, Graham, Harding Import Export, Heat and Plumb, Homebase, Inspired Heating Solutions, J D Williams & Company, Jewson, John Lewis, Next, Online Bathrooms, Online Home Retail, Otto UK, Plumb Center, Plumbnation, Pure Bathrooms, QS Supplies, Sainsbury's, Screwfix, Shop Direct Home Shopping, SMR Bathrooms, Tapstore.com, Tesco, Total Bathrooms, Travis Perkins, Trueshopping, Ultra Finishing Group, Victoria Plumb, Warmrooms, Wickes, Wilkinson, William Dobson Bathrooms.
- Overall market size by value, rates of change, current trends and future prospects.
- Economic overview, social and demographic trends, population growth, level of activity within the private RMI sector, consumer confidence and expenditure etc.
- Internet trends - including overall UK, e-retail market, mobile internet access, mobile devices, typical purchaser profile by age and sex, trends in online household goods purchases etc.
- Shopping trends - including increasing online research, higher expectations of shorter delivery times and costs, growth of 'click and collect' and alternative pick-up locations, importance of social networking, influence of customer reviews and blogs, easier identification of lowest prices, use of voucher codes, payment flexibility, importance of marketplace websites, and growth in digital advertising - particularly mobile.
- Overall product mix - by value and share - baths & sanitaryware, shower controls and bathroom taps, bathroom furniture & accessories, shower enclosures/trays/screens, towel warmers & decorative radiators, heating products.
- Key design trends by product sector - sustainability and the environment, affordable design, technological improvements including digital controls, minimalist and contemporary styles, space saving designs for small UK bathrooms, safety features, inclusive design etc.
- Use of own label - advantages and disadvantages, trends, positioning, influences.
- Branded product - growing number of products and brands offered.
- Market shares of leading specialist online plumbing retailers.
- Review and analysis of leading online plumbing retailers, including company profile, turnover, key brands etc. Also summary of significant other online plumbing retailers.
- Overview of non-specialists, including merchant/trade channel, DIY multiples and other retail suppliers - store-based retailers, mail-order catalogues, grocery multiples, non-specialist marketplace retailers (such as Amazon) and plumbing manufacturers.
- Changes in structure of internet channel - specialists/non-specialists, key trends.
- Functionality including comment on website design, optimisation measures including mobile, search facility, secure payment features, monitoring and feedback.
- Pricing including online price comparison tools, price matching facility, trade accounts and available discounts.
- Showroom facility including percentage of online plumbing retailers that also offer a showroom facility. Distribution including comment on delivery times, cost of delivery, order processing, delivery service - national or online retailer own, refund policy etc.
- Marketing including importance of word of mouth promotion, effectiveness of online advertising, use of video, social networking, applications and impact of customer reviews.
- Customer advice including growing importance as a supplier differential, live help facility, email facility, typical questions and answers.
SUMMARY OF REPORT CONTENTS
The internet is the fastest growing channel of the overall UK plumbing and heating products market and has experienced strong growth levels in the last 5 years, and in 2015, the internet distribution market for plumbing products increased by 28% on the previous year. Shower controls and bathroom taps is the largest sector of the internet plumbing market, followed by bathroom furniture and accessories, baths and sanitaryware, heating products such as boilers and standard radiators, shower enclosures, screens and trays, towel warmers and decorative radiators.
It is estimated that in 2015 around 80% of plumbing products sold on the internet are through specialist online plumbing retailers, of which a majority are pure-play retailers that do not have a showroom and only trade online. There are now some very large online specialist distributors. Non-specialists account for around 20% of the total internet plumbing market and include merchant/trade outlets, marketplace websites such as Amazon and eBay, and other retail outlets. Non-specialists also include plumbing manufacturers that may make specific products available for consumers to buy online.
Own-label products sold on the internet are performing particularly well, and some leading specialist online plumbing retailers are exploiting this opportunity by exclusively supplying own-label lines. Online retailers have also been seen to expand the number of plumbing brands they offer, while also using popular keyword search analysis and ended up diversifying into a different product area altogether.
While the internet plumbing market has continued to increase as a result of an improving UK economy and housebuilding levels and the added convenience and low prices offered by online purchasing, forecasts indicate that the pace of growth will gradually start to slow down as this market matures. The timing of this change of pace, however, is difficult to estimate, with ongoing technological developments influencing buyer behaviour. It is estimated that the UK internet plumbing and heating market will increase by over 52% between 2016 and 2020.