Study: How Construction Professionals Use the Internet for Business
Take a look at how construction pros are using the internet to operate and grow their businesses.
If you asked a construction professional what the most important tool they use in their line of work is, what do you think they would say? Just ten to fifteen years ago that answer would have varied from trade to trade. Now, though, there’s an obvious tool that is essential and necessary regardless of whether you’re a plumber or a carpenter: the internet.
According to a recent survey of construction professionals by the Home Improvement Research Institute, construction professionals have begun to take full advantage of the internet as a tool for everything from communicating with clients, researching and purchasing materials, and marketing their business. Here’s a breakdown of how the surveyed construction pros use the internet to operate and grow their business.
According to the survey results, the main way that construction professionals use the internet is as a communication tool. The internet has become the primary way that construction professionals interact with their clients in particular, with nearly 90 percent of survey respondents saying that they go online to communicate with their clients at least once a week. Just about half said that they go online on a daily basis to communicate with their coworkers and suppliers.
The internet is the most powerful marketing tool that has ever existed. Social media accounts and official company websites are a great way for businesses to inform people of the services that they provide, and construction companies are beginning to catch on. 67 percent of the professionals surveyed by HIRI said that they or the company they work for have a company website. Popular features on these company websites include a description of services, a contact form, business hours, and examples of completed work.
Use of social media is growing amongst construction professionals, too, with 54 percent of the surveyed pros saying their business engages with social media platforms. A large majority of that activity is happening on one particular social media platform. Facebook is used by 94 percent of companies that use social media, and the drop-off in usage of other platforms after that is fairly steep:
- 37 percent of companies with social media use Instagram
- 34 percent of companies with social media use LinkedIn
- 12 percent of companies with social media use YouTube
- 12 percent of companies with social media use Twitter
Research and Purchasing
Thanks to the internet, the days of blindly purchasing materials for a project without having any idea of their quality are over. The HIRI survey shows that over 80 percent of construction professionals use the internet to research products or services and to purchase needed products. Most pros research products through search engines (68.3 percent), although some preferred to go straight to the manufacturer’s website (13.4 percent) or to a retailer website (9.5 percent).
Survey respondents also regularly use the internet to compare prices, keep up with developments in the industry and utilize online learning and training programs. Employing the power of the internet enables construction professionals to make more educated and informed decisions on how to operate their businesses.