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.
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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? Ten to fifteen years ago that answer would have varied from trade to trade. Now, though, there’s one 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 to researching and purchasing materials to 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, construction professionals primarily use the internet as a communication tool, especially to interact with clients. Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents say that they go online to communicate with their clients at least once a week. And about half said they communicate online every day 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. Sixty-seven percent of the professionals surveyed by HIRI said they or their company have a website. Popular features include a description of services, a contact form, business hours and examples of completed work.
Use of social media is growing among construction professionals, too, with 54 percent of the surveyed pros saying their business engages with social media platforms. Most of that activity happens on one platform. Facebook is used by 94 percent of companies that are on social media, and the drop-off in usage of other platforms is steep:
- 37 percent of companies with social media use Instagram;
- 34 percent use LinkedIn;
- 12 percent use YouTube;
- 12 percent use Twitter.
Research and Purchasing
Thanks to the internet, the days of blindly purchasing materials for a project without any idea of their quality are over. The HIRI survey shows that more than 80 percent of construction professionals use the internet to research products or services and to purchase needed products. Most pros engage search engines (68.3 percent), although some preferred to go 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.