It’s not enough to simply sell a hammer anymore. Home improvement retailers need to empower customers with the how-to, too.

The Global DIY Summit hosted Dor in Berlin last week to share a startup perspective on the rapidly-evolving home improvement retail space. Our three Dor-legates weighed in with what they learned at the summit — and how retailers can take action on emerging market trends.

“Retailers: Don’t just provide the tool or product customers need. Empower them with the knowledge of how to use it effectively.”

Takeaways: Sean Lakind

Retailers know that in order to be successful in this new era, they need to focus on the customer experience. It’s not just about the product you sell anymore. Give me something I can’t get on Amazon.

The DIY sector is making great strides to bring this experience to their customers. To steal a line from one session: “Customers are getting quickly bored, and need to be enticed and inspired.”

Any homeowner will know the experience of searching YouTube to learn a new maintenance or project skill. Currently, that content is dominated by individual contractors. This is a huge opportunity for retailers small and large to not just provide the tool or product their customers need, but to empower them with the knowledge of how to use it effectively.

This model has already proven successful with apparel retailers putting together looks on Pinterest and Instagram, or bicycle shops creating video content for regular maintenance tasks or performance improvements like “how to climb hills.” In-store workshops are also hugely successful, since they have the added benefit of bringing the customer through your doors.

I also learned I need a lawn mowing robot.

“Millennials aren’t coming to your store with an informed shopping list and the know-how to build that deck they just pinned on Pinterest. They’re looking to retailers for the final results.”

Takeaways: Gregg Golembeski

The DIY sector is one of the retail strongholds that will be around for quite some time with the least amount of Amazon pressure of many verticals in retail. That being said, it doesn’t seem the largest risk is other retailers or e-commerce, but the changing demographic of customers.

Time and time again, we hear retailers having a hard time understanding the purchasing habits of millennials. As this generation starts buying their first homes, the DIY industry is finding that they’re not coming in with an informed shopping list and the know-how to build that deck they just pinned on Pinterest, but are looking to them for the final results.

All retailers, not just in the DIY sector, need to look at shifting their business models and powerful supply chains to satisfy this new breed of consumers to a services-based model.

DIY is now DIT: “Do it together.”

“I expect to see huge growth in the retail market among companies that take an omnichannel approach to hone in on their specific customers, find a niche and fully deliver a solution for a consumer need.”

Takeaways: Michael Brand

One of the greatest things we saw is how the consumer attitude is shifting from a desire for products to a desire for solutions. A great example one of the speakers gave is that current consumers don’t want a power drill, they want a hole in the wall, and they’re happy to pay a premium for that.

We’ve seen in our own customer footprint that businesses that provide direct solutions, instead of serving as mere paths to those solutions, are expanding their retail presence greatly. Smart businesses are not treating their online and offline channels separately, but combining this data to grow their business.

I expect to see huge growth in the retail market among companies that take an omnichannel approach to hone in on their specific customers, find a niche and fully deliver a solution for a consumer need. In-depth retail analytics is the key to optimizing that business model successfully.

Were you at the DIY Summit too? Share your takeaways with us in the comments below!