This review comes two weeks late. The reason is simply because I forgot! I have been so busy with all my various projects, it slipped my mind and I forgot to write. Still, better late than never, here is my review of March in 2014.
Personally, March was a great month for us. Sales continued to rise beyond that of the previous months, and kept us on our course for achieving our overall yearly target around three and a half months early. What we have noticed these past few months is that the average contract value has risen significantly. Very few single windows or door have been sold. They have mostly been full houses of windows and doors, new large glass extensions etc.
Whatever you think the reason is, consumer confidence is on the rise and homeowners are intent on improving their homes to a higher standard. Shows like Grand Designs and consumer exhibitions are helping to inspire homeowners and help them understand that the amount of choice now available means they can get much more creative with their windows and doors than they probably thought was possible.
One thing we have noticed is that the number of leads isn’t really going anywhere. They’re not low, but they’re not particularly high either. I think one trait of the pre-recession years was that despite a lot of leads compared to right now, quite a few were tyre kickers and not serious buyers. The leads we find we are getting now are from people who have done their homework, researched what they like and are serious buyers.
I’m not sure if the high quality of leads is down to something we are doing i.e. good online information or quality reputation, or if it is a more widespread feature. I would hazard a guess that the average homeowner is more serious about investing in new windows and doors now, and that a rise in the quality of leads is down to that more than anything else. I am sure you kind folk reading this might give me your thoughts in the comments section below ;-)
Glass Price Increases
March was also the month where we saw Pilkington confirm some rather massive hikes in the cost of their glass. Rumours had it at a 40% rise. In reality, it was “only” 26%. But an increase of that amount is still a big rise, and certainly did wind up a few people in the online part of our world.
This is a subject I will be covering in a post more widely very soon on DGB, but making money in glass at the moment for the biggest companies appears to be very hard at the moment. Speak to anyone in the industry and the generally accepted commentary seems to be that most large glass companies are struggling to make any sort of decent profit. We all know the serious trouble Pilkington are in at the moment. Their future in the UK in my eyes is shaky at best. But this sort of price increase simply underlined the issues right at the heart of the glass industry.
My 5th Birthday!
I’m obviously not 5 years old, but March saw DGB turn 5 years old. Believe it or not, I have been plaguing your inboxes with my daily rants, reports and frustrations from the world of fenestration.
It was a big milestone for me that meant a great deal. To stick at something like this for 5 years has taken some real effort and persistence, but all the way through this I have enjoyed every day of it and the debates and controversy it has brought. I am planning a revamp of the site as soon as I get time to settle on a design and layout. DGB 4.0 is also going to feature new content, a modern new layout and become a much more mature website going forwards.
As always, all comments are welcome in the section below.