When it comes to home improvement, what’s on the outside is just as important as what’s on the inside. For homeowners, taking care of their gardens and lawns is an important part of regular maintenance and stewardship of their space.
But for these types of projects in particular, there seems to be something pleasurable about it that goes beyond habit or obligation. A significant percentage of homeowners enjoy the process of working outdoors and the satisfaction that comes from completing a task. Additionally, they feel more confident about completing these types of projects compared to certain other home repairs and improvements.
For that reason, they are involved more not only in doing outdoors projects, but also making all the purchases necessary to accomplish that task.
The consumer, or DIY homeowner, market for lawn and garden supplies, nursery stock and soil treatments is significantly larger than the pro market. This is one area of home improvement where property owners are more prone to undertake their own DIY projects, repairs, and maintenance activities. For example, about 49 percent of consumers do all the work on these types of projects themselves.
Even still, consumer spending for nursery stock and soil treatments, as well as lawn and garden equipment and supplies, continues to decrease in 2023 — a trend that started in 2022. However, both of these market segments are expected to recover over the next few years. Consumer spending for nursery stock and soil treatments is projected to grow to $26 billion in 2027. The consumer segment for lawn and garden equipment is projected to grow to $42.3 billion in 2027.
For the professional side of the market, the dip in spending in 2023 for nursery stock and soil treatments is far less pronounced, and there should be a quick recovery in 2024, followed by growth through 2027. Lawn and garden professionals are anticipated to spend approximately $7.64 billion by 2027. The lawn and garden equipment and supplies segment for professionals is also forecasted to experience steady growth from 2023 to 2027, up to $6.6 billion.
For the most part, homeowners take on lawn and garden projects to help maintain or repair their property. But there are several psychological benefits involved in the process that illustrate why they choose to complete some or all of the work themselves.
For example, according to our 2021 Project Decision Study, 39 percent of homeowners describe one of their top motivations as the satisfaction that comes from a job well done, and 36 percent reference the enjoyment that comes from working on and caring for their own outdoor living spaces.
Additionally, consumers are motivated by the desire to update their property’s aesthetic or improving the appearance. For a smaller sector, there’s also some familial and peer pressure — the idea of “keeping up with the Joneses,” or wanting to remain on par with neighbors and friends when it comes to maintain a tidy and attractive lawn, garden, or landscape.
In terms of demographics, older homeowners completed more projects than younger homeowners in 2023, and this is an ongoing trend. Additionally, those with a household income of $100,000 to $159,000 completed more projects than other demographics. This is a continuation of the trend we’ve seen over the past few years with the main decision makers for products and materials being homeowners who skew older. It’s also important to note that, in terms of lawn and garden purchaser attitudes, about 74 percent say they will make improvements to their home so they are able to stay there as they age. Additionally, about 67 percent buy products and materials to help them maintain a healthy home and 48 percent prefer to buy eco-friendly, sustainable items.
The most common projects — which account for more than half — include adding or replacing landscaping or a garden and adding or removing trees and shrubs. The median spending for these types of projects is about $300, although our forecast is that the median spending will increase later this year.
About 50 percent of DIYers do all the work for a garden, yard or landscaping project, and make all the purchase decisions on their own.
In general, the time it takes for homeowners to plan a yard, garden or landscape project and then complete it is shorter than the decision-to-completion cycle for other home improvement projects.
For manufacturers and suppliers of lawn and gardening products and materials, it’s useful to understand how and where professionals and homeowners are making their purchases.
According to HIRI’s 2022 Product Purchase Tracking Study, many product categories saw a slight 1 percent to 3 percent increase in purchase incidence from 2019 to 2022. These were listed as the most popular products:
Home centers are overwhelmingly favored at the retailer of choice, accounting for 63 percent of purchases in landscaping and gardening categories. Non-storefront retailers capture another 11 percent, with hardware and discount stores also responsible for 8 percent each.
In terms of purchase method, 73 percent of consumers will visit a physical store to shop for garden, lawn, and landscaping items, while 15 percent make purchases online and 12 percent do the buying online and then pick up in-store.
Additionally, the percentage of customers shopping at two or more places to make purchases for their project has increased from 22 percent in 2014 to 36 percent. In fact, in 2022, only 64 percent of customers were making all of their purchases for a given project from one retailer.
The main reason for this cross-retailer shopping is that the initial retailer did not carry the color, style, or size of product that purchasers were looking for.
That being said, this is a departure from what consumers want. About 68 percent say that they would prefer one-stop shopping for all their project needs, rather than having to go to different stores.
For some manufacturers, that could mean identifying what features are in demand among consumers and diversifying product development accordingly to respond to their preferences. For others, it might necessitate working more closely with retailers to find out where there are gaps or how to supply items and materials that satisfy all their needs for a particular lawn or garden project.
If you’re looking for other insights and data to help inform your decisions as a manufacturer, HIRI offers a wide range of research on market trends for landscaping and gardening, as well as consumer behaviors and attitudes when making purchases in these categories. Watch for our upcoming 2023 Product Decision Study, which will be released to HIRI members by November 2023.
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