Warm Spring Days are Here. We’re at Home. What Does This Mean for the Outdoor Living and Home Improvement Forecast?

What Does This Mean for the Outdoor Living and Home Improvement Forecast

With stay-at-home orders still in place across the country due to coronavirus, many Americans are turning their focus to the great outdoors of their own backyard.

But, who are these weed-whacking warriors and, if you’re a brand focused on home or outdoor goods, where will you find them?

We looked at two groups and studied their behavior for the past 30 days –– these are the real-time topics they’re searching for since the first mass stay-at-home orders went into place at the middle of March. The first group is made up of people interested in outdoor living, including furniture, grilling and dining. We didn’t want to assume that this group overlapped entirely with those interested in outdoor home improvement and DIY projects –– many of us can speak from experience that there’s a difference between ordering a new outdoor pillow and whipping out a bandsaw. The second group includes those who are interested in taking on outdoor home improvement, including decks, pools, porches, etc. or who are interested in landscaping projects, tips and ideas.

Let’s Sit On the Patio and Scroll Through Pinterest

When it comes to consumers who are interested in outdoor living, including furniture, grilling and dining, the audience skews towards retired or homemaker women, between 55-64, with a household income of $100-150K. 74% are married and 58% do not have children under 18.

These women over index for an optimistic outlook and creativity –– they are making the best of a situation that isn’t ideal by coming up with creative ways to make the space they’re confined to more enjoyable. Not surprisingly, they over index for home improvement, reading HGTV Magazine and Martha Stewart Living, as well as using Pinterest (we’d like to see that outdoor living board right about now!).

If you’re a retailer who carries home products, garden products or any items that would make outdoor living more enjoyable, this should be a target persona for you. Consider placement where you know you’ll find them –– home and garden publications and channels. Exercise empathy while focusing on the bright side in a situation and how they can create a space where one can feel safe and happy with their own family.

You may also want to consider convenience and sales when sending out marketing messages. They over index for shopping via home retail networks and discount stores. The shopping experience should be easy, affordable, and relatable.

When it comes to product development, focus on sourcing and creating products that enhance the outdoor living experience. Bring that café patio to them. Consider products that make their space more beautiful and more comfortable, while also enabling them to recreate an al fresco evening at home. And, make these products easy-to-assemble (no handyman needed!) and available via contactless delivery.

outdoor home improvement coronavirus

Grab Your Gardening Gloves and Let’s Get to Work

While the previously discussed group and this next audience do overlap in many key demographics (gender, age, household income, media consumption), there are a few key differences that explain the divergence in outdoor living v. those who are eager to take on DIY home improvement and landscaping projects.

This group over indexes in caring for nature as a value and gardening as a hobby. In fact, they over index by 159% for gardening! Similar to the outdoor living group, they have an optimistic outlook and are driven by creativity, but their creativity over index is by 101% –– they’re an inspired group who is ready to take on a new project.

They also have a significantly higher percentage of retirees and a slightly higher number without children under the age of 18 at home. They may have more spare time for hobbies and losing themselves in the act of taking on a DIY project outdoors. Lastly, a few of the retailers they prefer stand out as geared towards those who enjoy taking on home improvement: Cabela’s, Ace and True Value.

If you’re marketing to this group, you want to focus on their values of being reliable, caring for nature, and proving competence. Emphasize their can-do attitude and the impact they’re making on their own home and family.

To capture their attention with new products, consider beefing up your offerings with garden kits that can be sent via mail or are available for contactless pickup. Smaller projects may be the easiest to take on in order to avoid multiple trips to home improvement stores and consider how those can be packaged for easy delivery.

outdoor chart

Outdoor Living and Home Improvement Should Be a Focus in Spring/Summer 2020

So, you have your two target groups in mind now as you market your home and garden goods. This could be a big year for the home vertical and you should be focused on those audiences who are ready to make improvements while self-isolating at home.

Remember, empathy is the key to all messaging during this time, but people are eager to make the best of a not-so-ideal situation and creating a backyard oasis may be the closest we get to the great outdoors in the coming weeks and months.



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