The big spring spruce up – Brits get their homes and gardens ready in mixed picture for sector retail

15 May, 24
Latest data from leading eCommerce provider Visualsoft shows the passion and enthusiasm Brits have for their home and gardens, with sales of home and garden products increasing Year on Year (YOY) during February-April 2024.

Latest data from leading eCommerce provider Visualsoft shows the passion and enthusiasm Brits have for their home and gardens, with sales of home and garden products increasing Year on Year (YOY) during February-April 2024.

The brighter weather and advertising around spring cleaning and home renovation seems to have inspired consumers to invest in their homes as the year gets underway. Revenue for flooring, rugs and carpets increased 52% over the spring period compared to the year before, with gardens, plants and trees increasing revenue by 37%.

Yet revenue for furniture, home furnishings and DIY grew just 3%. However, the number of orders does not correlate with overall revenue. Flooring, rugs and carpets decreased by 2%, and furniture, home furnishings and DIY down 31%. In contrast the number of orders of gardens, plants and trees increased by 25%. This paints a complex picture of the different factors influencing eCommerce sales and the relationship between the number of orders, basket size, and revenue.

The sectors that have seen good Average order Value (AOV) growth are generally the ones also doing well in revenue, but not improving in order numbers. Gardens plants and trees saw a drop in AOV year-on-year, of -19%, potentially due to higher shipping costs. Flooring carpets and rugs, and furniture and home furnishings saw a dramatic increase in AOV of 25% indicating people are leaning into better made, quality items that will last over budget friendly items, that may look tired quicker and need replacing fast. Retailers should focus on growing basket size, rather than deep deals and discounts.

Dan Dixon, VP of Sales at Visualsoft says: “Furniture and home furnishing is seeing a large drop in order numbers. This could be due to consumer concerns over sustainability and sourcing. We see, especially among younger generations, that companies who show they responsibly resource their materials are favoured more, despite higher costs – which is increasing AoV. This also lends to items being used for longer and a willingness to spend on durable items.”

There are also suggestions that people are enjoying spring and doing things that feel good for themselves – not just for their homes. Revenue in sports and recreation increased 33%, but the number of orders dropped by 16% and the pets sector grew 22% in revenue and 18% in orders. The fashion sector also saw growth in revenue of 27% as people look to refresh their wardrobes for warmer weather, although AOV dropped 11%, as people become used to cheaper prices and free shipping – something that has become expected in the days of Amazon Prime and voucher codes for abandoned baskets. In keeping with previous trends, revenue for pets and equine is up 22%, showing how important these members of the family are to consumers.

Although these home and garden sectors are currently showing a low proportion of orders taking place on mobile devices (around 5-6%), given that all generations, bar Boomers, checkout over half of their orders on a mobile, it’s an area for growth. As shoppers become used to personalised offers and tailored nudge promotions, it’s clear that advertising on social media, and typically then on mobile, is a clear way to attract shoppers.

Ashley Wright, VP of Commercial at Visualsoft says “Consumers are clearly showing a desire for a spring spruce, choosing to invest in their homes and gardens. The correlation between a rise in Average Order Value (AOV) and a decline in orders, alongside its impact on revenue, indicates that there are a number of levers at play influencing eCommerce sales. It just emphasises the necessity for retailers to work with experts to finely tune the customer experience for optimal conversion

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