As the UK rapidly approaches the spring bank holidays, new research from eBay Ads UK reveals that Brits’ passion for their gardens has blossomed over the past two years, with over two in five (43 per cent) people reporting using their garden or outdoor space more now than before the pandemic.
And consumers’ newfound relationship for their ‘small outdoors’ is set to continue, spelling a lucrative season for home and garden retailers as the Early May Bank Holiday and Platinum Jubilee bumper bank holiday weekend ignite Brits’ garden fever.
A growing nation of gardeners
The research, which surveyed 1,000 UK consumers, finds that successive lockdowns have converted Brits into a nation of green-fingered enthusiasts. Over a third (35 per cent) say they have kept up their gardening habits and hobbies acquired in lockdown, and almost a quarter (23 per cent) report doing more gardening now since before the pandemic. And this newfound love is enduring: over a third (34 per cent) also say they are now more passionate about gardening compared to pre-pandemic.
In fact, supporting insights from eBay Ads UK illustrate a clear growth in garden purchases on the platform during the pandemic. In May 2021, purchases of ‘herbs’ and ‘compost’ on ebay.co.uk were up 124 per cent and 57 per cent respectively compared to May 2019.
With the Early May bank holiday just around the corner, the insights also show that retailers should be prepared for consumer interest in all things cultivation to surge as Brits take to their gardens. Search data from ebay.co.uk from the Early May bank holiday last year (1-3 May 2021) found that searches in the Garden & Patio category increased 32 per cent over the course of the weekend compared to the three days previous. Meanwhile, searches for ‘allotment’ and ‘greenhouse’ shot up by 62 per cent and 43 per cent respectively in the same time period.
Living in our gardens
While not all Brits are ready to get their hands dirty, they have still grown to better appreciate their gardens, with 43 per cent of UK consumers saying they now take more pride in them than they did pre-pandemic. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) spend more of their leisure time in their outdoor space now, and almost half (48 per cent) of consumers surveyed say that quiet relaxing outdoors is their favourite way to use their space.
eBay Ads UK insights also indicate that brands should be prepared for consumers to splurge on outdoor furniture during their spring downtime, as ebay.co.uk recorded a spike in garden and patio searches on last year’s Late May bank holiday (29-31 May 2021). Compared to the three days previous, searches for ‘sunlounger’ rose by a massive 221 per cent over the course of the long weekend, and searches for ‘deck chair’ and ‘garden sofa’ surged by 197 per cent and 115 per cent respectively in the same time frame.
With Brits now a ‘garden proud’ nation, the research reveals this trend is set to continue as the majority (79 per cent) of consumers are planning on investing in their outdoor spaces in the coming months. Almost a third (31 per cent) of consumers are planning to beautify their flower beds by buying seeds, plants and bulbs. Meanwhile, as consumers prepare to spend more time in their gardens to socialise, one in five (20 per cent) plan to buy garden furniture and 17 per cent are set to purchase barbecues.
Elisabeth Rommel, Global GM at eBay Ads commented: “It comes as no surprise to retailers that gardening bloomed during successive lockdowns, however, these insights show that the habits developed in lockdown are here to stay, and many of us are planning to keep up our green-fingered and garden-oriented habits for the longer term. With Brits interested in purchasing everything from gardening gloves for their shrubbery to furniture for hosting a backyard bash, retailers would do well to ensure they’re one step ahead and be prepared for consumers to celebrate and shop for these upcoming bank holidays.”
Rise in bank holiday backyard bashes
With the Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday on the horizon, it’s important for retailers to also note the party potential of Brits’ backyards as they come together to honour the occasion, and prepare to get stock ready for the celebrations. Almost half (45 per cent) of UK consumers intend to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday, whilst nearly a third (32 per cent) have plans for hosting their own celebrations in the works and one in five (21 per cent) are planning to make the most of the sun by spending this weekend outdoors.