The total Internet garden market can be divided into two broad categories. Specialist garden e-tailers – defined broadly as companies with a ‘substantial’ commitment to both online selling and garden products – i.e. whose online operation is the main or growing proportion of their distribution route to market. Non-specialists – defined as companies that offer garden products online, but this does not represent either their main product range or main distribution channel.
Growth in online sales of gardening products continues to outpace the overall garden products market, driven more recently by growth in the non-specialist sector. The Internet garden products market has shown extraordinary growth in the last decade. However, the rate appears to be slowing and this slowdown is likely to continue.
The Internet garden product market benefits from the high penetration of broadband Internet services and mobile devices such as smartphones. The market has also been underpinned by the changes in consumer shopping behaviour and popularity of online purchasing coupled with increasing demand by consumers for omni-channel shopping services.
However, key to the growth indicated above is the increase of online retailing by the non-specialists, including home improvement multiples, high street retailers & discounters, grocery multiple and builders’ merchants. There has been some development in the garden centre sector, but the sector has been slower to respond than others, although represents an area of significant potential.
Obviously, the development of the Internet garden products market remains highly dependent on demand for garden products, which is influenced by a number of factors including the weather and consumer confidence & spending as well as trends such as ‘outdoor living’, increasing uses for garden buildings and GYO (grow your own) activity levels, etc.
Demand for garden products is forecast to achieve moderate growth rates, although will always be influenced by the weather in any given year. However, higher growth rates are forecast in the Internet garden products market, as increasing numbers of companies launch transactional websites and companies with an online presence may extend their product offering to include garden products.