by Anna Henriksen, One Click Retail

Amazon is rising in the ranks as one of the UK’s top retailers of Homewares. Considering the breadth of products available from Amazon.co.uk – it’s about as much of a one-stop shop as anything could be – it’s no surprise that it’s the single most visited retail destination for British consumers in this space. And yet, despite capturing more traffic than any single competitor, Amazon only ranks as #9 in the UK Homewares market by share of sales. This leads us to the inevitable conclusion that Amazon’s potential is much higher than its current sales.

In comparing H1 2018 to the same period in 2017, the Home product group on Amazon.co.uk grew by a rate of 23%, reaching earnings of approximately £210M. In this article, we’ll look at some of the key categories and trends that drove this performance and momentum during the first half of 2018.

Amazon H1 Update: Home in the UK

 

Misc. Housewares

The UK has a trash problem. Though the UK plans to quit the EU next year, a growing number of councils across the country remain committed to meeting the EU targets of recycling 50% of all household waste by 2020. The latest tactic for encouraging consumer waste reduction is to limit bin collections to once every three weeks

This and other programs drove a boom in trash container sales during H1 2018. Brands like Curver, Brabantia and Joseph Joseph experienced a surge in sales as consumers attempted to be more mindful and responsible in their approach to waste. All of Amazon’s bestselling trash containers share the characteristics of being large in capacity and also being dividing into two or three compartments to allow for the separated of waste into trash, recyclables and compostables.

Additionally, a majority of the top selling items feature sleek, modern designs and marketing. For even something as utilitarian as a trash can, consumers respond very positively to attractive, elegant presentation (and are willing to pay more for it). For instance, Brabantia, the #2 trash can brand, features its own dedicated landing page with high-quality photography and helpful subcategories, prominently featuring the tagline “Make waste beautiful.”

For each of these three brands (Curver, Brabantia and Joseph Joseph), trash containers drove the most growth in H1 2018 but their assortment includes various other products also classified as Misc. Housewares. Partly due to its broad nature, Misc. Housewares is the largest Home category on Amazon.co.uk with approximately £45M in sales, though the 18% YoY growth rate is below the product group average of 23%.

Amazon H1 Update: Home in the UK

 

Bedding & Linens

During the first half of 2018, Linens became Amazon’s fastest growing Home category in the UK with growth of about 40%. This rate of growth has been steadily increasing over time, largely being attributed to a massive increase in the size of the bedspreads subcategory, doubling in sales compared to H1 2017.

Linens, already a popular product in the UK market, are a perfect fit for Amazon. Thanks to Amazon’s infinite shelf, shoppers can quickly and easily browse thousands of different linen items to find something the perfectly suits their taste and budget, making it a stand out category among British consumers. Brands benefit from the ability to offer a wide range of variations on their products in order to cater to the full spectrum of customer needs; for instance, the bestselling item in the category, from the Dreams & Drapes brand, presents nine unique variations on a single detail page.

The rapid growth of this category has also been driven by the replacement factor: once a customer purchases a linen set from Amazon that suits their style and comfortability, they’re much more likely to come back to the same place for their next set. The prominence of these repeat purchases has inspired Amazon to make its own investments in this space. AmazonBasics, the company’s largest private label, is becoming one of the top brands in the Linens category; the AmazonBasics Double Microfibre Fitted Sheet ranked as the #2 Bedding & Linens bestseller on Amazon.co.uk during H1 2018.

Amazon H1 Update: Home in the UK

Vacuums & Floorcare

A long-established major category on Amazon.co.uk, Floorcare appears to have plateaued. Over the past decade, this category grew rapidly to rank consistently as the #2 Home category on Amazon. This period of sustained growth is now over, but that doesn’t mean the category is stagnant – stick vacuum cleaners, for instance, grew by nearly 50% in sales YoY in H1 2018, with 3 ranking among the top 10 bestselling Home products. The Floorcare category also experienced a spike in sales caused by Prime Day deals, including the first ever deal on the iRobot Roomba.

Robotic vacuums have not yet taken off on Amazon.co.uk. The Roomba, which is a runaway hit in most of Amazon’s other markets, sells relatively poorly in the UK, ranking as only the #7 robotic vacuum. The category leader is the Nebula Eufy RoboVac 11, but even that product only ranks as #28 in the Vacuums category. This is despite the fact that both products have strong customer ratings and have received a lot of press – the Nebula Eufy is even featured on Amazon Launchpad in the UK.

Whatever the cause of the delay, robotic vacuums are a major global trend and are growing more sophisticated and more affordable year after year, so it’s just a matter of time before they shake up the Floorcare market on Amazon.co.uk. The growing prominence of Alexa-compatibility in newer robotic vacuum models illustrates the importance of Amazon to these brands, so it is surely one of the most important trends on the horizon, part of a broader move toward home automation. Amazon is already the most heavily trafficked destination for Homewares shoppers in the UK and the growth potential is virtually limitless. All brands need to do is be ready when that growth arrives.

 

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