The lawn & garden market took a sudden turn in April. Traditionally dominated by large brick-and-mortar retailers and established local garden centers, after a relatively modest 2016 (and an unsurprisingly quiet Q1 2017) Amazon’s Lawn & Garden product group really hit the ground running as soon as we entered the high selling season.

Lawn maintenance and gardening are well-established hobbies in North America and Europe, and today’s consumers are adopting them with enthusiasm, for a variety of reasons. Home ownership is on the rise and younger generations are settling down and starting families. Strong economies have brought more leisure time back into peoples’ lives, while the recent memory of economic stress has encouraged more people to invest in growing their own food.

Young homeowners have grown up with the internet and are significantly more eCommerce-literate; as a result, they are more likely to think of Amazon before they think of Home Depot when shopping for their lawn & garden supplies and consumables.

Fastest Growing Categories on Amazon by Country (2016-2017)Amazon international growth categories for lawn and garden products

US Growth UK Growth Germany Growth
Farming 19% Grilling 159% Lighting 439%
Outdoor Furniture 16% Hand Tools 96% Power Tools 295%
Outdoor Living 15% Watering 74% Linens 207%
Outdoor Power 15% Medical Appliances 58% Garden & Landscaping Tools 148%
Gardening 10% Uncategorized 45% Outdoor & Sports Toys 106%
Grilling 9% Pest Control and Plant Care 35% Material 85%
Pool & Spa Supplies 6% Structures & Ponds 32% Tools, Gadgets & Barware 70%

 

The growth of the US Lawn & Garden Amazon product group in the above chart may appear unimpressive (especially compared to its European counterparts) but there are two good reasons why those numbers are so low. The first is that Amazon Lawn & Garden had a strong showing in the US in 2016. Compare the top product categories YoY 2016 growth:Amazon lawn and garden revenue growth subcategories

At that time, online sales in this industry were nascent. Even though the growth percentile was higher in 2016, 2017 more than compensates in volume, with over $12 million in sales in the month of April alone. In the UK and Germany by comparison, online sales in this product group were virtually non-existent last year and the high growth in those countries represents consumers turning to Amazon for lawn & garden products, often for the first time.

The second reason why US growth appears low is that the year so far includes the off-season. Q1 2017 (winter) showed low or negative growth for almost all product categories (even when compared to the same period in 2016). The average YoY growth rate for the top 25 categories from January to March 2017 was 0.02%. Comparatively, the average YoY growth rate during April for the same was 20%. Looking closely at the growth of specific sub-categories illustrates this:

 

There are a few exceptions to this trend – for example, in 2016, there were virtually no Top Amazon eComm Lawn Garden subcategories by revenue 2016 2017sales of Outdoor Plant Seeds before May, while so far in 2017 sales in this sub-category are already in excess of $1.6 million – but overall the trend holds. In fact, Amazon’s Lawn & Garden sales for the month of April alone exceeded the total sales for the entirety of Q1 2017.

Key Trends

Do-It-Yourself

The trends driving the growth in the entire lawn & garden sector, as well as the factors driving people to Amazon specifically, are numerous. Packaged lawn & garden consumables are experiencing a boom thanks to the rise of DIY. Many young consumers are taking on self-guided lawn maintenance and gardening as a hobby and are learning the tricks of the trade online. Since they’re already following along with DIY blogs and guides, it’s easy for them to open up Amazon, type in their shopping list, and have everything they need delivered to their door.

 Millennial Homeowners

The bulk of the growth in homeownership in recent years has been driven by millennials, now of age to settle down and start families. Not only is this generation more tech-savvy, they’re more likely to take on projects around the house instead of hiring a professional to do it. In addition, many have taken up edible gardening—growing vegetables, fruit, and herbs as an inexpensive and productive hobby during the recession.

Sustainability

Fertilizers and pesticides continue to account for the majority of the market, but today’s consumers are willing to spend more on value-added options such as organic and eco-friendly products. With growing concerns about water conservation and sustainable food production, as well as the popularity of organics and the buy local movement, many consumers are investing in high-quality and specialty products in an effort to contribute to a healthy and sustainable environment.

Top Amazon Growth ItemsTop international Amazon ecommerce Lawn & Garden ASINs by revenue growth 2016 2017

CategorySub-Category Title Growth
US  Outdoor Power – Pressure Washers Sun Joe SPX3001 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5 AMP Electric Pressure Washer 199%
  Outdoor Power – Tillers & Cultivators Earthwise 11-Inch 8.5-Amp Corded Electric Tiller and Cultivator 167%
  Outdoor Power – Tillers & Cultivators

 

Sun Joe TJ603E 16-Inch 12-Amp Electric Tiller and Cultivator

 

126%
UK Seeds & Plants – Soil Professional Compost Bag 80L 4808%
  Storage & Clean Up – Accessories Keter Borneo Outdoor Plastic Storage Box 3696%
  Pest Control and Plant Care – Lawn Care

 

EverGreen Fast Grass Lawn Seed Carton, 2.4 kg

 

2885%
Germany Weather stations – Thermometers
Technoline Wetterstation WS 9140-IT mit Funkuhr und Innen- und Außent
111748%
  Watering – Parts Einhell Schmutzwasserpumpe GC-DP 1020 N 22298%
  Seeds & Plants – Fertilizers
Compo Floranid Rasendünger plus Unkrautvernichter, Rasenpflege und Und
6786%

 

Consumers keep getting younger, generationally speaking. As long as that is true, Amazon’s sales will continue to grow. The eCommerce-literate population is becoming wealthier, buying homes, having children, and using the internet to purchase just about anything. Lawn maintenance and gardening are hobbies that last a lifetime and Amazon already has a firm foothold on the market.

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