Spring spike: Brits say their gardens will be the social space of the summer

Post-pandemic, people have become accustomed to maximising the value of their home’s outdoor space and are looking to invest in home and garden purchases this spring.

An earlier ‘spring spike’ in home and garden purchases than in previous years indicates that, amidst ongoing cost of living challenges, Brits are planning to spend more time in their gardens this summer.

eBay Ads UK surveyed over 1,400 UK-based consumers and found that almost a quarter (24%) of respondents said they are already planning to get a head start on upgrading their outdoor summer space by purchasing items for their garden in April.

For 33% of respondents, this investment in their outdoor space is coming earlier this year than in previous ones – prompting a potential opportunity for brands to gain some early season market share should they respond to this demand swiftly.

Brits won’t break the bank for these purchases however, with 29% of respondents outlining that buying second-hand items will be a priority. This is in line with previous data collected by eBay, which found that searches for ‘pre-loved’ in the garden and patio category almost doubled between January and June 2022 compared to the same time in 2021.

The research uncovered two reasons for people prioritising second-hand goods. A third of consumers said they are looking to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly in their shopping habits – an important point of emphasis retailers should be conscious of – while 32% reported doing so due to financial strain.

Cost-of-living keeping people at home

In a post-COVID Britain, the value of having a garden appears to have risen in importance for consumers. Half say they use their garden or outdoor space a lot more now than in previous years and 38% say their garden has more purpose than it did a few years ago as consumers adapted to life at home throughout the pandemic.

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to plague the nation, 61% of consumers indicated they are likely to spend more time at home over the incoming warmer months due to price pressures associated with going out. A third (32%) plan to host social events regularly in their garden over the coming months.

Upasana Gupta, GM, eBay Ads UK, said of the findings: “We have observed that up to 80% of outdoor living sales occur between March and July. With the warmer months just around the corner, our research clearly shows that investing in their garden or outdoor space during this time is at the top of Brits’ agendas.

“Whether that’s purchasing leisure items like hammocks or hot tubs, or decking their space out to host garden parties – consumers intend to upgrade their outdoor areas in lieu of going out. As emphasis on both cost and second-hand stock continues to grow, brands and sellers must be ready to nurture this growing need.”