The gardening market has suffered this summer, not only from consumers wishing to spend less on their gardens amid high inflation, but also from higher-than-average temperatures, which have left UK gardens looking dry, tired, and hard to look after. The percentage of consumers stating that they do not intend to purchase DIY or gardening items because of high prices rose from 13.2% in April 2022 to 20.3%% in August 2022, according to GlobalData’s monthly survey.
Cost-effective dry gardening should be highlighted by retailers as a solution to hosepipe bans and inflation to drive awareness and purchases in this sector. By offering more self-sufficient plants tolerant of all-weather conditions, as well as guides and garden tools that allow consumers to transition into dry gardening, retailers will be able to soften the blow of reduced sales from the cost-of-living crisis, as well as introduce this trend for shoppers that have not heard of dry gardening before.
Dry gardening requires consumers to spend more in the short term, with relatively low reoccurring costs as it requires less water, fertilising, and weeding. It is unlikely that consumers will remodel entire gardens, instead creating dedicated areas which are inspired by the dry-gardening trend, whether that be planting drought-resistant plants or replacing areas of lawn with gravel. Gardening specialists should focus on promoting products that allow consumers to make small, easily actionable changes to entice spending in the gardening sector. For example, stores could promote more plants that can thrive in dry and humid climates, like lavender, which is drought-tolerant and vibrant.
As the gardening season draws to an end, retailers must focus on next spring to make dry gardening more accessible, given that high inflation is set to extend into 2023 and warmer summers are expected to become a regular occurrence. To help consumers to invest in outdoor spaces, retailers should signpost the benefits of drought-tolerant plants, and what products fall into this category. This could be done through adding a filter to online platforms that allows customers to select ‘drought-tolerant plants’ or including an online guide on dry gardening through blog posts or an advice section.
Retailers must target their dry-gardening marketing campaigns in areas of the UK with less rainfall, such as East Anglia, as well as towards young homeowners, who will be looking for cheaper ways to make their homes feel more aesthetic; the elderly too may find dry gardens easier to maintain compared with the upkeep of traditional gardens.