The home and garden shopping category has ample opportunity for starting a high-GMV lifestyle marketplace business. Vendo makes it easy to tap into this high average order value (AoV) space by launching a dropshipping marketplace with curated products from tens of stores running on Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce. In this article, we'll explore some market-proven strategies on how to use Vendo to your advantage.
The home & garden eCommerce trends
The home and garden industry is a vast and rapidly growing sector that includes home decor, furniture, lighting, kitchen and bathroom appliances, home office, and gardening products.
In recent years, the industry has been booming because of an increase in homeownership, renewed interest in do-it-yourself projects, and last but certainly not least - the pandemic lockdowns.
Currently, worldwide online revenue in the furniture and home appliance business is $362.9 billion. According to forecasts, it is anticipated to rise to $455.4 billion — a 25% increase over the next five years. This growth will provide entrepreneurs and businesses with vast opportunities.
An online marketplace with home decor or gardening products is a great way to break into this lucrative industry. With Vendo, you can easily create a home and garden marketplace and start onboarding sellers in minutes. Start the 14 day free trial and check it out!
Home and garden products have seen a recent surge in popularity due to several key factors:
- The expansion of the real estate industry
The home decor market is flourishing in the United States due to fast-changing lifestyles and an increase in ownership of houses and possessions. With more people buying homes, there is a growing demand for products to make those spaces comfortable and welcoming.
- The pandemic has increased our focus on making our homes comfortable
- More people are working remotely, meaning they need home office supplies and equipment
- Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular
The big bulky furniture category naturally attracts modern consumers who would rather have it delivered home. Who wants to step into a store physically with increasing conveniences like easy returns and 3D visualization?
- The rising popularity of DIY home and gardening projects
The furniture and home decor industry is booming, but it is also late to the eCommerce game compared to other industries like fashion.
Even though nearly 70% of US retailers adjusted their online vs offline strategy in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the home and garden industry is still trailing behind and therefore offering ample opportunities for businesses such as online marketplaces.
It is also very fragmented with 11 major brands currently commanding 55% of the US market. This fragmentation demonstrates a lack of brand loyalty, which opens the door for disruption.
Home and garden industry trends
Organic and sustainable products
Consumers are becoming more aware of their purchase decisions' impact on the environment and are looking for ways to reduce their footprint. This is manifested in a move towards organic and sustainable products, such as items made from recycled materials and those designed to conserve water or energy.
Homeowners are increasingly interested in technology-enabled homes, where devices like security cameras and thermostats can be controlled via an application or voice commands. As these technologies become more affordable, even more people will likely adopt them in the future.
DIY home improvement
With the rise of blogs and online tutorials on YouTube and even TikTok, people are more likely to undertake projects on their own rather than pay for expert assistance. This can save money and allow people to customize their homes to suit their specific needs and taste.
Return to more traditional designs
This can be seen in the popularity of vintage-inspired furniture and decor and in the resurgence of classic garden flowers and plant varieties.
Home zoning is the process of designating areas of the home for specific activities. For example, you might have a work zone where you set up your home office or a relaxation zone where you keep comfortable furniture for reading or watching TV. Zoning can help make your home more efficient and functional, and it can also help you make the most of your space.
Strategic brand partnerships and collaborations
In order to stay competitive in the home decor market, major companies are focused on forming strategic partnerships and collaborations. Examples:
- IKEA partnered with ReZpublic of Gamers (ROG) to release a new line of affordable gaming furniture and accessories meant to enhance the at-home gaming experience.
- The US-based home decor company Mitzi teamed up with Dabito, a designer, photographer, artist, and founder of Old Brand New. This resulted in 12 new pieces from Mitzi - ranging from chandeliers to wall sconces - all capturing the perfect mix of being cool, contemporary, and covetable.
- The Ruggable company, known for its revolutionary washable rugs, collaborated with Keith Haring Studio to produce a line of chenille rugs and doormats. This new collection contains 15 rugs and 9 different doormats, all adorned with the late American artist's iconic line drawings. Like all other products offered by Ruggable, each rug has a padded base with an easily removable top layer that can be machine-washed.
The power of social media
According to Pinterest, 87% of all their users make purchasing decisions based on the pins they browse. Home decor blogs, Instagram and Pinterest accounts, DIY Youtube, and TikTok videos are the place where millennials and GenZers look for inspiration. They never buy a thing without checking for options online – through pins, hashtags, and visual search engines.
This trend is about creating a more immersive and comfortable at-home gaming experience for the growing community of players. This involves furniture that is specifically designed for spending many hours in front of a computer, such as ergonomic chairs and desks, or by outfitting your existing furniture with gaming accessories.
Three-dimensional images let customers view every product from all angles, both inside and out. For example, you could check out the drawers inside a wardrobe or see how much space is under a bed – things that weren't possible without 3D rendering.
VR and AR
AR/3D visualization not only allows potential customers to see how a product would look in their own homes, but it also gives small businesses the opportunity to compete with larger brands. This computer-generated technology makes catalogs obsolete and offers an immersive experience that will change the way we shop for furniture and home decor.
IKEA allows its customers to use VR technology in order to enter a virtual kitchen and experience it for themselves. The customer simply has to provide their measurements and planning checklists, and a professional kitchen planner will be online to guide them through the process.
Successful home and garden marketplaces and multi-brand eCommerce stores
- Scout & Nimble - a social commerce platform that works with interior designers to curate entire shoppable rooms
- Artemest - an online luxury home decor marketplace with handmade products crafted by Italian artisans.
- Urban Ladder - a curated marketplace for home solutions for well-furnished, beautiful homes.
- WorkOf - a New York based online marketplace that connects best-in-class architects and interior designers with independent furniture and lighting brands.
- Lights.ie - the Irish branch of Europe's leading marketplace for lamps and lights that was founded in 1999 with upwards of 100 brands with nearly 50,000 total products available.
- Micasia - a French multi-brand eCommerce website with home decor inventory, such as reproductions of art pieces by renowned artists such as Claude Monet, Frida Kahlo, Vincent van Gogh, and many more.
- Garten & Freizeit - a German multi-brand eCommerce website for high-quality, exclusive garden and leisure furniture. Every year, well over 100,000 sun loungers, garden tables, garden chairs, outdoor lounge furniture, parasols, and other garden products are delivered by Garten & Freizeit to clients throughout Europe.
- Article - a stylish catalog of contemporary, mid-century & modern furniture from world-renowned designers at accessible prices.
Innovative and trendy home decor brands
- Lume Cube - lighting for video conferencing from home
- Yellowpop - customized led neon signs that will bring some pop to one's space.
- Bloomscape - makes buying plants easy by delivering healthy, well-taken-care-of plants to the customer's door and providing them with the tips and tricks necessary for the plants to thrive.
- Joybird - custom furniture in modern and mid-century styles, plus modern home decor to fill any space.
- GostBed - luxury mattresses, bed frames, sheets & pillows with a 101-night mattress sleep trial.
- Revival Rugs - handmade rugs and home goods from the world delivered to the customer's door.
- Suvie - cool-to-cook countertop kitchen robot system of the future
- Williams-Sonoma - professional-quality cookware, kitchen appliances, cooking utensils, and decor that match.
- Our Place - beautiful kitchenware products help inspire you to cook on your own terms, many of which are offered in matching sets and bundles.
- Grove Collaborative - eco-friendly and sustainable home essentials.
- Blueland - everyday eco-friendly cleaning products that save money and space, without any plastic waste.
- Brandless - a DTC alternative to discount stores.
Top product categories in the home and garden industry
The home & garden products market consists of gardening and outdoor living products, home improvement products, and homewares.
Gardening and outdoor living include:
- garden buildings
- powerless and electric garden tools, garden utensils
- outdoor living products (garden furniture, barbecues, ornaments)
- plants and growing media (bulbs, compost, domestic fertilizer, flowering plants, seeds, shrubs, and trees).
Home improvement includes:
- decorating materials (paint, varnish, wall tiles, wallpaper)
- electrical hardware (alarms, light fittings, plugs, switches)
- hardware (brackets, locks, nails, bolts, nuts, etc.)
- other materials (adhesive, aggregates, boards, cement, doors, window frames, glass, bricks, timber, etc.)
- manual and power tools.
- home hardware (crockery, cutlery, glassware, rubbish bins, storage, mechanical utensils and home devices e.g. scales)
- lamps and lampshades
- textiles and soft furnishings (bathroom textiles, beddings, cushions, futons, hammocks, mattresses, table linen, furniture covers, doormats)
- window dressings (blinds, curtain poles, rails, curtains, hooks)
The chart shows which categories are the most represented in eCommerce
How to run a successful home and garden online marketplace business
Here is a market-proven strategy on how to start and run a successful online marketplace on Vendo with curated home and garden products:
- Choose a target audience you're familiar with - once you launch, Vendo will offer you insightful analytics tools as well as upselling features to keep your audience engaged.
- Combine content such as home design advice with commerce via curated product choices and product recommendations for further customization. Vendo allows you to start a blog with shoppable products.
- Curate products into efficient collections or bundles your target market will love, such as matching furniture sets, color-matched home accessories, DIY kits, plant-growing kits, etc.
- You have the ability to recommend and combine products from multiple brands across multiple product categories - use this power as a marketplace owner aggregating multiple brands.
- With your help, product suggestions, and product bundles, you'll be able to save customers time and effort - this is the most valuable service you can provide as a marketplace owner.
- As a marketplace operator, you are able to surprise and delight your customers with new arrivals on a regular basis. Push those to your email subscriber list, through social media and product feeds.
- By collecting social proof from your users, you can not only make them feel good about using your products but also increase brand loyalty. And when you send personalized post-purchase thank-you notes asking for a review, it goes even further!
Tips on making your home and garden eCommerce website appealing to your target audience
When it comes to setting up an eCommerce website for a home and garden business, there are a few essential features to think about:
- product discovery features - customers should be able to easily find what they're looking for thanks to mega nav menus with the right category tree, product filtering, and sorting through potentially hundreds of similar products,
- product detail pages with a photo gallery and a zoom feature for close-up investigation into product color, texture, and overall fit,
- well-written product descriptions that include all relevant information such as materials used, dimensions, and care instructions,
- customer reviews in order to build trust with potential buyers - use Vendo and the Reviews.io integration,
- easy checkout process with installment payments - important for high-value orders and available thanks to Afterpay and Klarna,
- fast and affordable shipping - that you don't provide but instead rely on your dropship partners' experience with home and garden products, some of them quite bulky.
- wishlists - you can use the data from your customers’ wishlists to plan stock levels accordingly, especially before significant sales events, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Christmas.
For a home and garden online marketplace to be successful, it needs to list great brands, a curated selection of high-quality products, and value-added services such as helpful content on products that go well together with product recommendations and bundling. Vendo empowers you to launch an automated marketplace with advanced merchandising tools and easy seller onboarding. Not only that, Vendo lets you upsell your curated products using email marketing and automated product feeds for social media - Instagram, Facebook, and Google shopping.