2020 will forever be remembered as the year that changed our lives.
Whether on a professional or personal level, we were all faced with a unique set of challenges. No matter where in the world you live, these shared experiences of 2020 have connected us in ways we could have never imagined.
As we now continue into 2021, we take with us some of the wisdom and growth we acquired during this past year. As humans, as communities, as businesses, we adapt. Our ability to adapt is how we not only survive, but potentially thrive. We saw amongst our customers within the horticulture and floriculture industries, and internally within our company the strength of teams working together and adapting their processes as necessary. Whether that be offering remote work options, finding new ways of selling product, or incorporating new communication tools- these are just a few examples of how businesses found solutions that continued to fuel their success and growth.
Though 2020 presented challenges, the horticulture and floriculture industries were able to pivot and meet the market’s demand. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, some of the top COVID-resilient industries included: e-commerce, home improvement, grocery, as well as health and personal care (1). With this information one can conclude that with more people working remotely at home, along with the many impacts COVID brought individuals and families, people were more inclined to invest in their physical and mental health as well as in their homes. For many, this has been a form of self-care. Our team too, throughout this past year, would share images of their gardens, indoor plants, and home improvement projects. These have been simple things which have brought us joy.
It goes without saying, e-commerce solutions was the golden ticket for many businesses as they navigated their way through stores being closed, or simply less people visiting stores, preferring online shopping. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, e-commerce surged this past year around the world, and across sectors. Within the U.S. alone, from July to September, consumers spent $199.44 billion online, compared to $145.47 billion the year prior. This difference is a 37.1% increase in sales due to e-commerce solutions for consumers (2).
So how will consumers spend during this next year? While we’re unable to look into a crystal ball and predict consumer habits during historically unpredictable times, we can offer some good news! Gardening will yet again be quite popular as will continuing home improvements. According to Axiom Marketing, who surveyed homeowners, approximately 86% of homeowners plan to continue gardening in this next year. Among that group, 40% say they will plant about the same amount as last year, while about 47% say they will be planting more this next year (3). This is great news for our industry as we reflect on how to best prepare and adapt to meet consumer needs with innovative solutions.