Brits to spend more time in their garden this summer as the cost of living crisis continues

With a week to go until Easter, latest research from eBay Ads UK finds that outdoor purchases are set to ramp up over the coming weeks as nearly a quarter (24%) of consumers plan to start buying items for their garden in April.

According to a survey of UK consumers with a garden or outdoor space, this finding is indicative of a wider trend where the ‘spring spike’ – the window when shoppers deck out their outdoor space ahead of the warmer months – is getting earlier. Indeed, a third (33%) of those surveyed reveal they plan to invest in their outdoor space earlier this year than in previous years.

Spring spruce up on the cards as Brits stay home

This comes as the value of the garden climbs in importance for consumers in a post-Covid Britain. Half of consumers (50%) 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 through the pandemic.

As the cost of living crisis continues, it’s therefore no surprise that three in five (61%) consumers say they are likely to spend more time at home over the warmer months due to price pressures, and approximately a third (32%) plan to host regularly in their garden over the coming months.

As retailers prepare themselves for this period, eBay’s research reveals outdoor furniture as a key purchasing priority for Brits, as over a fifth (22%) intend to buy items such as a patio set or hammock, closely followed by 20% who plan to buy outdoor decorations. eBay search data concurs with rising demand for home and garden-related items at this time, as searches for both ‘bbq’ and ‘hot tub’ increased by around 70% in April 2022 when compared with the month before1.

“We have observed that up to 80% of outdoor living sales occur between March and July1. 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.”

Upasana Gupta, GM, eBay Ads UK

A second-hand shopping surge

The research also demonstrates a rising inclination among consumers to shop sustainably, as almost three in ten (29%) Brits say they will prioritise buying second-hand items for their garden this year. eBay search data reinforces this, as searches for ‘pre loved’ in the garden & patio category almost doubled between Jan and June 2022 compared to the same time the year before2.

The reasons for this are twofold – whilst a third (33%) say they are looking to buy second-hand items for their garden due to a desire to be more sustainable in their shopping habits and buy less items, 32% also report doing so due to cost pressures.

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Consumer research was undertaken on behalf of eBay by Censuswide, with fieldwork conducted between 8th and 10th March 2023. The survey sample was 1,457 UK respondents who have a garden/outdoor space (Aged 16+). Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

1Supporting data points from eBay Ads internal data, Jan-Dec 2022
2Supporting data points from eBay Ads internal data, Jan 2021-Jun 2022