Baby Boomers are aging and need not just assistive products like grab bars, but often remodeling services to install them. Millennials, meanwhile, are starting to move into their own homes and spending accordingly.

Christi Olson, head of evangelism, Bing Ads

Christi Olson, head of evangelism, Bing Ads

There are a lot of things pointing to big gains for e-commerce retailers in the Home and Garden category. Homeowner spending on improvements and repairs will approach $340 billion in 2018, up 7.5% from 2017. For perspective, this is about half of the holiday season spending in 2017 according to the NRF, which stands as retailers’ barometer for success.  It’s a massive number—and demands some thoughtful planning from online  retailers who want to respect this market in the same way they respect the holiday shopping market.

Below are some digital marketing insights and tips for online retailers looking to tap into these massive opportunities.

Two Key Indicators for Big Gains

1. Boomers want grab bars, ramps, and walk-in tubs

As the Boomer generation ages (they’re 52-70 in 2018), their demand for homes that make their lives easier goes up. This just makes sense, and if Home and Garden retailers are paying attention they’ll make fast moves to secure this market. While research shows increased demand for specifics like walk-in tubs, chair lifts, ramps and grab bars, it’s important to recognize that those items require extensive remodeling in order to accommodate them. A walk-in tub, for instance, is going to need a total bathroom remodel to make the bigger size work.

On average, accessibility accommodation remodeling is a $5,000 item. While this number may remain constant for a short period, more and more people will be doing their own accessibility accommodation remodeling. Over the next 20 years, this “trend” will prove itself to be the new normal.

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What should digital marketers do about this?

  • If your services and offerings are remotely connected to accessibility remodeling, get aggressive on related keywords with your paid search marketing—and with your business plan. Could your market support a remodeling service that is focused entirely on accessibility?
  • Think long-term. What we’re seeing right now is just the tip of the iceberg in this category that’s sure to expand over the next several years. Fine-tune your ad messaging and dig deep into your customer needs to make sure you’re addressing them in your copy.

2. Millennials will move from the bedroom to the whole house

Right now, Home and Garden sees Millennials showing up for bedroom furniture. They’re heading to college or they’re done with college and setting up their own pad. Either way, that bedroom furniture is going to be at the top of their list. For now. As this massive market ages over the next few years, they’ll occupy the highest-spending Home and Garden age group: 35-44. We cannot over-state the impact that this generation has and will continue to have on spending. For Home and Garden retailers, this coming influx of shoppers should have you cackling with glee.

middle-aged homeowners spending on remodeling

What should marketers do about this?

  • Show up where Millennials are. They’re online. They search. They do research, compare prices and check reviews as a matter of habit. This makes it critical that you’re showing up with paid search marketing. In addition, according to data from Bizrate Insights, the 18-39 age group is more likely to purchase Home and Garden items online, rather than going to a store.
  • Two key elements of paid search marketing should be in your arsenal: review extensions and images. This is how you build trust for your offering, and these reviews matter—maybe more to the Millennial generation than any other. In addition to customer testimony, people want to see an image of the product they are purchasing, especially in a demographic that is a driving force on visual platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

As the summertime fever hits, Home and Garden retailers will be looking for every opportunity for new ground. Keep these tips in mind for a successful season—and decade.

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