Royal Mail has looked at shopping trends in DIY and gardening to understand online shopping behaviour in these sectors. With global reach and the number one facilitator of ecommerce in the UK, Royal Mail is well placed to observe trends across the industry.

May, June and July are the most popular months for DIY purchases. DIY shoppers make almost five times as many purchases in June (46 per cent) than in December (8 per cent), with April to August being the biggest spending months of the year.

The three things that DIY shoppers like to buy the most are nails, screws and adhesives. For 84 per cent of those people surveyed, these were the items that proved the most popular – with three in five seeing themselves buying more of the same over the next 12 months. On 67 per cent, hand tools and electrical and lighting products were also popular – with 57 per cent saying they plan to buy even more electrical and lighting items in the next 12 months.

The average DIY shopper spends £50 online compared to £45 spent in-store per month*. The average DIY shopper is 45 years old, more likely to be male and live in the suburbs.

With more than a quarter of shoppers preferring to shop online (rising to 36 per cent in younger shoppers aged 18-35), the ease of comparing prices (56 per cent) and having the item delivered (42 per cent) are contributing factors to this changing behaviour. Above all else, offering a competitive price (61 per cent) and having the items they want in stock (48 per cent) are key to encouraging people to shop online more in the future.

The quality of the delivery experience plays an important role in getting customers to shop online. 28 per cent of DIY shoppers are encouraged to shop more online if they are kept informed on the progress of their delivery. 71 per cent are more confident when ordering online with tracking, and 64 per cent would track every item they ordered if the service was available to them.

Gardening trends 

With spring upon us, at 46 per cent April and May are the most popular months for gardening shoppers to make their purchases, whilst December, at 2 per cent, is the least popular month to do so. 

At 90 per cent, plants, seeds and bulbs are the most commonly purchased gardening items. Their popularity is set to continue to grow, with 78 per cent of shoppers saying they see themselves buying even more of them over the next year. 

The average gardening shopper spends £39 online compared to £34 spent in-store per month*. Younger shoppers (25-34) spend twice as much online as older shoppers (55+) at £60 vs just £27 per month*. The average gardening shopper is 49 years old, more likely to be female and live in the suburbs. Two in three (66 per cent) of those that purchased garden products fell into the ABC1 category.

Gardening shoppers who choose to buy online do so because they can make purchases in their own time (67 per cent), whilst cheaper prices and being able to compare prices more easily, came joint second (58 per cent).

Once again, the delivery experience is key. Tracking is highly valued amongst gardening shoppers, with 64 per cent being more confident to place an order online that they can track. In fact, 57 per cent would track every order if the service was available.

A spokesperson for Royal Mail said “For brands operating in the DIY and gardening sectors, it is important to understand the habits of these shoppers. From April through to July, DIY and gardening spend experiences a significant spike as shoppers look to spruce up their homes and gardens for summer. For online shoppers, the delivery experience is as important as the products they are buying. Customers are more confident about making purchases when tracking is available.”

Source: Royal Mail