Outdoor Living Trends That Will Impact Your Business  

by Pool Builders on 08-07-2012 in Articles

As an outdoor furniture retailer, itâEUR(TM)s very important to stay on top of the trends that will impact your business.

Recently, the American Society of Landscape Architects conducted a survey on outdoor living trends. Residential landscape architecture professionals were asked about the estimated popularity of various design elements for outdoor living spaces.

The survey was very interesting. Here were some important highlights that may pertain to your business.

Grills Most Popular Outdoor Living Feature

According to the survey, grills (97.4 percent) are the most popular outdoor living feature. Other popular outdoor living features included fire pits and hearths (95.8 percent), seating/dining areas (95.7%), lighting (93.1%) and installed seating (86.9%).

Furniture retailers that sell outdoor furniture should take note. When people are shopping for patio furniture, theyâEUR(TM)re looking to entertain guests. Providing deals and incentives on items like outdoor kitchens and grills could help to improve customer traffic and increase sales at your store.

Water Elements Are More Popular Than Swimming Pools

You might think with the record heat wave across this country that swimming pools would be the most popular outdoor recreation. However, it was decorative water elements such as ornamental pools, splash pools and waterfalls.

More than 89 percent of landscape architecture professionals said decorative water elements are the most popular. Spa features were next at 80.4 percent. Swimming pools came in at 79.2 percent.

Obviously, this survey involved landscape architecture professionals, so it is only one take on consumer buying habits. However, considering the slow rebound of the housing market one can see how decorative water elements could trump swimming pools.

Low-Maintenance Landscaping Always Wins

People hate doing yard work. Having low-maintenance landscaping beat out all other types of gardening elements. More than 96 percent said they preferred low-maintenance landscaping. Fountains and water features came in next at 87.2 percent.

This could have a major impact when selling to customers. YouâEUR(TM)ll most likely want to play up the low maintenance aspect when it comes to certain outdoor landscaping accessories.

Seating Is Always Important

At the end of the day, most people are looking for a comfortable place to sit down and relax. Seating and dining was high on peopleâEUR(TM)s lists at more than 95 percent. There also seems to be a trend for having installed seating.

One interesting point is that outdoor landscape architects are looking for durable outdoor furniture that is weatherized. While style is very important, itâEUR(TM)s important to let customers know about the durability of a piece of furniture.

Being Green Is Growing

According to the survey, the Green Movement is continuing to grow. Important features include native drought tolerant plants (85.4 percent), water efficient irrigation (81.7 percent), permeable paving (71.6 percent) and reduced lawn (70.9 percent).

Customers are looking to plant locally and organically. Whether itâEUR(TM)s potted plants or furniture, youâEUR(TM)ll want to highlight the sustainability elements when talking to customers.

These are just a few trends that the American Society of Landscape Architects sees as important. With any surveys, itâEUR(TM)s critical not to take the results as gospel. Always look at the trends in your store before developing a marketing and selling strategy.

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