2022 is right around the corner, and after the last two years of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Over these last two years, consumers have gone through a lot, including: supply shortages, working remotely, and lifestyle changes such as being at home more than ever before. As a result, the last two years have been extremely challenging for some, while others have rediscovered what is truly important to them.
Landscapers can benefit from that rediscovery, as more people want to prepare their backyards for entertaining and their own personal enjoyment. In addition, homeowners rediscovered that the space they own outside can be the best space they have, and don’t need to travel for it.
Many people have been paying down debts and saving money because of the reduced services and expenses the pandemic canceled. 2022 is the year they will start to spend. While inflation is rising, there is expected to be an economic boom in 2022 as consumers return to normal spending habits. However, even though the spending is coming back, what they spend money on is changing.
Let’s look at some of the early trends in the landscaping industry as we close the book on 2021 and hope to rediscover a vital industry in 2022.
Working With the Creator Class
As the pandemic proceeded, many people took on passion projects and started to become creators themselves. The trends on social media, including Instagram and TikTok, consumed the world as people looked for ways to entertain themselves. As a result, many took on DIY projects, started a new hobby, or even became green thumbs and took up gardening.
The creator class is now setting the trends, and landscapers need to focus on those trends. Social media fads aren’t just a small thing anymore. Going viral can be a defining moment in someone’s life. Consumers are shaping industries they don’t even belong to with their ideas and passion projects as well as through the content they put out on social media.
Landscapers have a whole new market to discover. The future is being shaped by people with mobile phones and social media accounts, not large garden conventions or even your designers. People express themselves more, and those expressions turn into real-life trends. So, landscapers would be best to get in on those projects and collaborate with some of the best creators they can find.
They call them influencers for a reason, and that’s because it’s people selling to other people like themselves and not a big business trying to market. In addition, consumers digest this type of content easier than a marketing campaign. So, landscapers should jump in themselves by creating content that speaks to real people and see real-life people’s actual trends in the industry.
Keeping up With the Virtual Trends
When the pandemic hit, everything went online. Doing face-to-face meetings, conferences, and trade shows wasn’t an option anymore, so it put the focus on virtual events and virtual meetings. While “Zoom fatigue” was, and still is, a real thing, landscapers would be best not to ditch the virtual aspect of the business they have built up. Instead, make it a significant part of the business.
Virtual events like webinars got better as time went on. People became more comfortable on camera and speaking to crowds. It has allowed for greater collaboration, as physical distance wasn’t a problem when wanting someone to come in for a speaking engagement. From coast to coast, guests could be brought into webinars to share experiences, all from the comfort of their own homes.
The past two years have also seen a spike in social commerce, as more businesses focus on their websites and social media accounts. Landscapers learned new ways to grow and market their business to the public because they no longer had the in-person ability. Of course, many will want to go back to in-person as quickly as possible. Still, the future is a hybrid approach with virtual and in-person playing an equal role.
New online stores and social channels will be the wave of the future in the landscaping industry. As mentioned before, consumers are willing to spend hours looking on social channels for the newest trends. So, landscapers should become that trend and turn their knowledge and expertise into content for people to enjoy. Connect with your customers on their level, rather than just deciding that you’re going back to in-person because that is what you want. Consumer habits have changed – don’t resist the future.
Creating Zones for Optimal Use
Considering families have been locked in together for most of 2020 and 2021, people want their own space. Rooms have been redefined as classrooms, offices, and gyms within the home. People have found ways to rediscover space in their homes and make it work for them in this uncertain time. But that still hasn’t changed the fact that everyone has had to share space for the past two years.
In 2022, people want their own zone.
In backyards, parents with children want a zone for their kids to play and a zone for them to relax. Backyard designs now routinely feature kid-friendly areas with play equipment, while parents build unique seating areas. There are also zones for entertaining guests, with fire pits and group seating outdoors becoming a massive trend to continue with any distancing restrictions but allowing guests to come over and enjoy the space.
We’re also seeing more electronics coming outside to make the outside space an active part of the home with these zones: a second office for some, another living room space, or a dining space for others. The idea that the backyard is just a place to sit and watch the birds is long gone. It’s now valuable real estate and part of the greater home floor plan that homeowners are now considering.
Rediscover the Basics of Landscaping
It has been another challenging year for everyone, and consumers want to take the complexity out of their lives. Yet, while many DIYers have taken on their home projects, they still lack the basic skills to garden and maintain their landscaping. That is where you and your expertise come in. It’s time for landscapers to put that knowledge to the test and start helping consumers build the foundation of tools and information to get the most out of their backyards.
The landscaping industry will go through a social change and what is normal now is how consumers have changed over the past two years. Embrace the social transformation and grow with your customers. Sticking to what worked in 2019 won’t prepare you for the future in the industry. The pandemic forced many changes on consumers that won’t be going away, no matter how much we want to return to normal. So, use it as a way to grow and scale your business for the future. Read more about what is influencing consumers today by downloading our guide today.