How homeware retailers can learn from search trends in 2021

During the pandemic, the homeware sector experienced a huge rise in demand from consumers, with record search volumes throughout 2020.

Looking at Q1 2021, this sector continues to grow rapidly, driven by demand for Garden & DIY products.

In our new report, we look at key search trends, the fastest rising websites, and what retailers can learn from this.

This article will look into the homeware sector in detail, looking at different product categories within this sector, and what retailers can learn from consumer search behaviour.

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Search demand for homeware

The pandemic, and the lockdowns that resulted from it, led to an acceleration of search demand within the homeware sector during 2020.

As the chart shows, demand across the sector reached record levels, with Furniture and Garden & DIY the most popular categories within the homeware sector.

In Q1 2021, even with the prospect of lockdown restrictions easing off, search demand remains strong.

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The fastest growing category YOY was Garden & DIY, which saw a big uplift in February, perhaps as many realised the importance of making the best of the spring at summer at home.

All categories in homeware experienced huge year on year growth in Q1 2021, led by Garden & DIY.

The two most popular homeware search terms are the same as they were in 2020, mirrors and wallpaper.

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Most searched terms Q1 2021 | Search volume | Google UK

After this, garden and office furniture are the fastest growing product categories. Searches for garden furniture, desks, office chairs, and hot tubs all grew by between 180% and 314%.

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With search demand for such products still high, it seems that we’re seeing many of the 2020 spring and summer trends continuing into 2021.

This is a key lesson for retailers, as it suggests that the demand in these product categories was not exhausted in 2020, and there are still plenty of potential customers searching for these products.

Indeed, if 2021 mirrors the search demand from the previous year, then we can expect even greater search demand in Q2 2021. has gained two places in our homeware leaderboard compared to Q4 2020.

All Homeware categories | Share of voice

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Dunelm has strong search visibility in the Furniture, Home Accessories and Home Furnishings categories, which are some of the most popular categories around Christmas and New Year.

Garden & DIY set for further growth?

Garden & DIY is one homeware sub category which is set for further growth into 2021, and it may be yet to reach its peak.

2020 saw record demand for Garden & DIY products, with hot tubs and garden furniture the two biggest products in terms of search demand in 2020.

Garden & DIY | Search volume over time

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Given the growth in demand we’re seeing already in 2021, search demand for garden products could be huge this year.

Last year, we saw peak demand between March and June, so there will be plenty of search traffic for homeware retailers to target during 2021.

Garden furniture is the biggest group of products within this category. Indeed, retailers struggled to meet customer demand last year, but supply chains may have had time to catch up for this year’s peak season.

With such completion in this category, achieving search visibility for the most popular products will be a challenge for retailers.

To take ‘hot tubs’ as an example, the SERP below shows how difficult organic visibility will be for retailers.

The popularity of these products means that many brands are buying PPC ads, pushing organic results below the fold on Google.

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Even further down, SERP features like Top Stories are taking away space from classic organic links. So, in this case, B&Q takes the top organic spot, while Argos is second on page one.

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However, searchers will see up to six or seven other types of search results, including maps, ads, and Top Stories before they’ll see a classic link.

For retailers looking to be visible in a competitive sector like this, this underlines the importance of studying the SERPs and seeing how you can find a place for your site in this ecosystem.

For example, retailers might look to partner with publishers to gain some extra visibility. For example, Tesco has received some good coverage, including links to its stores, around the fact that it’s selling a hut tub for £325.

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In summary

While the country is beginning to open up, the current lockdown rules mean outside activities are all important, especially if people want to socialise with friends and family.

Homeware search demand will continue to reflect this as we head into summer, and we’re likely to see record demand in many homeware sub-categories, and Garden & DIY will be one of the biggest.

For retailers, it’s vital to have the right SEO strategies in place to take advantage of massive search demand and acquire new customers looking for homeware products.

What will online retail look like in 2021?

Download now