The International Housewares Association (IHA) released its 2023 IHA Market Watch Report, which aims to help the home and housewares business connect with consumers in its evaluation of five primary lifestyle factors driving consumer purchase decisions: Wellness, Time, Space, Experience and Responsibility.
The report is based on the IHA Market Watch Survey, whose results illustrate how consumers are feeling, what they want, what they need and what motivates them to buy items for their homes, according to IHA. The 2023 Market Watch Report also sheds light on what consumers learned during the pandemic, what habits or values endure and how they see their home lives evolving in the coming year. Each section of the report contains data and analysis, as well as suggestions for ways product developers and retailers can connect with consumers in 2023.
Here are some key findings and conclusions in the 2023 IHA Market Watch Report:
- Wellness: The Market Watch Report details wellness as an encompassing driving force in people’s lives and a motivating factor in many of their home-related purchase decisions. According to the report, 81% of survey respondents said wellness was very or somewhat important to their daily lives at home. While all five of the survey’s drivers are important to respondents, wellness emerged as the overwhelming top priority. When asked which was most important to them at home, 47% said wellness. That was followed by time (19%), experience (14%), space (11%) and responsibility (9%).
- Time: As consumers try to find their way in a post-pandemic world, they’re feeling like time is not on their side, according to the IHA Market Watch report. The report notes more people are returning to the office for work, and commutes are cutting into their days. Meanwhile, the report adds, others have hybrid work arrangements, juggling two profoundly different types of workdays and time considerations. Moreover, while kids are back to school, their activities bring a whole different set of time-related challenges. According to the report, 70% of survey respondents said they wished they had more time or more resources to save time. Some 23% said they always wished they had more time, 18% said often, and 29% said sometimes.
- Space: While consumers might not be as cramped for space as they were during the height of pandemic shutdowns, the Market Watch report states space challenges remain now that some consumers have permanent work-from-home arrangements every workday or on some workdays. Now that consumers have spent so much time at home — and have come to understand the incredible impact that their living space has on their well-being — they are craving affordable and easy ways to update, change or improve their living areas. According to the report, 60% of survey respondents said they experience some kind of space-related challenge at home; 17% said “many,” 21% said “a few” and 22% said “sometimes.”
- Experience: People are craving experiences after the pandemic limited so many of them. While many industry forecasters predicted this would drive spending away from home and housewares, the current economic climate is making restaurants, travel and other out-of-home experiences cost-prohibitive for some consumers… and it is causing others to think twice, according to the report. As a result, the Market Watch report concludes now is the perfect time to promote home-based experiences that can be enjoyed at a fraction of the price. For example, the report confirms significant pent-up demand for at-home entertaining. According to the report, 10% of consumers “often” try to create new experiences at home, such as meals or social gatherings, and replicating paid activities like going to a spa or movie theater. The IHA Market Watch survey indicates there is an opportunity to engage with consumers who are interested in these experiences but may have barriers, such as time, money or simply feeling out of practice or unsure of how to get started.
- Responsibility: Responsibility has historically focused on environmental issues, but in recent years consumers have become increasingly concerned about social responsibility, according to the IHA Market Watch Report. Many expect the companies they buy from to be committed to both environmental and social solutions. This is partly due to the sense of global community created during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also a result of consumers becoming more educated and informed, the report concludes. According to the report, 67% of survey respondents said they’re socially/environmentally conscious at home, either often (33%) or sometimes (34%). This response, according to the report, offers retailers and suppliers an opportunity to lower some barriers to entry — namely price and convenience—in order to connect with more consumers, especially those who answered, “only if convenient” and “not yet, but want to.”
Launched in 2020, the IHA Market Watch Report is part of IHA’s efforts to help retailers and suppliers of home and housewares connect with the consumer lifestyle trends and values that will drive success. It was written by IHA in conjunction with Joe Derochowski, vice president and home industry advisor for Circana, the new market research firm formed by the merger of IRI and The NPD Group; and Tom Mirabile, principal and founder of Springboard Futures, and IHA’s consumer trends forecaster.
The 2023 IHA Market Watch Survey was conducted by CivicScience December 13-20, 2022, among a sample range between 2,800 – 3,400 adults. The interviews were based on age, gender and household income and conducted through partnerships with hundreds of online and mobile content publishers and then aggregated into a centralized proprietary platform.
To read the full 2023 IHA Market Watch Report, go to Housewares.org/market-watch-2023.