Like everything these days, it has been a wild ride in the pool and spa industry in the last couple of years. If you were looking for calmer days, you may be waiting a while; the rest of 2022 is predicted to be just as wild.
What the numbers say
According to technavio, the pool and spa market is expected to grow by $3.56 billion dollars from 2019 to 2024, and the compound annual growth rate will accelerate by 2.29%. This growth is in line with customer behavior demonstrated in a survey of 1001 respondents; 50% of them said they plan to update their backyards this year, while 64% of them who currently own pools plan to upgrade this year or next. Of the people surveyed, 50% have an interest in purchasing a pool in 2022.
Many might think this number is low; 27% of U.S. pools are built for children five and under. This, of course, means that safety is of the utmost importance, but so are features that are engaging for little people. Upselling pool fences and extra railings are a lucrative prospect. Look for pool owners to also be interested in mini water slides and play areas for small children.
Ramp up with special features
With travel still not back to normal, many homeowners are interested in a pool that brings the special features of their favorite vacation spots into their very own backyards. That can mean any number of things, but the trends are leaning towards a bar built into the pool area and waterslides. Of course, features like waterfalls are on the “must-have” list, too. And, let’s not forget pergolas and outdoor kitchens to really make it feel like a staycation.
Utilitarian is on the “wants” list
Because people’s homes have become their oasis from the world more than ever before, more and more buyers are looking to not only make their home more desirable and comfortable, but also highly functional, practical, and essentially maintenance-free. This means people are more willing to spend money on things that are aesthetic but make life easier like in-floor circulation, debris removal systems, interior and exterior pool lighting.
Fiberglass as the favorite
In 2022, expect to see an upswing in fiberglass pool installations. While concrete (gunite) is the traditional favorite, its lack of availability is forcing pool sales and contractors to look in a new direction. Fiberglass is a viable alternative because of a number of reasons: availability, price, and installation time. Other benefits of fiberglass are:
- Builders can dig the hole and drop in the fiberglass liner, therefore shortening the installation time
- Many pool and spa retailers don’t have to subcontract any of the work and can have their installers do the work themselves which again shortens the installation timeline.
E-commerce is another trend being seen in the pool and spa business. Many pool and spa retailers have been dragging their feet when it comes to an e-commerce option, but in 2021 and now 2022, you can expect to see a number of pool and spa companies diversifying and getting their software technology up to speed with other industries. E-commerce solutions can make pool sales a little more manageable while building brand awareness and loyalty as well.
Many facility operators and homeowners are focused on being eco-friendly and that goes for their pools; 71% of those individuals surveyed expressed that energy efficiency is one of their top priorities. Pool covers are a great sell for people who are searching for energy efficiency. Other energy-saving products include single-speed pool pumps, pump timers, solar pool heaters, LED lighting, cartridge filters (instead of sand filters), and automation systems that regulate chemicals and energy used. Expect to see a surge in desire for chemical-free pools, not only for the environment but because of the vast shortage of chlorine available for consumers.
One big trend that you will continue to see more of is the portable, above-ground, 110-volt hot tubs. Homeowners have been grabbing up these products, and manufacturers are working hard to produce as many as possible to fill orders. They are simple to use as there isn’t a need for an electrician like traditional hot tubs. And, many of these items are budget-friendly as well, making them even more desirable.
Traditional hot tubs continue to sell out faster than they can be manufactured and shipped out. Because physical and mental wellness is a concern of many, hot tubs will continue to be big sellers in 2022.
Bigger is better
No one wants to be superficial, but let’s face it, sometimes bigger is better, and larger hot tubs are trending as more and more people are spending time at home and valuing family togetherness. Families are moving out of the kitchen and family room to the outdoors and into their large hot tubs where they can have family gatherings.
This category of pool and spa equipment has seen a revitalization in the last couple of years. When recreation and fitness centers were closed down in 2020, there were a lot of swimmers who lost their ability to work out in their favorite way. This spurred an increase in counter-current swim machines, and experts predict that this will continue in 2022.
The wild ride is far from over as pool and spa products and sales continue to go full steam ahead. Continuing to pivot and adapt as well as remain transparent with customers will be essential for pool and spa companies’ sales and growth.