Analysis: 4th of July and Demand for Backyard & Outdoor Products

There’s no question that Independence Day is the summer holiday in the United States. From fireworks and parades to pool parties and backyard BBQs, July 4th is synonymous with some of our very favorite summertime traditions.

So, with temperatures rising and Independence Day 2021 rapidly approaching, we thought this would be a perfect time to dive into our data to learn more about the impact the holiday has on outdoor gathering supplies.

Is the 4th of July the top time of year for online demand for outdoor furniture? What about barbeque or grilling gear? Did COVID-19 have a major impact last year? And is demand ramping up this year as things start to re-open?

Our data science team analyzed market demand for outdoor gathering supplies from 2019 through March 2021 to find out the answer to these questions and more.

How big was the boost in demand for outdoor gathering supplies during the week of Independence Day?

We started by choosing a handful of categories that people might shop for if they’re looking to host a backyard 4th of July party. We then examined demand at each of those categories for each week of 2020 to see how much demand shot up during the week of the 4th.

Here’s what we found:

Unsurprisingly, demand for July 4th Decor gets a massive boost in demand during the week of the holiday, with weekly demand skyrocketing to 447% more than the weekly average throughout the rest of the year (which you’ll see in a moment is usually around zero).

It’s not just holiday-themed supplies that get a big boost, however, as folding canopies saw demand increase by a whopping 278% during the week of June 29th through July 5th.

Patio furniture got a significant 70% bump in demand, and the 64% increase in demand for folding chairs was actually large enough for it to be the biggest week of the year for that category.

The week of the Fourth of July was an above-average demand week for all of the categories in our analysis, and it was a top 10 week of the year for each category except for fire pits.

To more clearly illustrate how the week of Independence Day fits in with the rest of the year, we’ll now take a look at the weekly demand chart for each category. First up: July 4th Decor.

Demand for 4th of July Decor was nearly nonexistent until late April, but didn’t really start to pick up until June. The week prior to Independence Day (Jun 22 - Jun 28) was actually the biggest single week of the year, but the two biggest single-days were Mon Jun 29 and Tue Jun 30.

Again, it’s no surprise at all that nearly all demand for 4th of July Decor occurs right around the holiday, so let’s move on to the broader categories, starting with the furniture-related categories.

The big holiday for Patio Furniture was definitely Memorial Day Weekend. The week of the holiday was the top week of the year while the two weeks prior were the #2 and #3 weeks of the year as well.

This makes sense, as Memorial Day kicks off the start of summer, which is when people would be most likely investing in the kind of backyard upgrade that involves larger purchases like patio furniture.

Things look different when we drill deeper into the less permanent types of outdoor furniture items that you might seek out if you’re hosting a big 4th of July party:

It appears that there was an initial depression in demand for folding chairs in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, something that patio furniture (as a more permanent outdoor furniture category and one less associated with larger outdoor gatherings) did not experience.

But that impact appears to have been short-lived as demand climbed steadily through late spring and early summer, peaking during the week of Independence Day and slowly declining thereafter.

Folding canopies appear to be incredibly popular for Fourth of July parties, as demand absolutely skyrockets during the week of the holiday. This is further evidence that it’s supplies and items for larger-scale outdoor gatherings that rely on the holiday most heavily.

We see further evidence for this in the demand chart for BBQ gear and supplies as well as smokers. Demand for these items and supplies peaks during the week of Father’s Day, with Memorial Day Weekend driving the second largest week.

And while we do see a notable spike during the week of Independence Day, it pales in comparison to the previous holidays.

The trend for fire pits isn’t too dissimilar, only Memorial Day was the top holiday with Father’s Day coming in at number two. The 4th fell during the summer drop off in demand before October brings a seasonal rebound in demand.

The primary takeaway from each of the charts above? It’s clear that most Americans don’t look to the 4th of July as a holiday for big ticket items. Instead, they’re far more likely to be searching for items meant to accommodate a large number of guests to enjoy something they cooked up on that new smoker they got for Father’s Day.

How did COVID-19 impact demand for outdoor gathering supplies, and are we seeing a 2021 rebound?

Outside of the springtime dip in demand for folding chairs, there wasn’t any clear evidence that COVID-19 had a major impact on demand for any of the categories in the charts above. But, naturally, we wanted to dig deeper.

With Americans spending more time in their backyards than ever before, was summer of 2020 a particularly huge year for patio furniture? Or did fewer backyard parties see demand actually dip for some of these categories?

To find out, we analyzed monthly demand for each category from 2019 through May, 2021.

Let’s start again by examining 4th of July decor:

Here we see that 2020 was, indeed, a slower year for 4th of July Decor with millions of Americans holding off on a major holiday bash in order to safely practice social distancing. Demand in June 2020 was -21% lower than in June 2019.

Demand this year is already surging, trending way ahead of both 2020 and 2019. Demand in May 2021 was 208% higher than in May 2020 and 190% higher than in May 2019. It would appear that pent up demand for a big 4th of July bash combined with rising vaccination rates and things reopening is translating into huge Independence Day decor sales.

Let’s see if these trends hold for some of our other categories.

It seems that the extra time we all spent in our own homes last year translated to a big increase in demand for patio furniture. Demand in May 2020 surged way ahead of demand during the same time in 2019, and remained higher through the rest of the year.

Interestingly, it appears that the prospect of the world reopening has only increased this trend, as demand in 2021 has outpaced even 2020’s elevated figures.

Demand for folding chairs tells a somewhat similar story. While demand in 2020 fell behind during the early months of the pandemic, it surpassed 2019’s figures in time for the 4th of July last year.

Once again, though, it looks like we’re seeing the results of pent up demand and the return of larger social gatherings here in 2021.

Demand for folding canopies in 2020 didn’t pick up until much later in the year than in 2019, but rose to much larger heights than in 2019. And unlike our other categories, 2021 hasn’t yet shown any sign of a major boost in demand, although we’ll have to wait and see if that changes as we get deeper into summer.

More time at home and less time eating out brought a surge in demand for outdoor cooking gear and supplies in 2020, especially in late spring and early summer.

2021 Demand for those categories has slowed to below 2020 figures, though, suggesting that surge may be more short lived in comparison.

It’s a similar story for fire pits, with demand surging in 2020, staying high in early 2021, but appearing to have possibly maxed out during last year’s heights.

The primary takeaway? 2020 was a huge year for making your backyard a cozier and more inviting place to hang out, but it didn’t appear to be a big year for throwing a huge 4th of July bash.

2021, meanwhile, looks to be a big year for big 4th of July parties. While demand for big ticket backyard items is slowing down to behind 2020’s figures, demand is surging for items like folding chairs and 4th of July decor.

A lesson for brands

Understanding the factors that influence consumer behavior can help brands better understand how to forecast demand for their products on online marketplaces, and even inform product design and marketing strategy.

For example, we may continue to see demand for grills and smokers continue to fall behind 2020’s heights, but we could very well see trends start to reverse. We might also see 4th of July decor continue to skyrocket, or it could be that pent up excitement led people to buy a month earlier than usual. Only time will tell, so stay up to date on consumer behavior and ecommerce news, info, and trend analyses, by subscribing to Pattern Insights on the right.

And, if you’d like to learn more about how you can best leverage our data to help your brand win online, holiday or not, schedule a demo today.

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Sept 6, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 6th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon announces new inventory and distribution service, AWD Amazon has launched Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD), providing inventory and distribution services to its sellers as a means of addressing current supply chain issues. AWD is now available for sellers using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), i.e. outsourcing their fulfilment to the platform. Amazon has plans to expand the service outside the platform in 2023. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/02/amazon-introduces-new-service-to-help-solve-supply-chain-challenges/) Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches in the UAE AWS, Amazon’s cloud-computing platform offering, has launched its second region in the Middle East and now provides its services in the UAE. The move will now allow anyone in the UAE who utilises cloud technologies to harness AWS’s advanced platforms and APIs. An estimated $11 billion USD is expected to be added to the UAE’s GDP thanks to the implementation, with an average of 6,000 external vendor jobs to be created annually. AWS is now available in 87 zones across 27 regions, with sights set on expanding further across Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/30/amazon-web-services-launches-region-in-uae/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Lazada to launch in Europe Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform Lazada is set to launch in Europe, marking a refreshed internationalisation push from the company. The move follows toughening economic conditions and performance in Southeast Asia, advancing the need to tap overseas markets. In Europe, Lazada will face tough competition from giants like Amazon and Zalando. Lazada’s exact entry strategy is to be confirmed and will be reliant on macroeconomic and market conditions, according to Lazada CEO James Dong. [Read more on DigitalCommerce360](https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2022/09/01/alibabas-lazada-to-take-on-amazon-zalando-in-europe-push/) Chinese ecommerce giant Pinduoduo to launch cross-border platform in the United States Pinduoduo, a Chinese ecommerce giant rivalling Alibaba and JD, has announced it will be launching a new cross-border ecommerce platform. The marketplace is set to launch in the United States next month, as part of the company’s larger push into new markets. Pinduoduo found success in China thanks to its rock-bottom price offerings and harnessing of social commerce marketing, emulating strategies similar to fast-fashion giant Shein. [Read more on Yahoo Finance](https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/pinduoduo-launch-international-e-commerce-034129263.html) Alibaba launches its biggest B2B sales event, ‘Super September’ China ecommerce giant, Alibaba, has now launched its month-long B2B sales event ‘Super September’. The event provides 40 million buyers and 200,000 suppliers with the ability to connect on the platform, showcasing a ‘virtually unlimited’ number of products. The event hopes to foster new cross-border business relationships to tackle supply chain challenges currently faced by businesses. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/01/alibaba-launches-super-september-b2b-sales-event/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Klarna’s losses quadruple in first half of 2022 BNPL provider, Klarna, has reported losses of $581 million USD for the first half of 2022. This figure is almost four times larger than a year earlier, where $129 million USD in losses were reported. The company attributes the losses to employee costs, technology investments, and rising credit losses. Klarna’s figure reporting comes amidst worsening economic conditions, fresh legal and regulatory scrutiny, and pressure from Big Tech competitors. [Read more on The Financial Times](https://www.ft.com/content/483451db-9221-4ca4-83a6-b4ddc6bfcfbb) [Read more on the Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/aug/31/klarna-losses-more-than-triple-as-consumer-spending-slows) One fifth of Snap employees to be laid off amidst poor financial performance Social media platform Snap (‘Snapchat’) has announced it will be laying off 20% of its employees and closing out a number of projects following a year of poor financial results.The move will see 1,200 employees globally lose their jobs, saving the company an estimated $500 million USD in costs. Snap is currently valued at $20 billion, an 84% decrease from its valuation of $130 billion last year. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/01/snap-to-lay-off-20-of-its-workforce-and-wind-down-a-number-of-projects/)
Aug 30, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 30th August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon set to shut down Amazon Care Amazon is closing its telehealth service, Amazon Care, which launched in 2019 as a trial program for its headquartered employees. Later the service was rolled out nationwide for employees and other companies. The ecommerce giant has now made the decision to move away from the healthcare space, believing it was not the right long-term solution for its enterprise customers. [Read more on CNBC](https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/24/amazon-is-shutting-down-amazon-care-telehealth-service.html) Peloton closes new deal to sell on Amazon Following a recent deal, Amazon customers will soon be able to buy Peloton fitness equipment on the marketplace, marking Peleton’s first move outside a direct-to-consumer model. According to Peloton’s CCO, there are already around half a million searches on Amazon for Peloton products every month, despite having no presence on the marketplace. Some key products include the original Peloton Bike, retailing for $1,445 and Peloton Guide for $295. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/24/peloton-strikes-deal-to-sell-fitness-equipment-on-amazon/) --- Other Marketplace News --- 60% of Malaysians are buying from local sellers on Shopee A recent survey of nearly 3,500 respondents found that nearly half of the shoppers prefer to purchase from local sellers due to shorter delivery times. Other shoppers decide to shop locally due to the quality of the products made in Malaysia and an interest in keeping the economy running. As a result, smaller local merchants have been able to grow their businesses, and shoppers benefit from shorter delivery times, products of high quality and supporting local businesses. [Read more on The Malaysian Reserve](https://themalaysianreserve.com/2022/08/25/around-60-malaysians-are-buying-from-local-sellers-on-shopee/) Flipkart’s social commerce platform Shopsy crosses 100 million users Flipkart launched a social commerce arm, Shopsy, in July of last year, which has now surpassed 100 million users, ahead of its target timeline being the end of 2022. This acquisition of new users has made Shopsy one of the largest platforms of its kind in the country, and is expected to onboard a further 100 million by the end of 2023. The platform is centred around boosting local entrepreneurship and powering ecommerce for consumers across tier 2+ regions where users face challenges around trust and navigation when shopping online. [Read more on Business Standard](https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/flipkart-s-social-commerce-platform-shopsy-hits-100-million-users-1220828006851.html) Meta joins Amazon and Walmart in bid for Indian ecommerce market Amazon mentioned earlier in the year that it would be building a logistics division in-house through its purchase of a 51% stake in Ecom Express, an end-to-end logistics firm, to make ecommerce deliveries more efficient in the country. Walmart operates Flipkart in India and is set to continue its investment in the marketplace. In an effort to compete in the Indian ecommerce market, Meta has partnered with Indian ecommerce company, JioMart, to offer customers a grocery shopping platform within its WhatsApp chat feature. [Read more on Pymnts](https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2022/meta-joins-amazon-walmart-indian-ecommerce-market/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Ecommerce in Spain worth €57.7 billion in 2021 Spanish ecommerce saw 11.7% growth compared to last year, largely attributed to cross-border sales. In the final quarter of 2021, ecommerce sales in Spain were at €16.9 billion euros, at least 60% of which came from cross-border sales. Transactions from foreign locations to Spain generated a turnover of €1.56 billion in Q4, a growth of 27.7% compared to Q4 a year before. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/ecommerce-in-spain-was-worth-e57-7-billion-in-2021/)
Aug 23, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 23rd August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to add mental health support to primary-care service Amazon is set to move into mental health therapy with its primary-care division, following its recent acquisition deal of One Medical. The plan is to partner with virtual behavioural therapy service, Ginger, to offer its Amazon Care users with on-demand access to mental health services, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/11/amazon-plans-to-add-mental-health-support-to-primary-care-service/) GMB union calls for £15 an hour minimum pay at UK Amazon warehouses Amazon recently offered its warehouse workers a 3% pay rise, which in comparison to the June inflation rate of 9.4% left employees disappointed. Following this, hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers stopped work last week, protesting against the minimal pay increase, seeking a minimum of £15 an hour. Recent protests consisting of employee walkouts and sit-ins aim to get a better offer out of Amazon. [Read more on The Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/aug/09/gmb-calls-for-15-an-hour-minimum-pay-at-amazon-warehouses-in-uk) Amazon third-party sellers have received their first-ever holiday fee hike Amazon’s third-party marketplaces account for close to half of the company’s online sales. The company introduced a 5% fuel and inflation charge to its third-party sellers earlier this year, and has now implemented another inflation increase charge. Commencing 14 October, any seller who uses Amazon’s fulfilment service is subject to the price hike, which is set to be an additional 35 cents per item for products sold in the US and Canada. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/17/amazon-third-party-sellers-have-received-their-first-ever-holiday-fee-hike/) Amazon puts a pause on UK grocery shop roll-out as the cost of living increases Amazon has slowed down on its UK roll-out of till-free Amazon Fresh grocery stores following disappointing sales and the rise in cost of living. Allegedly, the company is no longer looking for potential sites to expand and if more stores are opened, they will likely no longer use a till-free system, as consumers become more cautious about spending. [Read more on The Telegraph](https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/08/21/amazon-pauses-uk-grocery-shop-roll-out-following-disappointing/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopee overtakes Alibaba across international markets Shopee has surpassed Alibaba and taken the top spot for sales outside of China. Singapore-based marketplace saw a year-on-year increase of 51.4% at the end of Q2 of this year, while Alibaba saw a 3% drop during the same time period. This can be seen as a promising development for start-ups and their ability to compete with some of the largest ecommerce giants in the market. [Read more on Exchange Wire](https://www.exchangewire.com/blog/2022/08/18/shopee-surpasses-alibaba-in-international-sales-amazon-searches-for-entertainment-exec/) H&M reopens its official store to Alibaba’s Tmall ecommerce platform It has been nearly 18 months since Alibaba removed H&M from its Tmall platform, following H&M’s criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It is estimated that over a million people, predominantly minorities in the area, have been unlawfully detained in camps across the city. Brands including Nike, Adidas, Burberry and Converse were swept up in the controversy, however H&M was one of the first to be targeted for speaking out about the issue. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/16/hm-returns-to-alibabas-tmall-platform-16-months-after-xinjiang-controversy/) Klarna launches new feature allowing UK consumers to view full online order history Buy-now-pay-later company, Klarna, has launched a new feature on its shopping app, which allows UK consumers to view their full online order history, regardless of whether they purchased the product using Klarna. The feature also shows delivery tracking and aids consumers in managing their online purchases more conveniently. [Read more on The Industry](https://www.theindustry.fashion/klarna-launches-new-feature-allowing-uk-consumers-to-view-full-online-order-history/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Online marketplaces responsible for £280 billion business turnover in the UK Nearly 900,000 UK businesses are currently selling on online marketplaces, generating an estimated £282 billion worth of sales each year. This figure represents 6% of the UK’s annual business turnover, highlighting the notable contribution that marketplaces make to the UK economy, along with the potential for further growth in this area. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/09/online-marketplaces-responsible-for-280-billion-business-turnover-in-uk/)