DIY Behaviors in Outdoor Power Equipment: Part 1 - Battery vs Gas Purchases

The following are insights from a recent, publicly available study completed by The Farnsworth Group. To receive the full report, contact gfarnsworth@thefarnsworthgroup.com or Contact Us.

The outdoor power equipment industry has grown steadily over the past several years to reach a total market size of $61 billion in 2018. It’s projected to continue expanding in the next few years, hitting $71 billion by 2022. To better understand consumer OPE purchasing habits, The Farnsworth Group conducted a trended study among 609 homeowners with even representation across Millennials, Gen Xers, and Boomers. The study found that lawn trimmers/edgers, walk-behind mowers, and blowers were the top product types purchased by all three age groups in both 2016 and 2018. Not surprisingly, more Millenials tended to purchase OPE than Gen Xers or Boomers due to higher DIY levels among younger generations. A trend common for decades in home improvement. This study also examined gas- vs. battery-powered purchase incidence, and the results suggest a shift towards battery-powered OPE in the consumer market.

While gas dominates for now, battery power is emerging as a strong competitor. Steve Hughes, managing director of Masport Ltd., sees battery power as a disruptive technology that could dethrone gas-powered OPE. “We traditional industry players are now competing with an influx of battery-powered machines supplied by the power tool companies. This is a real threat to the industry, as these players have expertise in batteries and have relished the opportunity to enter another industry, which has been slow to adapt to changes in technology in an already digital age,” says Hughes.

 Q: Which of the following types of Outdoor Power Equipment did you purchase in the past 12 months?

Q: Which of the following types of Outdoor Power Equipment did you purchase in the past 12 months?

It remains to be seen if battery will eclipse gas, but The Farnsworth Group study shows significant gains in the market share of battery-powered OPE from 2016 to 2018. Of the consumers who purchased OPE in 2016, 13% purchased a battery-powered lawn trimmer. By 2018, that number had increased to 18%. While a 5% uptick might not seem like much, it does mean battery power now claims 15% more of the total lawn trimmer market share. Similar growth in battery-powered share exists across hedge trimmers, mowers, and chainsaws. Gas-powered purchases fell across all product types except one, whereas purchases of corded products generally remained the same from 2016 to 2018.

Additionally, the share of battery power grew among consumers who plan to purchase OPE in the next year. In 2016, 5% of consumers planning to buy OPE in the next year planned to purchase a battery-powered lawn trimmer. That number grew to 9% in 2018, translating to a 13% increase in battery’s share of the lawn trimmer market. The share of battery-powered products also went up among consumers planning to purchase hedge trimmers, mowers, and chainsaws, while planned purchases of gas-powered OPE decreased across all product types.

DIY OPE change in battery share.png

This pattern in the data is echoed by industry leaders who notice the rising popularity of battery-powered OPE. Steve Smith, VP of Lawn & Garden at Earthquake, says, “Consumers have a growing interest in battery-powered equipment. As battery technology becomes more efficient and economical, more professionals will consider innovative battery-powered alternatives.” Although battery’s gains over this two-year period may seem modest at first glance, they constitute an impressive advance in share, especially as purchases of corded and gas OPE stagnate or fall.

To receive the full report, contact gfarnsworth@thefarnsworthgroup.com or Contact Us.