Even though we were stuck at home for most of 2020, or perhaps because of it, Americans eagerly embraced transforming their spaces, according to consumer research giant The NPD Group. Last year consumers spent more money on their kitchens and baths (revenues were up 28%), overall home improvement revenues grew 22%, and paint sales rose 16%. The most popular items purchased were faucets, toilets, and kitchen cabinets.

While NPD says, “Nearly half the U.S. population made a kitchen and bath home improvement purchase online or in stores in 2020,” the majority of those buyers were women. Checkout information from The NPD Group shows women were more likely to buy kitchen and bath products than lawn and garden goods, paint, hardware, or other home improvement products. In fact, women accounted for nearly 60% of kitchen and bath products sold online and 52% of in-store sales in 2020.

“Whether it is the project strategy and design, or the spending itself, women are a leading force in the kitchen and bath home improvement market,” says Joe Derochowski, home industry advisor at NPD. “In order to further the engagement with female consumers amidst today’s rapidly shifting retail landscape, the home improvement industry needs to understand the varying motivation behind their purchases across platforms.”

NPD further reports while e-commerce accounted for 28% of kitchen and bath improvement sales last year, both online and in-store purchases grew by double-digits across the country.

Women were much more likely to purchase kitchen cabinets in stores while making more showerhead and faucet combo purchases online. NPD’s Checkout information shows women age 55 and up were the biggest spenders on kitchen and bath improvements, while younger women (age 18 to 24) had the largest annual spending increase.

Women aren’t just spending their money on home improvement products and projects. The 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says single, female buyers accounted for 19% of first-time home buyers and 17% of repeat home buyers, compared to 11% of first-time home buyers and 9% of repeat buyers who were single men.

The median age of the single, female, first-time house buyers is 33, while the median age of single, female repeat buyers is 59.

If you’re in the home improvement industry, NPD’s Derochowski says your “marketing efforts need to reflect the leading role women of all ages are playing in home improvements, and engage them accordingly. It is incumbent upon retailers to get innovative and make a stronger connection.”

Improvement stock photo by FotoAndalucia/Shutterstock