“What will the pool industry look like in 2023?” That’s a big question to unpack. Once upon a time, we shared thoughts on what the pool industry would look like in 2020, and then the world rewrote those predictions immediately. Needless to say, we’ve all been looking at a much cloudier crystal ball lately.
That being said, there’s enough data to offer a strong suggestion as to what pool industry trends are likely to take hold in the new year. In short, we’re looking at a different kind of wave coming our way.
Take It from the Pool Industry Veterans…
While 2020 taught us all to never say, “We’ve seen it all,” at Swimline, we sure have seen a lot. The 46 years we’ve been distributing pool parts to dealers across the country have taught us a thing or two about how consumers and businesses react in various economic climates.
In 2023, pool industry professionals will likely see the following.
1. Decelerating Demand for New Pool Builds
The evidence of inflation is everywhere, and people are tightening their budgets because of it. In a 2022 survey by CreditCards.com, 47% of participants said that they don’t plan to increase their discretionary spending.
New swimming pools are among the first items scratched off people’s “To Buy” List in 2023. Between the initial cost of construction and the ongoing maintenance costs, it’s harder now for people to justify the purchase.
Consequently, pool builders’ inboxes aren’t as crowded as they were when the pandemic first hit — when the only getaway homeowners could take was one they could build in their own backyard. So as 2023 rounds the corner, don’t be surprised if your construction team has more downtime.
2. Shifting Focus to Pool Service and Equipment
Even though people are hitting the brakes when it comes to buying new pools, there is still an unprecedented number of people who bought pools in the past couple of years. Those pools will still require cleaning and equipment upgrades throughout the years. That’s why many pool dealers are anticipating a new emphasis on pool service and equipment sales.
This scenario favors vendors in the pool industry who act as full-service entities. In other words, if you’re a pool builder who also offers routine maintenance services and sells pool parts, chemicals, and accessories, you’re in a healthy position. When you can bill yourself as a “one-stop shop” to pool customers, you’re more likely to see a robust, long-term revenue stream.
3. Increasing Business from the Tourism Sector
With the loosening of COVID-19 travel restrictions, the tourism sector has seen a significant boom. As hotels and resorts see this kind of business, they reinvest in their amenities. Chief among them is the pool.
An image of a gorgeous pool is an effective marketing tool for vacation spots. It draws in new guests and invites current guests to indulge themselves further with the food and beverage options around the pool. Therefore, pool industry pros should keep an eye out for tourism-related leads in the construction, renovation, and service categories.
4. Multiplying eCommerce Stores
In this digital era, the convenience of a shopping experience often outshines quality in the buyer’s eyes. That’s why many pool dealers will enter the eCommerce competition with big-box stores and vast online marketplaces that give people many options for quicker, cheaper purchases.
What these buyers don’t realize when they buy from the big online hubs is that the product is often subpar, and the “help” function won’t connect them to anyone with real expertise. If, however, they were to buy online from the dealer, not only would they get a product that has been vetted by experts, but they’ll have access to real pool specialists who can offer reliable help when needed.
The Next Chapter
As this digital, post-pandemic era marches on, we’d love to know how your pool business is navigating the landscape. Keep an eye out for our pool dealer and contractor training events, and, as always, contact us for your pool equipment needs!