Jobber, Edmonton, Alberta, released the Home Service Economic Report: 2020 Review, which showcases market trends and insights pertaining to the performance of the home service category throughout 2020. Although home service experienced a significant decline in year-over-year growth in March and April when stay-at-home directives were implemented across the U.S., the category ended the year exceeding pre-pandemic growth levels.
According to the report, median revenue in home service saw consistent positive growth beginning in June and reached a record high for the year in December with 23% growth year-over-year. New work scheduled, an early indicator of the health of home service businesses, peaked in June with 17% growth year-over-year, then continued to see consistent positive growth throughout the second half of the year.
“While so many small businesses were sadly forced to close shop in 2020, most Home Service businesses endured,” says Sam Pillar, CEO and co-founder of Jobber. “All the major metrics we track for home service, including consumer demand, employment and revenue, point to an overall category recovery as we kick off 2021. If 2020 is any indication, service providers are a resilient group that can overcome challenges that may surface in the year ahead.”
Jobber’s Home Service Economic Reports are compiled using proprietary data aggregated from over 100,000 home service professionals that use the platform. That data, along with various sources of government data, are used to assess the performance of the home service category, and compare it against other major categories (restaurants, general merchandise stores, automotive, clothing stores, and grocery stores). The report also provides insights into key segments such as cleaning, contracting, and green; and looks into industry trends related to technology adoption and how they are affecting home service businesses’ ability to get work, do work, invoice and get paid.
Key findings from the report include:
- Home service has proven to be resilient. Despite its initial decline, Home Service has proven to be one of the most stable categories aside from grocery stores and general merchandise stores amidst economic uncertainty.
- Consumers spending more on home service. Sparked by renewed homeowner interest to improve indoor and outdoor living spaces, consumer spending in home service out-performed most major categories in the second half of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
- Technology adoption on the rise. Digital work requests saw accelerated growth through 2020 after a decline in March and April. Data also shows an increase in electronic customer communication in the form of visit reminders, which saw 30% year-over year growth in April and May, despite the fact that actual visits declined during this period.
- Online payments continue to grow. Consumer payments with credit and debit cards grew faster than overall revenue growth in the second half of 2020.
- Commercial cleaning outperformed residential. Residential cleaning was the industry most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, while commercial cleaning contract work was comparatively stable.
- Contracting warranty services showed stability. Warranty services proved to be the most steady type of work in the contracting segment while inspection/consultation for new work was the most volatile.
- The green segment experienced record growth. The green segment, which includes landscaping, lawn care and other outdoor services, is the only segment that saw year-over-year growth in median revenue every month during 2020. This growth accelerated in Q4, hitting a record 32% year-over-year growth in December.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in March, we weren’t sure how our customers’ businesses would perform,” says Abheek Dhawan, vice president, business operations at Jobber. “Although service businesses experienced record declines at the onset of the pandemic, they managed to weather the storm rather effectively to end 2020 on a positive note. It’s especially promising to see the increase in technology adoption, as it means that not only are service professionals surviving, but also further investing in their businesses. We suspect that the trend towards technology adoption, which has accelerated due to the pandemic, will continue into 2021 and beyond.”