The Home and Garden sector has been named the fastest growing category for the retail industry with growth of 67% during 2020, according to a new report from leading traffic intelligence company, SimilarWeb.

The Australian Digital 100 Insights Report revealed that Home and Garden was closely followed by Health and Beauty (54%), General Retail (41%), Apparel (32%) and Consumer Electronics (29%).

SimilarWeb vice president for Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia, Emmanuel Heymann said that while Australia fared much better than international counterparts during the height of the pandemic, consumers and businesses were still forced to adapt to restrictions.  

“With outdoor activity restricted and offices around the nation closed, many Australians turned their attention to gardening and home office upgrades to make the most of the situation,” he said.

“As consumers adapted to the new ‘locked in’ lifestyle, brands that focused on strong digital-led acquisition strategies were able to capitalise on the shift in behaviour and secure exponential growth.

“We’ve seen the pandemic change online consumer behaviour entirely – it forced even the most traditional businesses to go online. As a business, when you first go online it can seem like a jungle. Our data helps organisations contextualise and understand their market, the players, and the trends driving the category.”    

Insights from the five retail categories included in the Digital 100 Insights Top Ten report include:

Home and Garden

SimilarWeb’s analysis found home gardening and home office upgrades were the most popular projects to undertake as people spent more time at home, with the category achieving the highest year-on-year traffic growth.

Online furniture retailer was the fastest growing furniture website in the sector (1,225%) while on the gardening and lawn care front, (931%) grew the fastest.

Health and Beauty

With hairdressing salons, gyms, and beauticians closed for large parts of the year, many Australians turned to DIY self-care options with the Health and Beauty sector recording the second highest growth in traffic.

‘K Beauty’ emerged as an extremely popular trend with websites dedicated to Korean beauty products seeing incredible growth, including which grew more than 924 times in 2020, making it the fastest growing brand in the sector, while, another K Beauty site, grew by 264%.

General Retail

Online retailers experienced the third highest year-on-year traffic growth, largely driven by toy stores, as parents sought creative ways to keep children entertained while in lockdown, with (318%) growing the fastest in the sector. and also appeared in the top 10 with 185% and 119% growth, respectively.

The largest retail player in terms of overall traffic was, growing by 185% to reach 45 million visitors over the course of 2020.


The fastest growing brand in the Apparel sector, youandall, witnessed 5,042% growth with its focus on the plus-sized market segment differentiating it from competitors.

Athleisure also proved popular during lockdowns with sportspowergeelong and Queensland’s LSKD increasing traffic by 1,675% and 1,093% respectively.   

The 10 fastest growing brands in the Apparel sector succeeded by leveraging high-impact online marketing campaigns on social media channels. Analysis shows these websites were three times more reliant on social channels for traffic acquisition than the Apparel industry average.

Consumer Electronics

Male personal trimmer, Manscaped led the Consumer Electronics category, seeing 1,376% growth in 2020.

While most brands in this segment grew off the back of home office and entertainment equipment upgrades, two of the top ten were dedicated electronics review sites – Versus (128%) and whathifi (111%). Among the electronics retailers, Sony (339%) and Victorian-based Centrecom (163%) witnessed the fastest growth among Australian consumers.