2021 is now officially half over, which presents an opportunity to reflect on the last six months and glean the top trends of the year so far. The world is a very different place compared to just six months ago, and it shows in the trends we’re seeing: our top campaigns reveal a world emerging from quarantine, and a “new normal” is starting to take shape in the campaigns that our backers support.
Here are the top trends of the first half of 2021:
1. Home products continue to dominate
With most stay-at-home orders and mask mandates only lifted in the last few weeks, it should come as no surprise that home products dominated Indiegogo in the first half of 2021. In fact, every one of the top five campaigns of 2021 to date was either a home product or closely tied to quarantine life.
The top campaign of 2021 so far is Lomi, a home-composting solution revolutionizing how food waste is discarded. The Lomi team has raised over $7 million to date on Indiegogo, crossing into territory reserved for only the most elite campaigns in crowdfunding history. The KEY coffee grinder and Bird Buddy smart bird feeder each crossed the $3 million mark on Indiegogo in the last six months as well, showing that backers took an interest in premium home products while still stuck at home. Two gaming consoles round out the top five list: GPD WIN3 and AYANEO raised $4.1 million and $2.3 million in the first half of 2021, respectively, offering backers a source of diversion when the outside world was bleak and still largely closed.
2. Green tech and environmental campaigns are surging
The pandemic has accelerated existing trends of all types, and crowdfunding is no exception. One particular area where we’ve seen this acceleration is in green tech. Products in the green tech vertical on Indiegogo have been gradually gaining steam over the last three years, but the last six months saw a huge surge. Compared to the same period last year, green tech products raised 282% more funds, by far making the largest year-over-year gain of all of our product categories. This is partially due to the runaway successes of Lomi and repeat campaigners GoSun, but the trend holds true category-wide. Indiegogo-sponsored events like our Earth Day Virtual Hangout series also played a large role in drumming up excitement for green tech campaigns.
Environmental campaigns also saw a huge boost in support from backers. (Environmental campaigns differ from green tech in that the environmental campaigns do not have to be products.) The category grew by 190% year over year, representing a big step forward in eco-conscious projects on Indiegogo.
3. Campaigns are more likely to hit their goals
Much more surprising was the success rate of campaigns platform-wide. Campaigns that launched this year have been a full 7% more likely to get funded compared to campaigns in the first half of 2020, marking a huge improvement over typical year-over-year fluctuations.
Our evidence suggests this is happening because campaigns now have a better “product-market fit” compared to the same period last year. After more than a year in the pandemic, campaigners have become more familiar with the needs of the markets they play in, having adapted their products to the unique headwinds of the moment. Branding and messaging have become more on target as campaigners have learned the problems that people face and how their campaigns can help solve them. This has led to campaigns that better have resonated with backers and in turn hit their goals at a higher rate. Backers may also be in a better financial position to support campaigns compared to the beginning of the pandemic when the market faced much more financial uncertainty.
4. Campaign categories are on the move
The pandemic upended day-to-day life, and the changes directly rippled through our campaign categories. As mentioned earlier, home products saw large gains in H1 of 2021, now ranking as the top category platform-wide. On the flip side, several previously top-performing categories were hit hard in the first half of 2021. Transportation-related products saw the largest single decrease: the category, which was Indiegogo’s top campaign vertical for 2019 and much of early 2020, dropped to the number five spot during the first half of 2021.
Fashion wearables, which was our fourth-highest category in 2020 also experienced a large decrease, contracting by 56% in total funds raised, and in turn dropping down to the number 9 spot.
These trends aren’t too surprising, considering that transportation and fashion as verticals have been hit hard across the board. As the “new normal” sets in, we expect that campaign categories will reach a new steady state similar to pre-pandemic levels.
The last six months have been far from typical, but the trends we’ve seen are encouraging. The world is opening back up, and campaigners are hitting their goals at a higher rate than in previous periods. Looking forward, we’re excited to see the products and projects that campaigners create for the post-pandemic landscape. Here are some of the trends to look out for in the next 6-12 months.
The chip shortage presents opportunities for smaller crowdfunding players. The ongoing global chip shortage has deeply impacted the consumer hardware industry. However, demand for hardware products remains high. As long as campaigners have future materials secured and manufacturing planned out, they are in a great position to offer value to backers.
One example is the game console category. Game consoles are still trending due to the high demand. With XBOX, Playstation 5, and other big names in gaming still sold out, we expect to see consumers opting for crowdfunding game consoles made by reputable campaigners as alternatives.
Travel is returning. With traveling back on people’s minds, more and more consumers are making long-range trips. We expect to see the transportation category in crowdfunding to shift toward more portable options, such as foldable scooters and outdoor-oriented products.
Green tech is growing. The green tech and environmental categories are in the “hockey-stick” phase of growth. Government support and VC funding have fueled social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility. We expect to see backer interest continue to blossom in H2 2021 and beyond when it comes to finding and contributing to products that have low or zero environmental impact.
Remote work is here to stay. The working-from-home economy has reshaped the needs of consumers. The home and productivity categories will continue to grow as 42% of the U.S. workforce embraces remote work. With basic productivity purchases done last year, we expect to see opportunity in the realm of workspace upgrades in the next 6-12 months.
Lifestyles have changed for good since the pandemic began. Looking forward, campaigners will continue to do what they do best: dream up ideas that shape the world we live in.