Since people have been homebound amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a surge in demand for residential swimming pools and hot tubs. As per the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance, the main United States industry trade group, revenues in the industry had surged at least 10% in 2020 (1).
According to a global swimming pool market report, the industry is growing at more than 3% CAGR. While North America remains the largest market, the Asia Pacific region is emerging as the pool industry’s fastest-growing market (2).
There are speculations that the global swimming pool market would grow significantly because of the growing number of residential structures and hotels worldwide. The major driver for the growth of the swimming pool industry in the global market is urbanization.
Consequently, there is a need for a better lifestyle, increasing infrastructure construction. Considering the hectic life of various people, many of them also highly prefer all the amenities within the same infrastructure.
It is driving the market growth as swimming pools are becoming one of the essential lifestyle amenities. Such unprecedented growth in the market is also encouraging several other segments besides the cleaning services related to the domain. It includes direct sales, distribution, manufacturing raw materials, pieces of equipment, and others.
It is also worth highlighting that the surge in residential construction projects is also among the primary drivers for the swimming pool market across the globe.
The residential construction industry observes a continued recovery in India, China, the United States, most European countries, and several other countries worldwide. It is creating a positive growth factor for the global swimming pool industry.
Attractive amenities in the residential complex draw more attention of property buyers. Hence, it influences builders to include gym facilities and a swimming pool in their projects. Additionally, with a growing number of travelers and a booming global tourism industry, supported by a surge in income and tourism spending, hotels also add swimming pools as essential amenities to attract more tourists and increase their overall output.
It would further attract investment in the expanding hotel industry, further supporting the construction market’s growth for swimming pools and other related products and services.
The rise in income and budget for home purchases and surging demand for attractive amenities greatly impact constructing a spa, gym, and swimming pool in a residential complex (3). It is among the main drivers for the growth of swimming pool space across the globe.
Notably, residential swimming pool construction is the largest market compared to commercial pool construction. And there are expectations that it would maintain its dominant position throughout the upcoming years (4).
About the Market
Notably, the global swimming pool market is set to grow by 3.56 billion USD between 2020 to 2024. There are estimates that it would progress at a 2% CAGR during the same forecast period (5).
North America has been the biggest market for swimming pools across the globe for the past several years. After the economic slowdown, the United States’ construction industry is gradually gaining pace with the surging residential and commercial construction activities (6).
Swimming pool construction in the US is expected to witness steady growth, more than 4%.
Simultaneously, the Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions are also likely to witness significant urban residential construction growth. It represents a positive outlook for those in the swimming pool industry in these countries.
It is also worth highlighting that the global swimming pool market is quite fragmented. It has a huge number of established local players in each area across the globe. Few of the big players profiled in the industry worldwide include Val-Pak Products, Hayward Pool Products, Valterra Products, Finish Thompson, Therm Products, Confer Plastics, Pentair, Aladdin Equipment, Pleatco, SunRunner Pool Equipment (7).
Amid the surge in demand for residential swimming pools and hot tubs, there is also a positive wave in the pool cleaning industry. According to Keywords Everywhere (8), Google searches for ‘pool service near me’ and ‘chlorine tablets for pool’ have doubled in recent months.
While swimming pools get the spotlight during summer, hot tubes get hotter during the cold months. According to Jungle Scout (9), search interest for ‘spa chemicals for hot tub’ has surged at least 4x times on Amazon in the last three months.
The growing construction industry in developing nations such as India is witnessing a surge in comfortable apartment constructions. The changing lifestyle, rapid urbanization, and swelling buying power of consumers have increased swimming pools’ construction. Consequently, it is propelling the demand for swimming pool cleaning service and treatment chemicals.
Moreover, the increase in residential construction across India has also increased the construction of new swimming pools. Indicating firing calls for swimming pool cleaning services and treatment chemicals is significant in India and the global market.
There is also a growing enthusiasm among Millenials for water freedom and sports activities to remain physically fit. Amid the increasing health awareness and changing existences, there is an increase in the investments in swimming pool constructions (10).
Global Swimming Pool Treatment Chemicals Market
According to market predictions, the Global Swimming Pool Treatment Chemicals Market is growing at 2.19% CAGR, and it is estimated to reach 1,025 million USD by 2025. Apart from residential constructions, hotels and resorts are also installing swimming pools at a rapid pace to attract tourists and increase their revenues (11).
Such factors are likely to boost the demand for the products and services related to swimming pools and drive the growth of the international market between 2020 to 2025.
It is also worth highlighting that swimming pool treatment chemicals are used to eliminate particulate organic matter like microorganisms such as bacterial, viruses, and protozoa. It can also remove other anthropogenic particles like skin and hair cells and elements of personal-care products like sun screening agents introduced into the swimming pool by swimmers. Such particulates can affect human fitness unfavorably.
Chlorine is the most commonly used disinfectant or swimming pool handling chemical. Apart from removing microorganisms such as bacteria, it can also oxidize other resources such as chloramines and grime.
The ceramic fiber paper market across the globe is segmented by region, end-use, and type. Based on its types, the TCCA, the tri-chloro-isocyanuric segment, dominated the international market in 2018. There are expectations that it would register a sizeable CAGR by 2025. The sodium hypochlorite segment has the second-largest market share.
There are expectations that the admiration of swimming as an excellent physical activity globally would further drive the global demand for swimming pool constructions, cleaning services, treatment chemicals, and other related services.
Notably, swimming is considered an excellent workout activity since it can reduce stress, tone muscles, increase durability and strength, and maintain a healthy heart, lungs, weight, and more. The rising awareness about swimming as a fitness activity has resulted in increased spending on the construction of private swimming pools.
The global market for swimming pool treatment chemicals is split into geographic regions such as North and Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the rest of the world.
The growth is attributed to changing landscape in the fitness industry in emerging countries, especially India, Thailand, China, and Indonesia.
The Global Swimming Pool Treatment Chemical market spectators are chemical manufacturers, distributors, retailers, investors, wholesalers, trade experts, governments, industrial bodies, associations, etc. (12).
Opportunities and Players
In the United States, out of the 10.4 million residential pools and spas, about 85% of pool owners manage their pools themselves. The remaining 15 to 20% of them use pool services (13).
There are two quick opportunities for both self-service and service providers.
- Last-Mile Delivery
- Training for Service Professionals
While there have been advancements in water monitoring for the past few years, DIY, Do-it-yourself pool cleaners still need to get chemicals to their homes themselves.
At present, most people see chlorine as a commodity like fuel and drive to their local stores to get a bucket of it. It is an opportunity for stores to use their distribution to get chemicals directly to pool owners’ backyards.
Moreover, there is also a tremendous opportunity to train pool service workers, especially in people skills.
Remember, pool cleaning service providers are in people’s background, and hence their people skills are essential for success in the business. It also includes the importance of managing and hiring skills.
Entrepreneurs could build training programs for service technicians and managers apart from offering newsletters, online courses, and subscriptions. For Instance, the Real Skills of Seth Godin attracts hundreds of attendees per workshop (14).
Surging Demand for Robotic Pool Cleaner
There are anticipations that the robotic pool cleaning market would gain significant growth in the upcoming years. The rising demand for autonomous technology for accumulating dirt particles from swimming pools with less human assistance could be the major factor driving the market growth.
Because of their minimal maintenance cost and easy installation, these robots’ demand is rising in commercial and residential applications. Manufacturers are integrating innovative technologies to meet the changing and growing customer demand for low-cost autonomous cleaning systems for their swimming pools.
The rising human safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic is also supporting the adoption of robotic pool cleaner systems across the world. Moreover, such robots also reduce the chances of human-related accidents like slipping and drowning (15).
These swimming pool cleaning robots are programmed to clean every swimming pool area without any additional intervention automatically.
The increasing volume of swimming pool constructions in several countries, including India, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, increases the drive for the robotic pool cleaner market growth.
However, the availability of low-cost alternative pool cleaning tools such as pool brushes, skimmer nets, and leaf baggers is restricting the market from fully adapt to pool cleaning robots. Instead, there is a surge in demand for suction side pool cleaners because of their easy installation, low electricity consumption, and low maintenance.
Such systems use suction created by the main circulation pump to efficiently collect dirt from the pool’s surface. These cleaners can also handle larger debris by automatically moving in a required pattern to clean the swimming pool’s entire surface.
On the other hand, the growing demand for low-cost autonomous swimming pool cleaning devices such as suction side pool cleaners could further aid to robotic pool cleaners’ market growth (16).
Their demand is also increasing in commercial applications because of their ability to clean a large surface in less amount of time. These advanced pressure-side pool cleaning pieces of equipment are programmed with automatic timers and smart mapping technology. They offer reliable and efficient performance to users.
These in-ground pool cleaning equipment collect debris in attached bags, not in the machine’s filtration system. It saves a significant time amount needed for filter cleaning.
Several firms are offering products with extra-large bags and opening systems for easy dirt removal and maintenance. These machines also come with front-wheel drive and powerful tires for maximum traction on inclined surfaces to ensure total wall and floor coverage.
The demand for pool cleaning robots increases in clubs, schools, hotels, and swimming centers to ensure maximum cleaning. The growing globalization and increasing travel and leisure preferences have propelled commercial spaces with swimming pools as key facilities.
The surge in health consciousness among customers leads to the rising utilization of these systems to clean debris and harmful chemicals from pool surfaces, supporting the robotic pool cleaning market. The surging consumer spending on luxurious amenities is also compelling the demand for residential swimming pools (17).
The increased labor costs globally are also compelling the demand for autonomous pool cleaning systems. These equipment are programmed to clean the water surface automatically, saving tremendous costs associated with cleaning labors.
Large-scale commercial and residential swimming pools increase in India because of the rising disposable income and growing tourism industry in the country. The growing awareness about waterborne diseases is also supporting the demand for robotic pool cleaning devices.
Notably, the trend would benefit cleaning robot equipment manufacturers, robot designers, suppliers, distributors, government bodies, organizations, and alliances related to cleaning robots (18).
Pool Service Industry Strategies
Traditionally, the pool service industry was reactive. It means that pool owners only call for cleaning or maintenance services when they had a chemical imbalance (19).
Now, pool technicians proactively add chemicals to prevent severe chemical imbalance. When pool water is consistently clean, the filters and pumps don’t need to work as hard. It would save time and resources.
Even though the strategy is usually reserved for health care, such as regular checkups and routine exams, one can also apply it to other fields.
There are two major benefits of the strategy, customers are happy swimmers, and pool cleaning services have more predictable income streams from such routine services.
For instance, proactive maintenance on residential HVAC and gas systems can help prevent gas and CO, carbon monoxide leaks. Among the leading cause of household fires (20).
One could also create a home monitor application similar to a smoke and CO detector. It would be geared towards preventive maintenance for home systems.
Conventionally, pool chemicals and cleaning services have about 50 to 60% gross profit margins. Since there is an increase in the demand for pool cleaning services, it has led to higher prices and even higher margins. The 70-year old industry has limited technological innovation, making it ripe for entrepreneurs to disrupt.
Pool cleaning trends also indicate that the human touch is still thriving, despite the growing demand for pool cleaning robots. It seems like robots won’t be able to overcome it soon in India.
But there is also no need to treat it as a threat since such innovations can benefit both service providers and end customers.
Moreover, various intermediary technologies can build opportunities for skilled traders. And they don’t require to be super high tech. From tree cutters to HVAC, several simple tech solutions for payment systems, websites, and financial tracking would make such services more efficient.
Marketing and social media are also a part of the opportunity to digitize skilled services. Among the key components includes referral systems and localized search driving leads.
Entrepreneurs can also build digital marketing agencies specifically for skilled trades. It would increase digital search and low friction for clients to switch services make these spaces a perfect match for marketers.
How to Start a Pool Cleaning Business?
With the rise in demand for swimming pools across the country, it would become a requirement for cleaning swimming pools. Consequently, a surge of new service recently solely focuses on professional cleaning of swimming pools.
One could start the business while focusing on both areas, residential and commercial. Regardless, the great profit would be based on the area and number of swimming pools the cleaning service would cover.
Initially, one would need to get the basics of cleaning a swimming pool when starting the business. Since there are various designs, each kind of swimming pool needs a different cleaning mechanism.
One can attend certified classes, e-books, and online materials to learn it. It is also among the opportunities one can explore to monetize the industry.
The secret is to do training under a professional cleaner to learn all the necessary cleaning skills.
To clean pools, one would also need different tools and accessories. Here are some equipment pieces one needs for swimming pool cleaning (also indicating potential capitalization opportunities).
- Water testing kits
- Chemical cleaners
- Vacuum head and hose
- Telescoping pole
- Leaf traps
- Cleaners and brushes
Apart from these tools, one also needs a pool scrubbing mitt, pumice stone, stain master, leaf bagger, and more. One would also need a mode of transportation to move these tools from one place to another. It includes vehicles such as trolleys, SUVs, and trucks to do the job.
One could also maximize the profit by offering additional services such as repair and maintenance for equipment installed in the pools and others related to the domain.