offline vs. online marketing in the garden industry
The gardening industry is growing online. Online stores represent a fifth of the sector. Nevertheless, physical garden centers remain popular: they control 34 percent of the market. The millennial generation wants to continue shopping offline, according to a study by GfK. What makes the physical garden center so popular?
Research conducted by Tuinbranche Nederland, which was held among 10,000 consumers, shows that most sales opportunities in a omnichannel sales strategy lie: so bet on online & offline, mobile & desktop and mobile as a binding factor. This way you can respond to customer patterns and trends. For example, some product groups are more popular in the physical store than online, such as annual plants. This is a typical example of a product that is popular in physical stores.
Hard goods, such as greenhouses, tools, greenhouses and playground equipment, are often ordered online these days. In forty to fifty percent of the cases, it concerns an online purchase. It partly has to do with the experience and the experience that the customer can gain with a certain product. For example, you can only provide a limited amount of information in the store about a Fiskars hedge trimmer. You can compare all hedge trimmers online in terms of brand, price, blade length and voltage.
Experience and inspire
You can visit a garden center or a florist. The customer can gain inspiration on the spot. In the store it is all about the experience: the scent of the flowers, being able to feel the plants and the colors that catch the eye. By working accurately with a palette of colors, the customer gets inspired.
On the internet, the customer already knows what he or she wants to buy. There is targeted shopping and there is also the online marketing tuned. They want tools for the garden, or specifically a particular plant. In the garden center, the customer is tempted to take a look at other products as well.
Online and offline always go hand in hand. Online you learn that there are annual plants again and you decide to stop by. In the garden center you can see the hedge trimmers. You look at which brands are comfortable to hold, and then compare the brands and types online and order the best choice.
The physical presentation
A physical store offers more options for presentation. Offline, our senses are much more stimulated by, for example, the smell of flowers and plants. Online it is of course impossible to experience this scent.
In the store, it's a good idea to display different options for different types of homeowners. Here you have optimal space to show how versatile the company is. For example, a garden center can mimic a Mediterranean garden. Present the reality: work a lot with greenery and make the various applications visual.
Online is all about incentives and product information. On the one hand, you stimulate visits to the store with incentives. On the other hand, you want to give all possible product information to your online buyers.
The shelf life of products
A factor that plays a role in the choice between an online or an offline purchase is the shelf life of the product. Non-perishable products such as violets are bought locally in the garden center, as are semi-perishable products (for example house plants). Online shopping is preferred for long-lasting products (hard goods or tools).
Factors include being able to select your plants and the often limited logistics options. A delivery between 09.00 and 13.00 is fine when it comes to gardening tools at work, but not always when it comes to plants.
Finally, the target group plays a major role in the garden industry. Figures from Tuinbranche Nederland show that older generations spend more time and money on the garden than young people. This target group orders less via the internet.
However, there are opportunities for the garden industry. In all age categories above 20 years it becomes clear that the average Dutch person prefers to make adjustments to the garden. It offers a great opportunity for garden centers to present themselves as a knowledge center and an inspiration center for sustainability and greenery.