The garden industry is getting bigger online. Web stores represent one fifth of the sector. However, physical garden centers remain popular: they hold 34 percent of the market. The generation of millennials wants to continue to shop offline, according to a study by GfK. What makes the physical garden center so popular?
From one investigation that was held among 10,000 consumers, it appears that most sales opportunities in one omnichannel sales strategy lie: so betting on online & offline, mobile & desktop and the mobile as a binding factor. In 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 in demand in physical stores.
Hard goods, such as greenhouses, tools, greenhouses and playground equipment, are nowadays often ordered online. In forty to fifty percent of the cases it concerns an online purchase. It is partly related to the experience and experience that the customer can gain with a certain product. For example, around a Fiskars hedge trimmer you can only give a limited amount of information in the store. Online you can compare all hedge trimmers 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's all about the experience: the scent of the flowers, the ability to feel the plants and the colors that catch the eye. By working accurately with a palette of colors, the customer is 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 specific plant. In the garden center the customer is tempted to also look at other products.
Online and offline also always go together. You learn online that there are again annual plants and you decide to visit. You will see the hedge trimmers in the garden center. You look at which brands are comfortable in your hand, and then compare brands and types online and order the best choice.
The physical presentation
A physical store offers more possibilities for presentation. Offline our senses are much more stimulated by, for example, the scent of flowers and plants. It is of course impossible to experience this scent online.
In the store it is a good idea to display different options for different types of homeowners. You have the optimal space here to show how versatile the company is. A garden center can, for example, simulate a Mediterranean garden. Present the reality: work a lot with greenery and visualize the different applications.
Online it is about stimulation and product information. On the one hand you stimulate the visit 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-durable products such as violets are purchased on site at the garden center, just like semi-durable products (for example, indoor plants). For a long-lasting product (hard goods or tools), preference is given to online shopping.
Factors are being able to select your plants and the often still limited logistical possibilities. You can receive a delivery at work between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. when it comes to garden tools, but not always when it comes to plants.
Finally: the target group plays a major role in the garden sector. 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.
There are nevertheless opportunities for the garden sector. For all age categories above 20, 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.