Sue Benson, Managing Director at The Market Creative, offers five tips on improving the customer experience by improving garden centre marketing.
1. Share expertise
Educating customers through garden centre marketing will show off your expert knowledge and increase their trust. From what bulbs to plant and how to look after your garden to what to buy next, make your expertise known with posters and banners scattered throughout. Consider displaying a chalkboard with bespoke information about the week’s weather and what plants are best to buy, putting visitors in the right frame of mind for shopping. Customers can choose what they want to read and gaining extra information may just sway a sale.
2. Get staff clued-up
Personal service from exceptional staff is what gives physical stores the upper hand over online shopping. Whether a customer is a gardening guru or complete novice, they’re bound to ask questions. Ensure staff are equipped to answer everything from “what’s the best flowering plant for a sunny garden?” to “how often should I feed a fern?” It will set you aside from competitors and give customers more reason to return. Remember that at the end of the day, you’re the experts, and they want to know what you know.
3. Cater to tactile shoppers
Studies have found that customers are more likely to purchase spontaneously when they can touch a product. Being able to interact increases our subconscious sense of ownership for the item, so we are more likely to want to leave with it. When done right, garden centres can be a tactile shopper’s haven, so make the most of it. Consider creating a sensory garden featuring a variety of textures, pick-n-mix punnets of potatoes and self-select bulbs.
4. Style products
Customers can easily imagine how a product would look in their own garden if they see it styled with others. Inspire shoppers by grouping products on a feature wall or pairing garden furniture with parasols, cushions, homeware and plants. This is a great way to show off products to their full potential and it helps to create a brand personality through garden centre marketing.
5. Flaunt offers
Low prices, deals and offers are bound to make an impact with consumers, so they’re worth shouting about. Pairing together products in bundle deals and offering knowledge about what fits together encourages customers to buy more. Complemented by sales-led point-of-sale materials, they’ll know exactly which products they can bag a deal with and how much they’re saving.