Do you know how customers are making purchase decisions? 

24-10-2016

The answer to the title of this e-mail might seem simple. Consumers are buying plants from you because you’re giving them good, upfront advice, you have an outstanding garden furniture showroom or your Christmas displays are the best  in your area.

I don’t want to argue about this but it’s a bit too simplistic. GFK did a survey among consumers and how they made their purchase decisions, what resources they used and why they bought products. This survey is a very valuable source and can help you to make better decisions in regards to your marketing.

So, first of all, how does the customer journey work?

  1. Consumers are inspired online, via media, or magazines.
  2. Once inspired, they are going to search for products. What products fit into my style and budget, where can I buy them, and what varieties are available?
  3. The purchase decision is being made and the consumer will purchase the product.

The challenge you have is to pursue consumers during step 1 and 2 so that you’re top of their mind the moment they’re ready to buy in step 3.

Plants
Since you’re probably most interested in plants I’ll start with this group. 95% of consumers are looking in store to buy outdoor plants so they are, more or less, unprepared when they enter your garden centre. That offers a lot of opportunities but that’s offline marketing (so not really our cup of tea!). A bit more interesting: 58% of the consumers are looking online as well and 32% of the consumers are searching for information about plants on the websites of garden centres before making a buying decision.
Do you have useful information about plants on your website? Or is it just the weekly offer? Relevant information opens the digital door and will help to drive traffic!

Garden furniture
Garden furniture is, not surprisingly, one of the major product groups consumers are looking for online. 76% of the consumers are exploring product information before purchasing new furniture. A surprising detail: 47% of the consumers aged 50 or older are also using the internet to find information about their new garden furniture. Did you say the silver generation is not online?
An important element consumers are looking for online are the costs of the furniture: 72% of the consumers are checking prices online before making a purchase.

While garden furniture is a product group consumers are looking up online, most consumers do admit the garden centre itself is an important source as well since they want to “try & feel it”. Therefore a combination of a proper website showcasing garden furniture and a brick & mortar showroom should do the job for you in the future!

Free webinars
These examples made clear you have to be online to get customers into your offline garden centre. An old fashioned or incomplete website not showcasing relevant information won’t help you to drive traffic since consumers haven’t seen your brand during their customer journey. And although most stats mentioned in this e-mail are from my own home country, you can be sure they apply to the UK as well since you’re the world champions of online shopping!

Do you feel you’re not getting the most out of your online marketing? Feel free to join one of our webinars about e-commerce, search engine optimisation or personal marketing. Check our website for more details.

See you soon!

Kind regards,

Edwin Meijer
edwin@gardenconnect.com
0203 475 5541

PS. The webinars are free to attend and interesting for both non-customers and existing users of our services. 

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