Fernhill: “A Successful Webshop Isn't Just About Online Sales”

30-09-2016
Fernhill: “A Successful Webshop Isn't Just About Online Sales”

When many people think about having a webshop they look at places like Amazon or ASOS and see that they are making millions of sales. They think that’s what they would need to be doing in order for a webshop to be considered a success. As making lots of sales online would take a lot of manpower and time, which is something most garden centres don’t have to spare, they assume that it would not be beneficial for them to have an online shop. However, from our experience, we know this is not the case. The result of a successful webshop isn’t just measured by its sales.

For garden centres and nurseries, one of the key benefits to having a webshop is being able to show customers the range of products that you have to offer. Customers do know you’re selling plants: but what kind of plants? And what other product lines do you have? The best way to look at it is as an online showroom. It gives you the opportunity to show the quality and value of the items you stock.

Once people can see what products you have available they may do a bit of research, possibly look at customer reviews and then head over to your garden centre to make a purchase.

Fernhill Garden Centre, one of Garden Connects’ Irish customers, is a prime example of this. The Fernhill webshop has a focus towards garden furniture and barbecues and they have kept their online product range fairly small and concentrated on high-value items. By doing this it makes the whole thing a lot easier to manage and it only takes a few sales for it pay for itself.

Over the Spring bank holiday weekend, they held a promotion online which gave customers an additional 10% off all garden furniture to see what the response would be. Garden Connect supported Fernhill and helped to set this up on the website using a large header image and adding a bulk discount across all their furniture products.

Over the course of this promotion, they made only one sale online of reasonable value. Disappointing? During the promo, the number of people visiting the store increased and helped to boost offline sales. So short sighted: yes, the promo had been a failure with online 1 sale. But offline sales increased significantly according to the staff at Fernhill.

This case shows very clearly the benefits of a webshop and how important it is to look at the broad picture rather than just the online sales. The customer journey is changing and adapting to this will help to generate more revenue. Garden Connect provides webshops to over 75 garden centres in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands and Belgium. Every webshop can be integrated with your EPoS system. Interested to learn more?

Call +44 203 475 5541 to arrange a meeting at your garden centre.

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