We have just entered into 2013 and we are sure it will continue where 2012 ended. Consumers are using the internet a lot more to look up information before they purchase products in traditional stores. The smartphone is becoming more important within this development. During my presentations at tradeshows I will always explain to garden centre owners that their customers always carry & have in their pocket the two most important items: a mobile phone & money. Within 5 years most customers will only have their smartphone in their pocket since that device is developing itself into a mobile payment device.
Are you still in doubt about these developments? Just a few facts to convince you:
- eBay is the largest online marketplace in the world and about 35% of their transactions are made via smartphones.
- In 2012, 19.4 million people in the UK owned a smartphone and purchases increased by £1.1 billion in one year!
- In August 2012 the estimated average weekly spend online was £466.1 million.
Since most garden centre owners may think that "their customers don't use their smartphone to go online", over 20% of the consumers aged 55+ do you use their smartphone to access the internet and that number is certainly not decreasing.
At Garden Connect, we believe you have to be where your consumers are. Do they read the local newspaper? Then you could publish yours ads in there. However, the number of people reading local newspapers is slowly decreasing and the rates for ads seem to increase. As a garden centre owner and enterpeneur you are aware there are endless opportunities on the smart phone for your garden centre but how can you do that?
First of all: keeping in touch via the mobile phone isn't as expensive than other marketing opportunities you have. So there are three options:
- Via a mobile website
- Via social media since a lot of smartphone users use it to link Facebook or Twitter
- Via a dedicated app
Some centres use text messages to contact their customers. It might be effective but with the rise of Facebook, Apps, Whatsapp and many other alternatives, we believe that the popularity of text messages will decrease further. Whatever you do, be sure to think about mobile marketing.
In the upcoming months we will provide you with some examples how the smartphone can be turned into the best friend of your garden centre!
This article is written by Edwin Meijer.
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