What are we already doing to embrace the opportunities of “cherish retail’ and overturn the threats
There’s been a lot of talk about the death of “bricks and mortar” retail but if you can make your garden centre a place that your customers cherish visiting, the future looks bright.
Industry stats and customer research tells us that "depth of experience" makes a good destination centre and it is not enough to be just a garden centre offering service and range. What can you be doing that is extra and above the norm of customer expectations?
The "depth of experience" makes a good destination centre. It is not enough to be just a garden centre offering service and range. In marketing terms it’s what we refer to as “cherish retail”. Sure the aggregates and growing media purchases might well be considered by some consumers as “chore retail” and selection of such online may be attractive but what draws consumers instore is the extra special offering of products, and care of selection. The imagination and drama of the product displays is paramount to ignite a passion for bricks and mortar shopping
Advantages for garden centres in offline offering:
The customer can ‘touch’ feel and browse a wide range of products with an immediate take home purchase.
Can compare quality between two different products,
Get experiences that they won’t find anywhere online
See what colour / finish is in real life — not just on your computer screen
Provide competent and professional advice on the spot and “in real life”.
Exchange and Returns policies clear and protected.
Protection of personal data when purchasing in-store.
After sale service and advice locally as needed (no online live chats).
Garden centres need to be carefully curated. No matter how good an ecommerce website’s sort and filter features are, wading through hundreds of product photos gets tiring. Brick-and-mortar retail offer consumers a glimpse of your unique sensibility based on what products you think are worthy of inclusion.
Garden centres need to be offering “Artisan-made”. The continued popularity of artisanal items and ones with a story reflects consumers hunger for uniqueness, where one-of-a-kind products from local artisans are to be cherished. Even mass-produced products sourced from local manufacturers or designers can give your garden centre a competitive edge if they’re promoted to show your support for other independent businesses and give customers an incentive to be loyal to your local community through your store.