The Continuing Evolution Of Retail

retail_webTechnology will rapidly transform how retailers engage with their customers, reverberating through everything from the daily process of running a business to plant tags, containers, videos and apps. Retailers will find it less difficult to get out of the office and back into the business of working with plants and people.

Improved Point-Of-Sale (POS)

Mobile POS systems will soon replace the traditional checkout as smartphones and tablets make it possible for retailers to perform on-the-spot transactions anywhere they have an internet connection. Retailers will find it simpler to keep track of customers’ buying preferences and manage inventory in real time.

It will be harder for thieves to access unauthorized funds in the future, thanks to a new security chip placed in credit cards that requires a pin number before completing any transaction. The introduction of mobile wallet technology will also help accelerate customer engagement using interactive coupons, geofencing enhancements and more.

The Reinvention Of Plant Tags

Plant tags are quickly moving away from easily ignored pieces of plastic to detailed advice portals that place a diverse amount of growing information directly in the end-consumer’s hands. Improved QR (Quick Response) codes already allow retailers to communicate everything a consumer needs to know about a plant at the point of sale.

Augmented reality (the integration of computer graphics into the real world) may replace QR codes to provide customers with a view of how a plant looks like in their yards without ever leaving the store. The challenge will be how to provide highly customized, regional information while avoiding duplication of material already printed on the tag.

Container Revolution

The advent of 3D printers hints at an exciting future, when suppliers offer highly customizable containers to stores at affordable prices as the technology improves. As retailers seek to draw customers’ attention with eye-catching plant presentations, pressure will continue for growers to select decorative containers that appeal to the end consumer and have high usability. High-end, decorative pots are already gaining popularity with growers targeting consumers who want to use plants in home decor. Brightly colored containers in chartreuse green, hot pink and bright purple are replacing the traditional white, black and terra cotta as seen at the 2013 International Plant Materials show in Essen, Germany.

Screen printing technology may also allow growers to streamline production in white pots, and screen-print branding and plant information on the pot as finished crops head out the door to retail.

Producing Plant Videos

Consumers are eager for information in the form of easily digestible plant videos that are two minutes or less in length. To differentiate their videos, retailers will have to provide relevant, high-quality content that initiates an immediate consumer response, including tutorials on topics like how to choose plants that work well together in combinations, and how to use plants in home decor and herbs in cooking. Expect to see greater video interactivity in the future through live streams, options for extended footage and a pause feature that allows users to stop the video and access additional product content.

Developing Retail Apps And Mobile Websites

Smartphone apps that can quickly push out information to customers on new arrivals, special offers and upcoming events are still catching hold in retail garden centers. As retailers seek to utilize apps as a way to connect with customers that goes beyond Facebook and Twitter, they will have to weigh carefully what information their customers want against what they can realistically deliver and maintain.

Developing mobile websites is another growth area retailers will need to grasp as consumers access more information from their mobile devices. Generation Y is well-informed and likes to research purchases both in-store and before they enter stores. Internet search engines could eventually offer retailers the opportunity to know what consumers are searching for, and provide a shopping list for them when they check in to the store.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Business Management...
Hendriks-Half-Open-Roof_GGS

March 26, 2015

10 Greenhouse Products For First-Rate Growing Environments

From coverings to fork-lifts, greenhouse suppliers offer a variety of products to make growing easier. Check out the slideshow to learn more about these, plus several other products that can offer you value, versatility and durability.

Read More
Rose rosette on Knockout rose, April 2012. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 25, 2015

$58 Million In APHIS Farm Bill Funding Will Support Horticulture Priorities

Nearly $58 million as been allocated by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support the industry's Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, under Farm Bill Section 10007. The program will support mitigation efforts for specialty crops, including providing research and other funding to address plant pest and disease priorities for the specialty crop industry, including floriculture and nursery crops.

Read More
AFE scholarship_Ryan Dickson

March 25, 2015

AFE Educational Grant And Scholarship Application Deadlines Approaching

Apply now for American Floral Endowment (AFE) scholarships or educational grants. Applications can be found online. For educational grants for 2015-2016, applications must be submitted no later than June 1. Scholarship applications are due May 1. AFE will award $40,000 in scholarships for 2015.

Read More
Latest Stories
Rose rosette on Knockout rose, April 2012. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 25, 2015

$58 Million In APHIS Farm Bill Funding Will Support Hor…

Nearly $58 million as been allocated by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support the industry's Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, under Farm Bill Section 10007. The program will support mitigation efforts for specialty crops, including providing research and other funding to address plant pest and disease priorities for the specialty crop industry, including floriculture and nursery crops.

Read More
AFE scholarship_Ryan Dickson

March 25, 2015

AFE Educational Grant And Scholarship Application Deadl…

Apply now for American Floral Endowment (AFE) scholarships or educational grants. Applications can be found online. For educational grants for 2015-2016, applications must be submitted no later than June 1. Scholarship applications are due May 1. AFE will award $40,000 in scholarships for 2015.

Read More

March 25, 2015

NASS Reports U.S. Honey Production Was Up By 19 Percent…

Honey production in 2014 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 178 million pounds, up 19 percent from 2013, according to a March 20 report from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Read More

March 23, 2015

UF/IFAS Appoints Joseph Albano As Director Of Mid-Flori…

The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has a new directors for its Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (REC) on Apopka, Fla. The role has been filled by Joseph Albano, a research horticulturist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with more than 25 years of experience.

Read More
Plantbid website screenshot

March 20, 2015

Plantbid Brings Open Sourcing To Greenhouse Growers

Plantbid bridges the gap between buyers and sellers for sales and marketing networking on their own terms. The web-based, plant-sourcing platform aims to save growers time and make the business of buying and selling plants more efficient.

Read More
National Floriculture Forum 2015 029

March 18, 2015

2015 National Floriculture Forum Focuses On Marketing I…

The 2015 National Floriculture Forum, held March 6 to 7 in Minneapolis, Minn., zeroed in on the topic of marketing in horticulture and included visits to Gertens Greenhouses and Garden Center, Bailey Nurseries, Bachman’s Floral, Home and Garden and Tangletown Gardens. The annual meeting allows greenhouse and floriculture faculty, graduate students and industry partners to meet and share updates on current research, issues and initiatives.

Read More

March 18, 2015

H-2B Situation Goes From Bad To Even Worse

On March 5, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it will no longer accept or process H-2B labor certifications or requests for H-2B prevailing wage determinations in light of a March 4 decision. Shortly after the DOL announcement, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Citizenship and Immigration Services followed suit, announcing it will at least temporarily cease approving visa petitions. These announcements essentially shut down the H-2B program for any company that has not completed the DHS H-2B visa petitioning process.

Read More
SAF CAD

March 18, 2015

Growers Ask For Immigration And Healthcare Reform Durin…

Nearly 90 growers, retailers, suppliers and wholesales attended the Society of American Florists' (SAF) 2015 Congressional Action Days March 9-10. The delegation, representing 18 states, arrived on Capitol Hill at a time when two major industry issues - immigration and healthcare reform - are especially prominent in national headlines.

Read More

March 17, 2015

Pike Nurseries Implements Employee Stock Ownership Plan

Independent garden retailer Pike Nurseries has announced it will become an employee-owned company. Pike Nurseries management has combined with its sister corporation in California, Armstrong Garden Centers, to operate under an established Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Read More
Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center

March 11, 2015

University Of New Hampshire Research Farms Ranked Among…

The University of New Hampshire's university farms were recognized as being among the top in the country by Best College Reviews, which published a ranking of the 20 best university farms in America. The university, which was ranked No. 20, was noted for having an academically centered farming operation. UNH has four horticulture, agronomy, and dairy farms, as well as greenhouses, which are centered on teaching, research and outreach.

Read More
Crop Protection Of The Future

March 11, 2015

Help Us Find Out How Crop Protection Has Changed Among …

Is your environmentally controlled greenhouse production area 500,000 square feet or larger? If so, we want to hear from you. Please take our Top 100 Growers survey to help us get an accurate picture of our industry from the perspective of our largest operations.

Read More
GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile & App Design Awards

March 10, 2015

GrowIt! Mobile App Now Available For Android

The mobile app GrowIt! Garden Socially can now be used by gardeners with Android-based smartphones. Now available on the Google Play Market, GrowIt! helps users find plants to fit their lifestyle and connect them with other local gardeners.

Read More
Nexus Corporation's Cheryl Longtin Encourages Women To Seek Volunteer Leadership Opportunities

March 4, 2015

Nexus Corporation’s Cheryl Longtin Encourages Wom…

When Cheryl Longtin came to the horticulture business in 1994, she applied her experience in the automotive industry to promote the adoption of more technology in greenhouse production. Longtin says horticulture, with its rich family tradition, has long promoted women in the industry compared to other industries, but women in horticulture must continue to seek out opportunities to provide volunteer leadership in organizations that shape the future of the business.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Second Annual GreenhouseConnect Will Bring Growers and …

Following a successful inaugural event in Tampa last fall, Greenhouse Grower has announced the dates of its second annual GreenhouseConnect: October 26-29, 2015. Representatives of an expected two dozen leading greenhouse operations from across the U.S. will join senior-level suppliers at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego for several days of one-on-one strategic meetings, a growers-only roundtable, informational sessions and a variety of networking events.

Read More
cultivate'15 logo

March 4, 2015

Cultivate’15: AmericanHort Announces What’s…

In an industry that has seen major changes occurring at a fast pace, many industry professionals leave Cultivate with their heads spinning and no clear idea of how to regroup and strategize. Cultivate’15 is “Changing the Game.” As this year’s focus, Changing the Game will call your attention to the ways in which our industry has changed and your opportunities to compete successfully.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Maryland Green Industry Associations Unite

The Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association recently announced that it is expanding its reach to include the greenhouse industry, meaning it has become The Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association (MNLGA). The change comes as a result of the planned dissolution of the former Maryland Greenhouse Growers Association and the invitation for those members to join the existing and renamed association.

Read More
american-hort-logo

March 4, 2015

H-2B Cap Hit, Adding to Visa Program Woes

The H-2B visa cap for the first half of fiscal 2015 was hit late in January. As a result, some growers may not have access to the H-2B workers they need during the months ahead. The visa cap and resulting labor shortages will have impacts throughout the horticulture industry.

Read More

March 2, 2015

Avoid Surprises On The Delivery Dock

A call in advance about problems with a plant shipment to a retailer you supply goes a long way toward customer satisfaction.

Read More