Altman Plants recently opened its new Cactus Shop, an online retail store that sells a variety of cactus and succulents in 2 ½-, 3 ½- and 5-inch sizes. The store is a take-off of Altman’s original wholesale business, says co-owner Ken Altman. “Our company started as a mail order catalog, but stopped for many years to concentrate on our sales to big box stores, so this is back to our roots.”
The Cactus Shop ships all over the U.S., but in the winter, orders placed for areas with freezing temperatures are held for shipment until shipping can be completed without the threat of freezing in transit. So far, the response to The Cactus Shop has been very positive, Altman says. Customers can choose the varieties they want out of a very large assortment, and the availability will increase over time.
“People like the plants they are receiving, and they are thrilled with the variety they can access,” he says. “They can get the new plants that are coming onto the market first.”
The Cactus Shop offers free shipping on orders over $30, and satisfaction is “unconditionally guaranteed.” The site states if customers are unhappy for any reason, “just let us know within 48 hours of receiving your package, and we will send you a replacement or issue a refund. We want to put a smile on your face when you receive our plants.”
“Customer acquisition is more expensive than the plants, so it’s important to always give great product and be sure people are satisfied,” Altman says.
While he adds the site has potential as a viable growth area for Altman Plants, it would be hard for it to match its sales to the big box stores; however, the margin is significantly higher.
“The real value of the site is that it gives Altman Plants a place to offer our new breeding to those who will really enjoy the new plants, and it also gives us a read on which plants are most appreciated.”