Woman Power! Cater To Your Most Important Plant Retail Customers With These Insights

woman-in-a-hat-in-a-gardenIt’s a woman’s world out there in retail stores. National apparel retailers know this, and they plot their store layouts accordingly.

In case there was any doubt, recent statistics indicate that women are directly accountable for roughly 84% of purchases in the lawn and garden space. Wow!

Let’s borrow a page from the fashion world’s playbook; their strategies can work for us, too!

Here’s how:

Offer Shopping With Purpose

Regardless of age group or other demographics, we all shop brick-and-mortar stores for specific needs and wants. Often, the in-store experience validates what consumers already perceive as value from the online research they’ve done in advance. In our industry, we have the power to take the retail experience to the next level, stimulating a shopper’s senses. We’re able to combine all the cognitive elements of smell, touch, sight, sound, and even taste — that is, if your offer includes herbs, veggies, or fruits.

A woman who’s shopping specifically for a dress at Macy’s doesn’t have to go far to be enticed by accessories to pair with it — a purse or shoes, a scarf or gloves, or the perfect jewelry. These items are usually nearby, often on the same floor or along a main aisle. The shopper never has to hunt for them. What if we applied the same approach to accessorizing our plants and flowers? Should we be any different in positioning targeted products to make our shoppers more successful?

Smart Display Placement Yields Stronger Results

One of the most undersold categories at independent garden centers is wire support products. We offer tremendous variety in perennials, climbing vines, and plants in our nurseries and greenhouses. What happens as these plants grow and mature? They topple over. That’s usually when consumers begin looking for support products, especially arbors and trellises.

The hidden beauty of these products is that their price value is virtually unknown to consumers. Retail pricing for wire support products is often rounded up, delivering terrific margin to retailers throughout the year.

Why risk losing those sales to other retailers, both brick-and-mortar and online? Out of sight, out of mind. Removing these accessories from view and placing them far away creates retail fracture. Sales fall short of expectations, and customers are out of contact with products that can contribute to their planting success.

Strategic placement within your store gets your customer thinking about these products now, inspires the customer to think long-term about their plant purchase, and secures the add-on sale for you.

Worried you don’t have the space to spare? Wire support products do command some space, but many manufacturers offer fantastic self-standing (and self-selling) displays for coated wire supports, grow rings, peony rings, and tomato cages. In my travels, I don’t see these displays or products located near the plants as often as they should be.

Maybe the worry is about weather-worn product, but take a closer look at labeling these days: These items are usually shipped with vinyl-coated labels and will withstand outdoor weather, high humidity, and water.

Increase Sales Opportunities By Increasing Visibility

Position your wire support products near the plants that need them most. Visually, they can be along a return path to the checkouts or possibly be placed inside a brightly colored storage shed to protect them from the elements. Independent research has shown that sales at the point of decision exceed 10 times the volume of purchases made inside the store. Don’t risk that shoppers will somehow find related products in your store that ensure their planting success. Offer a display or a sign to direct your customers.

The transparency of wire goods can make them difficult to spot out in the open. Provide a backdrop for wire products, perhaps in a light color to contrast the dark-colored wire, so they stand out better to shoppers’ eyes.

As an example, tomato cages drive extra sales when positioned with plants. A complete “accessories” display might include hydrated lime, blossom set spray, planting soil, and your preferred tomato food. Taken together, you’ve just created the potential to add $25 or more to a single transaction!

One more idea to promote extra plant sales: Again, using the tomato example, use signage to educate consumers about the cost of growing six tomato plants and the average yield, in pounds, during a single growing season. Then compare that to the cost of the same tomato volume, in pounds, from your local supermarket. The cost savings, plus the allure of fresh, homegrown tomatoes all summer, can really entice your customers!

Make a change to your displays this spring and see a difference in your sales and profits.

John Johnston is Retail Education Manager at Griffin. He can be reached at jjohnston@griffinmail.com.

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