3 Basics That Will Make Your Store More Welcoming

3 Basics That Will Make Your Store More Welcoming

Ian Baldwin

Ian Baldwin

Consumers are eager, yet hesitant to start gardening. Excited to feel the sun, share little discoveries with their loved ones and drool over their first homegrown tomato. But hesitant about the shopping process and memories of last year’s failure to launch.


With thousands of new items on our store shelves and benches, we are not making it easier for customers to spend!

Many customers shop only once a year. And in the months between plant shopping, they’ve found even more ways to use their spare time. Gardening is now up against binge-watching the latest Netflix release. Shoppers are faced with “conSKUsion,” more products to consider in less time.

The world has changed since 2006: has the retail journey in your store (or on your website)?

So as 85 million households invade garden retail stores and/or websites, put yourself in their muckboots, and walk through their expectations in your store.

They may be looking for a few destination items (tomatoes or weed killer), but are prepared to buy a lot more (and stay longer) if the experience is fun, easy, and time-effective. As you plan your spring season, keep in mind your customers want:

1. Simplicity when they shop. How simple is it to find those destination items and understand all the verbiage? Fear of failure is constantly cited as a reason for low spending, even in high-earning households.

2. Emotional Value as they buy. How much emotional value is there in the sales message? Does the team or the merchandising connect the dots during the shopping process? If customers imagine their dog on a safe, weed-free lawn or the “cool” comments they’d get about their succulent planter, they are much more likely to justify the value and make the purchase.

3. Success when they use it at home. What are the chances of success with the product — be honest!? People in the industry tend to forget how hard it can be to keep living things alive. I’m guessing you hear the same tone of disbelief from a “techy” I do when I have a problem with my smartphone. Failure in one year means even less spent next year by those customers.

So, use these three basic concepts: simplicity, value, and success, to critique your store this spring and tell me how you scored.

Happy retailing!

Reprinted from consultant Ian Baldwin’s website, with permission from Baldwin.