How cutting edge cloud technology can help independent garden centres remain competitive

Richard Goodley, CEO of retail specialists Davidson Richards, explores the changing nature of the garden centre experience and how cloud technology can be harnessed to tailor retail operations and EpoS systems to match.

Right now, the remit for garden centres is evolving – they are becoming more lifestyle destinations than suppliers of practical equipment for the green fingered enthusiast. Garden centres still need to supply the basics for gardeners, but they need to make the visit to the Garden Centre a garden experience.? This way they can start to build loyalty and an experience that encourages the returning customer.

Consumer driving demand for more buying channels

But customers don’t just want a greater range of products, the bargain hunting consumer wants a greater range of channels to browse, buy and discuss.? They are looking for an ‘omnichannel’ retail experience where they can deal with the garden centre online, in-store, via their mobile device or over the phone ? and they expect the same quality of experience across every channel and promotions and deals need to link up. Garden centres are well aware that offering customers this experience will encourage them to visit.

A? revolutionary approach to meet the changing management requirements across channels

On top of all this, all the traditional benefits of EpoS are very much needed by garden centre retailers, particularly as their product set grows to cover lifestyle and leisure products as well as gardening products and plants. They need to be able to manage products, customers, pricing, suppliers, stores and loyalty. The simple till at the door is not enough.

For this reason we’ve developed OpSuite, a retail solution than can offer all of the above ? without the cost and without the hassle. The system is cloud-based so costs are dramatically reduced ? retailers just pay a subscription to the service -? a 10-site retailer solution with 10 tills across the estate costs from just over ?1k month. There is also no ‘rip out and replace’ ? retailers can keep their own in-house solutions. We have designed OpSuite so that it can be integrated with existing distribution, finance, e-commerce and ERP solutions meaning no new? capital expenditure.

A solution built from market experience

Davidson Richards had been providing EPoS services for garden centres for some 35 years and are ?Associate Members of the Garden Centre Association. We currently work with 39 garden centres across the UK and Ireland ? we even employ ex-garden centre staff on our support teams in order to deliver EpoS systems that fit the real needs of our clients. Moving to the cloud will allow garden centres to offer customers all the touch points they require, while providing them with the financial and administrative back office they need to remain competitive, with no capital outlay.

OpSuite will allow garden centre stores the independence and information they need while enabling staff to track and monitor the company as a whole, from anywhere at anytime.

Garden centre retailers – small, large, traditional or non-traditional – are at a pivotal point: moving into the cloud and providing the omnichannel experience is the way forward.

cloud technology

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