Driving footfall to your garden centre in the Amazon era

Liz Rosling, Small Business Marketing Specialist explains what you can do to compete with Amazon.

With the rise of Amazon, made even more convenient by Amazon Next Day Delivery, it can be difficult to generate footfall.

Consumers now have the luxury of ordering online with ease. But where does this leave the UK?s garden centres?

You?ve got your regulars. They?re loyal to your centre and unlikely to give in to the allure of Amazon. But reaching and retaining new customers? That?s the harder part.

When considering strategies to drive footfall, there are some key things to consider:

Optimise your online presence to compete with Amazon

If you haven?t already, enhance your ?Google My Business? page. This profile manages all information that Google provides about your company.

Your business will appear on Google Search, Maps and Google+. Contact details, website, directions and reviews all contribute to helping you to get found.

This will attract more visitors to your centre whilst building its credibility. Optimising your web presence will also benefit any hyper-local advertising you use.

Era of social media

Garden centres have the advantage of being pleasing to the eye. Make use of this by taking some high quality ?Instagrammable? photos. You can then share these across the social media platforms.

When posting, take advantage of relevant hashtags to attract your target audience.

Your Instagram ?Live Feed? and Facebook ?Story? can also promote limited flash sales. This is bound to get people out the house and through the door.

Make It Personal

Offer advantages that customers can?t find when browsing Amazon online. An appealing centre front is a great starting point for this as its bound to catch the eye of passers-by.

How personal and memorable is your packaging? Adding a handwritten thank you note to your customers after they buy something will increase admiration for your centre. It will also strengthen the chances of them returning in the future.

Coffee Mornings

If your garden centre doesn?t already have a cafe or similar, why not find a mobile coffee truck to pitch outside? This will add to the shopping experience. It?s also a simple way to attract attention, gain new customers and increase footfall.

Amazon has the advantage of offering a wide range of products at the click of a button. But they can?t compete with an in-store customer experience.

So long as you master your strategies to grow footfall, your garden centre will continue to bloom.

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