This guide, by Power Sheds, reveals some top-secret tips on how you can convert your visitors and not lose them to online competitors.
Convert your visitors into sales
One of the main reasons a customer would buy online is that it’s cheaper. Think about what a customer would do. If you can go on Google and search for the name of a shed (or brand) on your show site and find it online cheaper, then they will buy online instead of from your garden centre.
What can you do about it?
Speak to your shed supplier. Will they offer you an option to sell the shed un-branded? Can you re-brand the shed so they can’t find the same shed online? You may be able to negotiate the shed supplier to supply alternative branded/unbranded brochures as well. This way, when they search for that shed online, they won’t be able to find it.
Can you negotiate trade prices to compete? As you endure the cost of retail space which online retailers don’t, can you have a deal or pricing structure to allow you to match the online prices?
selling the shed
Most customers like to go away and ‘think about it’. This usually means they want to go away and try find it online for a cheaper price. Therefore, it’s important you give them a reason to buy from you on that day rather than going away.
Is there scope to offer a price match if they find it online cheaper? You need to make sure you know the online prices to make sure you can honour this. This might mean it will give the customer the confidence to buy right away.
Can you negotiate with your shed supplier anything that can be offered with the shed if they buy from you on that day which they couldn’t get for free online? This could be a free treatment, a free shelf etc.
Do you sell sheds on your website? Can you give the customer a promotional code which allows the customer to get this free item if they come back and buy online from you?
Another big reason a customer would leave a show site is that they do not see the shed that they want, even though the style or size might be something which can be offered that’s not on display.
It’s therefore important that staff are on hand to assist or answer questions. The staff member should be aware of all the models that can be produced and details on what can be done if the customer wants a bespoke model.
The shed supplier can often offer this training if you ask. This can be one of their reps coming down to your garden centre to train your staff, or if that’s not possible, ask them to train over the phone or run a webinar. The FAQs which a customer can ask include:
- Can that shed be made in a different size?
- Can you move the door to a different position?
- What is the lead time?
- Do I need a base?
- Do you offer installation?
- What is the difference between overlap and shiplap?
- Is the shed pressure treated?
Ensure your staff know the answer to all these questions and can comfortably find the prices on a price list. Make sure they know how to encourage the customer to buy that day with the tactics mentioned above.
Point of Sale
if your sheds need point of sale, put this back on your shed supplier. Ask for them to supply brochures, branding, and informative posters which provide specifications and key features of the sheds. Ask them for banners for the front of the show site to advise customers you have sheds for sale. If there is a promotion or sale on, ask them for marketing to help promote the sale. If they don’t offer promotions, ask if they will do one for you to drive sales.
It’s important your sheds don’t look tired or damaged. If there is a damaged board, a piece of broken glass, or a door doesn’t close properly, make sure it is fixed right away. Your shed supplier may fix this for you if you ask them which would save you having to do it.
Try to re-treat the shed annually or change the show model every couple of years to keep it looking fresh. A year in the sun will see the shed quickly fade. If you need a new show model, negotiate with your shed supplier for a discounted model. If you’re particularly good at negotiating, try get a show model which you will pay for once it has been sold as an ex display after two years, rather than paying up front.
Power Sheds, based in Bradford, manufacturers wooden garden sheds supplying both trade and retail customers. Power Sheds offer three day delivery on their whole range of garden sheds, bike sheds, and potting sheds and can even deliver throughout Europe.