Following the success of ?Plant Retailing ? Fit for the Future?? at Ball Colegrave in July, that highlighted the importance of sharing knowledge and collaborating as an industry, the HTA has worked with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland to spread the word.
Plants remain at the core of garden retail businesses and provide a real point of difference from the competition ? understanding customers? needs and wants was once again shown to be critical and backed up by the latest findings in the HTA eye tracker research, which highlighted the importance of viewing the customer experience through their eyes.
Boyd Douglas-Davies, whose Hillview Group has been working with the HTA on the eye tracker project over the past few months, supported the main presentation with David Denny, the HTA?s market information manager. Boyd commented that it really is proving to be invaluable to really see how his customers view and shop the plant area: ?You may think you know your garden centre and customers, but this research has helped me to make simple changes within my centres and either prove or disprove what we thought our customers wanted.?
Another key element was the eye trackers focus on signage from location and message through to colour and font size, getting the right branding and information in the right place was crucial in converting the sale.
The day was jointly chaired by Neil Cummings, HTA regional business manager covering Northern Ireland, and Doug Thomson of Irish Garden Plants, and ended with a rallying call from both to take action, be fearless and be proud to be a part of such a passionate and exciting industry.
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