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  • Technology & The Changing Face of Garden Retail

    With more and more customers wanting to order products from their mobile devices not having to move from their sofas, garden centres are under increasing pressure to meet these technology orientated demands.

    Garden Centres need to provide a coherent shopping experience, which adheres to the technological advances the garden retail industry is currently witnessing.

    Below are is a selection of technological trends. Each promises lasting change for the garden retail industry.

    E-commerce

    E-commerce refers to commercial transactions conducted online. Meaning whenever a sale is made on the internet, you’re involving yourself in the process.

    A trend that only a few years ago, garden centres would have been reluctant to engage with. Yet, with e-commerce damaging the traditional retail experience, centres have started to accommodate and embrace these changes. Resulting in online sales being engendered to drive business.

    E-commerce provides the customer with expansive choice on products in a convenient way. But, retailers, provide a physical factor. Simultaneously combining the two, puts your garden centre on the front line.

    The growing power of data is going to put increasingly sophisticated algorithms in the hands of tech-savvy internet players, enabling them to analyse and predict customer needs well ahead of what traditional retailers will be able to do.

    The Online Shopping Experience

    Retailers from all over the world have begun the movement from physical marketing to the online empire.

    The internet is reconstructing the way we shop. Clientele seek out the lowest prices at the click of the button.

    Demands are augmenting for retailers to have a smooth-running website. Providing a quick and easy shopping experience. Garden retailers are of no exception.

    Garden retailers have shown willingness to embrace the technological shift. Recognising that large portions of their customers will research online before stepping foot into their stores.

    We’re all guilty of quickly disregarding websites that don’t load fast enough or are laborious to navigate. It is of paramount importance that garden retailers make their online stores accessible across all platforms. As well as keeping it consistent.

    Retailers require comprehensive knowledge of their values and how they wish to appear to their customers. So, they can comply to the growing use of technology. Improving their online customer experience.

    Physical garden centres may find it difficult to contend with variety. Which is where online shopping comes into action.

    The stock is less affected by seasonality. Resulting in a wider range of plants which can be delivered right to the consumers door in as little as 12 hours after order completion.

    Social Media

    The power of social media is rapidly increasing. Budding into a necessity for all garden retailers. Recognised for providing endless openings to interact with their shoppers.

    As much a social media can lose its benefit if not utilised correctly, this two-way technology can allow garden retailers and their consumers co-create. Building on relationships that would have been impossible when social media was yet to take the marketing lead.

    Gardening Apps

    Increasing in popularity, mobile apps offer awareness and communication. Via easy and regular interaction.

    In the same way garden retailers would market themselves before the digital era, mobile apps enhance your brand and cultivate your customers.

    Since 2.6 billion people now have a mobile device within arm’s reach, garden retailers will be at risk of eliminating a fruitful business tool if the trend isn’t operated.

    EPoS

    Also known as an electric point of sale system. Making it straightforward to take payments and administer your retail business.

    EPoS systems speed up key business processes like accounting, stock management and sales performance.

    Garden centres have advanced into more than just places to by plants. With the acquisition of restaurants and play areas, they are hurriedly becoming more of a day out.

    The challenges faced with the rising time and money spent in centres, has resulted is EPoS being a pressing business need. No matter the size of your centre. Consumers expectations are ever more exacting. As is the need to provide a memorable service.

    At their best, EPoS systems have the capability to save retailers money and time and increase productivity through intuitive reporting and stock management.

    EPoS systems are customer, staff and management friendly. Service time is sped up, revenue is increased, and planning is made easier.

    Ultimately technology is having a positive effect on the garden retail industry. Although consumers are more inclined to shop online, retailers are also receiving increased footfall due to the power of this digital era and better technology.

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