With what seems like the ever increasing march of online retail into the traditional garden centre market, Whatshed.co.uk reveals what they believe is the key to traditional garden centres competing with?online rivals.
What do you see are the primary advantages of buying a garden building via a garden centre compared to buying online?
The principle advantage very much come from been able to physically see the quality and type of contraction of the product. When you buy online it can be very easy to just look to buy the cheapest shed. If you can?t physically see the difference in quality between two say 8 x 6 Shire Lewis sheds, then it becomes really easy to accidentally buy something that is not the quality that you might think you are buying.? Garden centres typically will win hands down over most online retailers on this point.
?Do you feel garden centres have a different core customer base to those that shop online?
In a way the customers for garden centres can be better than those online. This is primarily as they can be less price sensitive and less inclined to buy such a high ticked item online.
?What do you see as the best way of selling garden buildings in a garden centre?
The typical garden centre only has a small square footage dedicated to garden building type products.
Having said that almost every garden centre typically has a summerhouse or a few shed type buildings in one section of the retail space they have. One of the best ways to leverage this space is to use the inside of those buildings as a sales display area to show the whole range that your supplier can provide.
The real advantage of this sample build allows the customer to clearly see the quality of the product while at the same time displaying a significant range of products. This leverage of retail space allows each store to effectively display what would be a football field’s worth of products from one tiny high quality well build show building. It’s surprisingly a very lucrative use of space for them.
What is the best way to create a competitive edge over online retailers?
The key advantage that a garden centre has over an online retailer is that the garden centre can physically show the quality of the final construction. Buying a naturally made product online can be risky and some retailers have a bad reputation for selling low quality items that really if a customer could see them in real life they would be unlikely to buy. The key for a garden centre is to leverage this ?look and feel? before you buy to help educate and guide the customers so that they don?t end up buying something that they will not be satisfied with. In essence each garden centre should train up a couple of members of staff as experts that can help educate customers into fully understanding the benefits in essence getting what you pay for.