A Blooming Business: How to Grow your Garden Center
The way we see it, the best – and really, the only – way to get through the challenges of the past couple of years is to look for the silver linings. For garden centers, the silver lining is that many people have developed a green thumb since the pandemic started. A lot of people started “COVID gardens” during the lockdowns of spring 2020. However, the gardening trend is one of the few pandemic activities that hasn’t died down like Zoom happy hours and baking banana bread. As a garden retailer, you’ve probably experienced the challenges of this boom. Many garden centers have struggled with having enough inventory to meet the growing demand of all of the newfound horticulturists. Having a high demand and selling out inventory used to be considered a “good” problem for a business to have, but with today’s supply chain issues, it’s only another hurdle that retailers have to leap over.
Running a garden center, you should aim to not only meet the demand of your customers but also scale your business in a sustainable way so that you still have a big client base even afterlife goes back to “normal.” Read on for our tips on how to grow your garden retail business.
Optimize your store layout and design
Create a space that people enjoy being in and want to come back to. Your garden center’s layout needs to allow foot traffic to flow naturally. Items should be well organized and easy to find. If people feel overwhelmed or confused in your store, they won’t want to come back. This is especially important for attracting gardening newbies. You should also think strategically about how you set up displays. Use your displays to show people what their gardens could look like by pairing different plants and flowers that would look good together in a yard, patio, or someone’s indoor plant collection. Doing this can inspire your customers to buy more than the one thing they came in to get. The goal is to show people what they could recreate at home. Take advantage of holidays and seasonal trends by creating displays based on what’s popular during the time of year. Again, you’re giving your customers inspiration and showing them what they need to recreate it themselves.
Use a POS that can handle your business
Other retailers don’t have to worry about dirt and spills ruining their technology the way you do. When you run a business where everyone can get a little dirty throughout the day, it’s imperative that your tech can handle the daily wear and tear. NCR Counterpoint is a durable POS that you can rely on because it can withstand the elements. Should any major damage occur, you can count on NCR’s on-call support and rapid replacements. Timely customer service is crucial when you have a fast-paced business where you can’t risk a tech malfunction shutting you down for a few days. That won’t be a concern for you with NCR Counterpoint’s POS.
Nurture client relationships
None of us thought that we would be living in this pandemic world for so long. Who knows when life will go back to the way it was, or if we’ll all get used to living this new normal. Regardless, you need to prepare for if and when the grow-your-own boom ends. Nurturing relationships with your existing clients is an effective way to secure their future business. NCR Counterpoint’s technology makes it easy to set up and manage loyalty programs that will encourage your customers to keep coming back. Show your shoppers how much you appreciate them with exclusive deals for loyalty program members like birthday discounts, holiday specials, and member-only sales. Aside from loyalty programs, encourage your staff to strike up conversations and build personal relationships with your customers. They should be well versed in your inventory so that they can answer questions and guide shoppers in the right direction. An educated staff is especially important for building relationships with newcomers who will have a lot of questions about your products and how to grow them. A staff that’s friendly and helpful will pull in more sales and encourage repeat business, promoting long-term growth.
Cater to your customers
One of the best ways to maintain a loyal customer base is to cater your inventory to their needs. As we’ve already mentioned, there are a lot of people new to gardening. You can serve this group by having plenty of easy-to-grow plants so that newbies can get their feet wet and build the confidence to move up to harder-to-grow varieties. Additionally, you need to be aware of how your products are selling so you can have enough of your top sellers in stock. One of the reasons we like NCR Counterpoints for a garden retailer is that the technology has a robust inventory management system with features like automated restocking notifications and reporting capabilities. When you know what’s selling fast, you can ensure that you place your orders in time. Take time to review your reports so that you can make more informed purchasing decisions. For example, if a certain flower is a best seller, see if you can order it in other colors or find similar plants. Building your inventory is another time when it’s so important for you to have strong relationships with your clients. Take the time to talk to people and learn what they’re interested in buying and what they want more of.
Following these tips will help make your garden center an evergreen success. Capitalize on the new gardeners and people following sustainability trends, but make sure you have the tools and practices in place to meet their demand. If you have any questions about NCR Counterpoint POS, feel free to reach out and we’re more than happy to demo the technology and answer you questions.