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 and grow your garden center 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 began 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 center 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. Still, with today’s supply chain issues, it’s only another hurdle that retailers must overcome.

Running a garden center, you should aim to meet your customers’ demand and sustainably scale your business to grow your client base. Read on for our tips on how to grow your garden center retail business.

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Grow Your Garden Center by Optimizing Your Store Layout & Design

Woman in a hat holding a plant in a garden centerCreate a space people enjoy being in and want to return to. Your garden center’s layout needs to allow foot traffic to flow naturally. Items should be well organized and easy to find. People who feel overwhelmed or confused in your store won’t want to return. 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 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 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 point-of-sale hardware can handle the daily wear and tear. RCS offers durable retail-hardened hardware you can rely on because it can withstand the elements. Should any significant damage occur, you can count on RCS’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 the RCS support team.

Nurture Client Relationships

You should be prepared 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 point-of-sale technology makes it easy to set up and manage their built-in loyalty program 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 create conversations and build personal relationships with your customers. They should be well-versed in your inventory to answer questions and guide shoppers in the right direction. An educated staff is essential for building relationships with newcomers who will have many questions about your products and how to grow them. A friendly and helpful team will pull in more sales and encourage repeat business, promoting long-term growth.

Millennials make up 29% of gardener demographics. – Gardenpals.com

Cater to Your Customers

Woman laughing as she is gardening with her young daughter.One of the best ways to grow your garden center and maintain a loyal customer base is to cater your inventory to their needs. As we’ve already mentioned, many people are new to gardening. You can serve this group by having plenty of easy-to-grow plants so newbies can get their hands dirty and build the confidence to move to harder-to-grow varieties.

Additionally, you need to know how your products sell to have enough of your top sellers in stock. One of the reasons we like NCR Counterpoint 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 you place your orders on time.

Take time to review your reports so that you can make more informed purchasing decisions. For example, if a particular 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 you must 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.

These tips will help grow your garden center and make it an evergreen success. Capitalize on the new gardeners and people following sustainability trends, but ensure you have the tools and practices to meet their demands. 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 your questions.

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