Everybody loves the convenience of shopping online, and nowadays, most businesses have made it so you can order their products straight to your door.
And when we say most businesses, we even mean the ones that don’t first spring to mind – Take Garden Centres for example!
Although Garden Centres are mainly known for their physical stores rather than their online presence, this is beginning to change as a new generation of customers demands new ways of shopping – one that relies on the convenience and efficiency of online delivery. But how can such an age-old, traditional industry effectively make its way online and into the world of ecommerce?
For those in the horticulture industry, we’ve listed a few ways in which you can begin to keep up with competitors and set up online delivery – because who wouldn’t want plants, flowers and garden essentials shipped straight to their door?
Sourcing & creating the best online platform
The first step, if you haven’t done so already, is securing a platform in which you can sell and deliver your products is a must, and choosing the right platform that’s best for you and your business is vital! Entering the world of ecommerce can be done on the back of various platforms – it’s just about finding the best one for you. From Shopify to Magento 2, each can be used to recreate your physical garden centre online – branding, checkout and customer service alike.
Each platform will have its own method in online delivery, and you can use this as the foundation for your own delivery service; applying your own personal touches to sustain the brand recognition that your customer base knows and love.
When having chosen the right platform for you, you can begin to craft your online delivery service to make it bespoke to your garden centre. You can begin to set up the parameters of your service, as well as begin to think about your selected mode of transport, payment and even a system for your returns. Making your online delivery service as efficient and flawless as it is in your physical store.
If you need help sourcing the best platform for your garden centre, or even creating an online space, Limely can help you there! Click here to see what we can do for you!
Preparing your content & available products
Once you have set up all the background development to make online delivery possible, the next step would be to work out the logistics. This includes what exactly you will be setting as available as delivery, and how you’re going to persuade users to do so. It would be unlikely that all of your products would be eligible for delivery, so this is the time you would dedicate to filling your online shop with appropriate products to which online customers can order straight to their door.
To provide the means for click and collect, you will need an area on your online space where you are able to display your products. This will involve uploading all of your eligible products to your site, as well as crafting descriptions, specs and high-quality images to give the user everything they would have access to when shopping in your physical store.
Creating this online catalogue will give your users a chance to peruse the products you offer in their own time, and allow them the time to browse and choose exactly what they need. It may even lead them to make additional purchases, thanks to the ease and convenience of online click and collect.
Perfecting your online ordering system
Let’s get to the logistics! Enabling click and collect for your customers means sustaining a solid delivery system which allows for smooth and efficient shopping and collection. This includes keeping track of stock and inventory levels so you can inform customers when products are unavailable, as well as plenty of information of how they will go about collecting their order and the monitoring order processes and invoices – all of which contribute to a reliable and orderly click and collect service.
Perfecting the packaging & delivery service
The art of perfecting your online delivery service and keeping customers coming back for more is the quality of your service which can be illustrated in every aspect of your online delivery – even the smaller details.
Perfecting the finer details as well as the delivery service including things like transport, couriers, packaging and packaging content which could include instructions, leaflets, promotions and other forms of marketing will make for a successful online delivery service, one that users will return to. Enter the realm of ecommerce and online delivery, but in a way that continues to sustain the level of quality and customer service your garden centre is known for and which will help make your business successful in all areas.
Giving your customers the opportunity to click and collect products brings together the convenience of both online and in-store shopping and involves users ordering your products online and being ready to collect in your physical store.
It can help boost sales, demonstrate customer care and contribute to an exemplary shopping experience. Combining an online and offline experience gives your garden centre the chance to reach out to a much wider audience.
For the final touches to your brand new click and collect system, there would evidently have to be some changes in store. This might include designating a specific click and collect area to which the customer knows to go in order to receive their purchase – avoiding confusion and consequently an insufficient experience. This can be advertised both on your site and in-store.
This also may call for systems for staff in-store – implementing specific regulations that ensure click and collect customers are served and attended to within a good amount of time, making sure to cover all bases of customer service and contentment.
Implementing effective marketing
Now you have the means and the products to start delivering online, now you need to tell people about it! Strategically crafted marketing can inform customers, old and new, of this feature, so those who previously loved to shop in-store but would love to do it from the comfort of their own home can do so. This could be in the form of social media marketing, email marketing made possible by your new online delivery features, or even in-store awareness and promotions.
Are you looking to expand your Garden Centre and looking to set up online delivery, but need a helping hand? Click here to see what Limely can do for you, or better yet, contact them today with your query!