When we think ‘garden centre’, we usually think of big warehouses in the country filled with gardening and landscaping delights.
And they do provide a day out for the whole family when we visit one, as well as a great place to get all those hardware and gardening essentials. But with the world falling hard for the convenience and advantages of online shopping, many garden centres are joining their retail cousins and making the move over to ecommerce to benefit from increased sales and an improved and more personalized shopping experience for customers. But how do garden centres go about putting all their products, levels of customer service and brand personality into an online space?
Well, we thought we’d share a couple of the main steps you can take as a garden centre business to quickly and efficiently get yourself online.
Find a great agency
Depending on your web skills, your first step may consist of finding a web agency to help you along your journey to ecommerce. This is not something you should rush as you need to make sure you are working with a team that not only knows what they are talking about but has the skills to adapt their service to achieving results for your unique business. Your chosen web agency should have a full understanding of your garden centre business as well as your online vision – they should always be a springboard for your web journey, never a hindrance and should always have your best interest, as a business, in mind.
We’ve already explored over on our blog the benefits of using a web agency, so click here to check that out, and we may be biased when we say there doesn’t come a better one than Limely.
To begin your web journey the best way, click here to contact Limely!
Find the best ecommerce platform for you
There are numerous platforms out there that provide a space for you to build your website, with all the important ecommerce features built right in. It’s just a matter of finding the right one for your business. Here at Limely, we use a number of platforms; switching it up depending on what suits our client’s needs. Whether it’s Magento 2, Shopify or Woocommerce, there’s something out there for everyone and something they will suit your online garden centre. It’s all about putting in the time to research and following the advice of your agency to see which one will suit you best.
Develop your brand identity
Once you have found the perfect platform, it’s time to bring all the personality of your unique garden centre business onto an online space. This is done through bespoke design, branding, logos and tone of voice portrayed through written content.
Having a physical store, you may already have a logo or certain brand colours in which you can inject into your bespoke designs. Whether you reach out to an independent design agency or are working with an allrounder, like Limely, who do both the designing and development in house, you can work closely with them to make sure your business is truly reflected throughout.
If you’re working from the ground up and creating your identity from scratch – it’s time to put yourself in the position of the consumer and think what you would like to see as a gardening fanatic shopping online. By working with your agency and designers, you can create something that not only illustrates your brand but entices and attracts users. Same can be said for your web content, which can be crafted to reflect your expertise and friendly customer approach.
Categorise and import products
When your site is all readily populated with beautiful bespoke designs and content, you can begin transferring products onto your catalogue page. This takes time and effort to ensure you are creating a flawless space that makes for an excellent shopping experience. This means organising your available products into categories, so they can be found as easily as they could on the shop floor, defriending which products can be sold online compared to those which will have to stay in the physical store and coming up with detailed product descriptions, specs and product imagery to show them off in their best light.
Making a great shopping area, with an efficient ordering and checkout system to match, can help increase sales and urge customers to return. Most features that make up a great online shop can be found built into many ecommerce platforms, so all it asks for is your business to make its mark through content and design which is easily done when working closely with a fab agency. (ahem, enter Limely)
Set up online delivery systems
Once you have your website looking all lovely, your brand is being rightly represented through design, content and imagery, and products have been effectively uploaded and displayed on your site, you can go about organising your delivery system. This includes setting up local or nationwide delivery, selecting transportation and sorting returns and invoice systems. We wrote all about how to set up an online delivery system for garden centres, click here to check it out!
Write invaluable content
Filling your garden centre website with the right content not only enables you to demonstrate your brand, but reiterate your level of customer service and expertise. This can be done through informative and explanatory content on your webpages, as well as blog and article content that also has the ability to boost SEO.
Using high quality and appropriate images straight from your physical garden centre can also help you illustrate your brand and show your users what you’re all about. We usually say it is best to use your own images to rightly demonstrate your business and services to the user, but quality and relevant stock images can sometimes be not only appropriate but give your site that stylish edge. Here at Limely, we like to use free image services like Pexels and Unsplash to add a bit of pizazz.
Don’t forget marketing!
As soon as your online garden centre is something to be proud of, it’s time to let your customer’s know about this new endeavour! This can be done through marketing, both instore and online. Online marketing is the best way to reach a wider audience; enticing and attracting online users through exciting social media and email marketing. This can involve content that surrounds your garden centre business, featured products, helpful guides or even promotions and discounts made via your chosen platform.
Either way, these are things that can be created by you and your chosen agency to help sustain your online presence and get those sales rolling in.
If you’re looking for a snazzy new online space for your Garden Centre, just leave it to Limely. Click here to enquire!