New research underlines the potential of the internet for garden retailers.
The HTA has identified opportunities for the garden industry including the scope the internet offers for the traditional retailer; the possibility of using the internet to target consumers in real-time; and the particular possibility of using the internet to attract marginal gardeners.
Research from the association found that:
52% of very keen gardeners, 59% of keen gardeners and 73% of marginal gardeners now access the internet;
Over 60% use the internet every day;
Over 75% of all gardeners use the internet to send and receive email;
Over 70% of all gardeners search for information on hobbies;
Over 60% of all gardeners search for information on services;
70% of very keen and marginal gardeners use the internet to buy products other than groceries online.
Commenting on the significance of these figures, David Gwyther, director general of the HTA said: "This research shows that those who now use the internet have almost doubled since 2001, when the HTA carried out a similar study.
"With 20m gardeners in total, such large numbers turning to the internet, demonstrates that it is now a medium which the garden industry cannot afford to ignore."
Estimates indicate that by 2020 online shopping will account for 40% of retail shopping, and the garden industry must act now to stay ahead of the game.