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Garden centres see spike in online sales due to Covid-19

Published: 23 March 2020 - Alex Fordham

Garden centres are using upgraded website software that recommends not only plants to gardeners but also care products as sales of gardening goods soar in the wake of Covid-19.

Joy of Plants’ Plant Finder plug-in has been added to 46 garden centre websites since it launched in 2018 including the Blue Diamond Group, Longacres, Barton Grange, Scotsdales and Perrywood.

Terri Jones, managing director of Joy of Plants in Twyford, said: “We’re hearing from our clients that they are experiencing an uplift in trade, as gardeners, who are self-isolating or social distancing, are ordering from them and asking for their items to be delivered, so they can spend the Easter break in their gardens.”

The new 2020 Plant Finder update, which also recommends Care Products for each plant, is already enabled on six garden centre websites* and is supported by all major care product suppliers including Evergreen, Westland, Vitax, Neudorff, Growth Technology and SBM Life Science.

“Gardening will be a lifesaver for so many people during these next few months. Some retailers have realised that home delivery and online sales will have to substitute for plant area visits and purchases.

“We’re finding that our clients are boosting their sales via our searchable guide on their websites to the plants they sell, with all the details about each plant that a customer could require.

“This is making a huge difference to their orders. And more garden centres are doing this by adding the Joy of Plants Plant Finder to their website with a line of code, uploading their plant list into it and then would-be customers at home have all they need.

“We’ve heard that some business owners have experienced a surge in orders online over the last 10 days. Some are seeing 25% week-on-week increase in internet sales. Anyone who is not offering this service will be losing out on vital sales as the peak growing season starts and customers potentially keep away from stores amid fears concerning the Coronavirus.”

Joy of Plants says garden centres can add its Plant Finder, including Care Product recommendations, to their website virtually overnight.

“The system lets users find plants they’d like that garden centres stock and includes an ‘email us’ feature for mail order of plants.

“It’s a quick and easy way for garden centres to add home shopping to their websites: just add the code we supply to your website, upload your plant list so that Plant Finder knows which plants you stock, set up an email address, and we do the rest.

“And with our new Care Product Upgrade, each plant description ends with a recommendation for an appropriate care product or products, your choice of product/brand. So, as well as mentioning any pots, questions, etc in the note that comes with the email, they can also ask for the right care product or products to improve success.”




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What do you think?

With a mixed bag of reports on consumer confidence due to Covid-19 and figures at odds with actual sales, what are you seeing in terms of customer sentiment?

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