Trending Now: Garden CentersCultivating Customer Loyalty
For local gardening centers and nurseries, creating customer loyalty and growing repeat business can be challenging—especially when competing with national chains. Digital marketing can help.
Digital marketing can help local businesses dig deeper with customer service, plant the seed for repeat business, and grow customer loyalty.
Dig Deeper with Customer Service
Gardeners often face frustration when purchasing bulbs, seeds, and seedlings at a local nursery or gardening center. With fluctuating availability and finicky weather, consumers often struggle to find the specific items they’re looking for. So, it’s no surprise that 48% of gardening enthusiasts make a point of shopping where salespeople are helpful and friendly.  But why stop at with pleasant in-store experience?
Local businesses can foster consumer loyalty by extending customer service online. These days, everyone uses social media, and gardeners are no exception. Nearly 80% of gardeners are on Facebook alone.  Local nurseries can use these ubiquitous communication channels to ensure customers get what they want. Instead of saying, “Sorry, try coming back in another week,” center staff could say, “Follow us on Facebook and sign up for our email list.”
Establishing an online presence can take customer service to the next level, encouraging repeat business. Low-cost efforts such as maintaining a social media audience and allowing gardeners can opt-in to email alerts will keep customers informed and delighted.
Plant the Seed with Search
Pairing social and email with customer service is just one way digital marketing can help local garden centers. Businesses can grow their base by ensuring new customers can find them online. A staggering 80% of gardening enthusiasts in the U.S. use Google, and 55% use a search engine for product research.  To ensure a business’ website appears high in organic search rankings, search engine optimization (SEO) is key. And combining paid search marketing (PPC) campaigns with SEO can attract more consumer attention—and clicks.
Grow Customer Loyalty
With the seeds of a robust online presence sown, it’s time to foster growth by layering in targeted digital advertising. Digital display and social media advertising can boost customer response with on-target messages about seasonal inventory or special offers.
Digital advertising allows businesses to target consumers with tailored messages for both existing and prospective customers across demographics. Beyond messaging, garden centers and nurseries can also develop custom offers that are likely to entices customers to buy—and no one can do that better than a local business.
Studies show that over 50% of gardening enthusiasts use the Internet to find coupons or discount codes, and 67% say that if price and product quality are similar, they prefer to buy from a small, family-owned or independently-owned business.  This gives local centers and nurseries an opportunity to edge-out the big guys with custom offers based on local buying trends, perennial favorites, and seasonal must-haves.
We Can Help
Whether you are new to digital marketing, or you already have a social media presence and run some digital display, we can help you leverage digital marketing to grow customer loyalty and encourage repeat business. We’ve got the insights, tactics, and expertise help you stand-out online. Contact us today or call 607.798.1325 for your free custom consultation today
2016 Audience Scan Survey, AdMall.