Straight Talk | Honest insights from an IGC expert
Put a personal touch on service and convenience
Provide personal shopping, curbside pickup and other services customers can’t get from online plant retailers and box stores.
Leslie F. Halleck
Partner with local experts and be the go-to outdoor company
There are plenty of other concierge-style services you can offer up to your customers, including connecting them with local verified landscape design/build companies if you don’t directly offer those services. Associated vendors, such as tree care professionals and irrigation specialists, are also good referrals to have at the ready. It’s a great opportunity to develop collateral marketing opportunities with supporting businesses and provide your customers with qualified pros to help install and maintain the plants your customers buy from you.
Even plant-addicts such as myself don’t have as much time as they’d like to spend shopping in-store at their favorite garden center. It’s frustrating to miss snapping up seasonal plants you want because you couldn’t make it to the garden center in time during the season or before closing hours. I pay someone to do personal plant shopping for me around town — no, really — because my time is my most valuable currency.
I trust them to pick the best specimens of the plants on my list, as I would a qualified garden center employee. If local garden centers offered the option for me to order via a personal shopping service online, then have my plants delivered, I’d be spending a lot more money on plants.
You should always be looking for ways to add value for customers to your loyalty program, and personal shopping is a great way to do it. By offering both online and in-store options for concierge-style shopping services, you’ll cater to a wider audience and send the message that you value your customers’ time.
Leslie (CPH) owns Halleck Horticultural, LLC, through which she provides horticultural consulting, business and marketing strategy, product development and branding, and content creation for green industry companies. lesliehalleck.com