Spring is sprung, De grass is riz; I wonder where de boidies is? Ok so maybe we are a bit premature to be singing of spring but if you are working in the Horticulture or Agri sectors you are deep in spring prep. Even with the lock down and ongoing uncertainty, there are many garden centres or Agri stores that have a spring in their step (last pun I promise!) This comes from the hard-earned experience of the explosion in their online sales in 2020.
Many of our clients reported a 5-fold increase in revenue. This growth came from a combination of being in the right time at the right place and boxing clever with their online Ad – spend.
If you have not experienced the online surge it is not to late to plant some seeds of change. After all there is nothing wrong with being a late bloomer (ok they are growing on me now).
Here are the 5 things that our most successful green fingered online retailers are doing this spring.
1 – Freshen up
Early spring is as much about prep as planting and your digital work is no different. Create new imagery and messaging to welcome in your budding gardeners and create a consistent ‘Call to Action’(CTA) across all the platforms you use. In the early days of your peak season, you want to maximise brand recognition and recall. Using consistent messaging and brand imagery online increases the chance that your potential customers come back when it is time to buy.
2 – Update product & product categories
Take the time to review your products and product categories. Use this time to weed out categories that did not perform well last year. When it comes to categories make sure that you are grouping your products in a way that customers can understand. Many retailers fall into the trap of thinking like their suppliers, rather than the gardening public. Take time to test your categories for customer appeal.
When it comes to products it is not about throwing out anything, but more about prioritisation. Position products that sell well in easy to access sections. Look at your sales from last year and make sure it is as easy as possible for customers to access the top sellers. Update the home page with these best sellers.
3 – Review Ad spends and targeting
For any business that has a seasonal sales cycle (don’t we all?), the online Ad spend should increase and decrease in line with customer intent (how likely they are to buy). With the first signs of growth, you should review all Ad spends. Start with the basic how much did you spend and how much did you make and start drilling in from there. Look at specific campaigns and use your analytics data to measure the Cost per Acquisition (total cost of campaign divided by the number of products sold through that campaign).
Make sure the cost of sale is well within the margin for the products and if not, the campaign needs to be reworked. Equally for brand campaigns look at the volume of exposure versus the cost. Make sure that you align your campaigns with the products and messaging that you have chosen for the season. Keep that consistency going.
4 – Update/Increase communications
Look at your contact points. Everything from order confirmation emails to marketing emails (yup, they are still a thing!) can be updated to make them appropriate for the season ahead. They should also provide details PR links to the latest info on how you are managing Covid-19 Restrictions. This is an opportunity to show customers that you are alive and kicking. Impart confidence to the customer before, during and after their buying journey.
5 – Implement loyalty strategies
We are all to familiar with the “Do you have a loyalty card?” question and yes having a formal loyalty system in place will bring a new dimension to your marketing efforts. But there are many simple loyalty tactics that will encourage your customer to return buy. Highlighting the “buy Irish, buy local” in messaging; showing gratitude in the form of discounts off their next order or including a delighter in the delivery (free seed bombs anyone?) are minor but effective ways of increasing that brand loyalty.
There are a hundred other steps you could take to nurture your online revenue (yup, still rocking the puns) but those mentioned above are the ones that all our high revenue clients engage in, and therefore they are a great starting point.
So, let us finish with a shameless plug (we like growing new clients too) If any of the above seems like a foreign language or too difficult to take on then you really should get in touch. If this stuff is not easy for you, then you may need better tools or a better partner.
Dmac Media are always happy to have that conversation.