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Does New Technology mean We Can Sell More Plants? - by John Stanley

The revolution started with the Smart phone, the fastest developing marketing tool ever invented, this has now been quickly followed by the development of the tablet. They are being used for all sorts of functions. When I present at a conference these days there are more people making notes on tablets than those with a pen or pencil in their hand.

The new technology is shaping up to change the way we do so many tasks, but will it be used to help us encourage the consumer to buy more plants?

Weekday Convenience and Weekend Experience

Weekday Convenience and a Weekend Experience is something I have been promoting as a major trend that is taking place in the market place. The consumer has more time constraints than they have had in the past and time saving is an important criterion. They want convenience during the week and want to enjoy their weekend experiences, often in their own garden. For some consumers walking around a garden centre is a pleasurable weekend experience, for others it is a chore they have to endure so that they can get the products they need to enable them to enjoy the real experience in their mind which is gardening and relaxing in their garden.

This means some people will continue to enjoy the existing garden retail experiences whilst others will seek new channels to enable them to spend more leisure time in their garden.

As retailers we need to be aware of these new drivers in the consumers mind and react accordingly. More and more consumers are looking to new ways of shopping and this is where the smart phone and tablet come into their own.

Buy Your Plants from Home

Imagine sitting at home and looking out of your window at a dull looking garden and wondering how you could make it look more attractive. Why not get your "tablet" take a picture of it and redesign your garden on the tablet in real time using a real picture.

Along the bottom of the screen you can select the plants suitable for your garden from the local garden centre and place them on the screen and design your new garden in the comfort of your own living room. These plants will have already been made available via a Phone App from the local nursery or garden centre.

You have the flexibility to change the plants and to see what size these plants will be as they mature over a period of years.

You are in control of your own garden design and how it will mature.

Once you are happy with the end product you then press "send" and the plan can be sent directly to your local garden centre or you can take your tablet to the garden centre and they will download the plan for you at the centre.

The plant assistant collects all the plants you need plus provides you with a template that you can place on the ground which ensures you place the plants in the right location. Once the plants are planted the template acts as organic mulch for the newly planted garden.

Life could not be easier for the gardener that wants the instant effect but does not have the confidence or vision to put such a scheme together without a plan. The advantage for the retailer is that the consumer does not aimlessly wander down rows of plants trying to understand the range of plants and how they would look next to each other in their garden. In the plant centre situation they often "cherry pick" the plant area and go home not having achieved their desired result.

Planning the garden at home means they select groups of plants in a stress free environment and end up buying more plants and being happier with their purchase as a result.

This is not futuristic thinking, this is happening today and all retailers now have an opportunity to take the new technology and use it to the benefit of the business.

All retailers have an opportunity to grow plant sales using the new tools of marketing which allow the consumer to purchase more plants more easily.

John Stanley has been called the leading horticultural consultant in the world today. His practical low cost ideas not only save his clients money, he makes his clients money. His practical solutions have made him an acclaimed conference speaker, retail consultant and author. For more information on how he can help your business grow, visit his website www.johnstanley.com.au, or email info@johnstanley.com.au

Source: HortiTrends News Room