Gcnt: How to exploit SELF SERVICE without letting the customer feel abandoned


Come Spring, then customers in a garden centre increase, especially during this Spring 2021 with restrictions still in force.

The current society gives more and more attention to “green” themes. In this context it is interesting to observe how important functional information boards are for a good customer experience in a garden centre. By ‘information boards’ are intended the actual service boards that give information to the customer, not the emotional boards that aim at attracting him toward a specific product.

Nowadays on the web one finds a huge amount of information on plants and gardening. By observing websites that sell plants online and the activity of influencers, one notices how quality of contents and strife for professionalism are the main trends exploited in order to captivate the attention of potential customers.

How does this load of information influence the customer? Does it enrich his knowledge or does it confuse him?

Do online sale loads increase thanks to a truly effective communication strategy, or due to Corona-related restrictions and the fear of visiting a physical store? How fruitful can be the hours devoted to creating social media contents?

Currently there is no specific literature on the subject in order to observe some facts and figures. However, it is possible to build a personal opinion on this matter so as to act consciously in one’s retail store.

My opinion, which, I wish to stress, is truly personal, is oriented towards an in-store communication characterised by two main factors:

  1. shift from an overly specific botanic terminology towards a lighter language that takes inspiration from daily life;
  2. focus on contents that refer to an immediate and practical use of plants.

The first point favours the independence of the customer during his visit to the garden centre, without letting him feel abandoned. The second point, instead, attracts the customer to the plant that he had already noticed or intended to buy.

It is also important to stress that an efficient communication strategy favours a lengthier visit of the customer in the store, especially in this moment in which people’s visits to shops are reduced to the bare minimum.

Changing a little and making some experiments in the garden centre’s communication strategy lead to being more efficient and conscious plant traders.