One Size Doesn't Fit All

Customers want personalisation; they are willing to share information but it's up to you to take action


The importance of a good customer experience is hard to deny. We only have to go shopping ourselves to know how we hate to be ignored or how we hate to waste time driving to a store that hasn’t got what we want.

Our “fingers do the walking” first these days and this in itself underlines the importance of personalisation. Personalisation makes shopping faster and more convenient; two areas that are highly valued by most. People expect to be heard, understood, remembered and respected.

Our customers are busy. Many work long hours, take care of families and have more things competing for their attention. While there are other reasons for personalisation, this is one of the biggest.

People are willing to share their data if it means receiving more personalised offers and discounts in exchange. It’s a huge benefit to you because it offers you an opportunity to satisfy their individual cravings and necessities in a cost-effective manner.

If one size doesn’t fit all, how do you import personalisation into your marketing every day?

First, customers want personalisation, they are willing to help you but it’s up to you to take action. It might cost you up front to capture information but the result is better customer satisfaction and repeat sales

Personalise email communication.  It’s easy to implement and it’s likely you will reap a much higher opening rate and click rate than non-personalised emails

Review the structure of your loyalty or rewards programme. Most garden retailers offer rewards but do you offer the additional step of a paid loyalty programme that provides personalised value in the form of free additional services? They could be practical, academic or just for fun.

Move beyond mass production. While it brings consistency and value, it’s not always the answer. We are all individuals and people expect independent garden centres to offer something different or unique that friends and neighbours might not have. This especially applies to gift lines, garden décor, ready to go planted product. How often do we see a mass display of bowls of colour plants suitable for a patio or front entrance identically planted up?

Make recommendations in all your digital connections with customers. They want to know what and why, - the best performers, the best sellers; the best value; the most popular, great for a gift, recommended by consumer magazine etc. Information is valuable

Put the customer first. Stop looking at everything in terms of sales and revenue and look it through the customer eyes and what makes them feel valued
- Joy Lamb