Trending Now: How Digital Marketing Can Cultivate Customer LoyaltyGardening Centers provide an example of how to cultivate repeat business.
For local gardening centers and nurseries, creating customer loyalty and growing repeat business can be challenging—especially when competing with national chains. Digital marketing can help.
An example of customer loyalty challenges for gardening centers and nurseries illustrates how digital marketing can help solve key business problems. Digital marketing and digital advertising can help local businesses can cultivate customer service, plant the seed for repeat business and grow customer loyalty. These include managing customer service related to limited or seasonal inventory, enticing customers back with sales specials, and winning loyalty year after year.
Dig Deeper with Customer Service
Gardeners who purchase bulbs, seeds and seedlings at a local nursery or gardening center every year often experience the frustration of being able to find everything they want except one thing. In particular, availability for specific vegetable seedlings may vary from year to year.
Spring weather can be finicky, regardless of where in the country you are located. So come spring, when a customer is looking to buy seedlings for their vegetable garden, they just might come up empty-handed if the nursery had bad luck with a late cold spell.
So, it’s no surprise that 49% of gardening enthusiasts make a point of shopping where salespeople are helpful and friendly.  But why stop with a pleasant in-store experience?
Local businesses can foster consumer loyalty by extending customer service online. These days, everyone uses social media, and gardeners are no exception. Nearly 80% of gardeners are on Facebook alone.  Local nurseries can use these ubiquitous communication channels to ensure customers get what they want. Instead of saying, “Sorry, try coming back in another week,” center staff could say, “Follow us on Facebook and sign up for our email list. We post and send out messages as new batches of seedlings are available.”
Establishing an online presence can take customer service to the next level, encouraging repeat business. Low-cost efforts such as maintaining a social media audience and allowing gardeners can opt-in to email alerts [link to Email product page] will keep customers informed and delighted.
Plant the Seed for Repeat Business with Search
Pairing social and email with customer service is just one-way digital marketing can help local garden centers. Businesses can grow their base by ensuring new customers can find them online. A staggering 84.7% of gardening enthusiasts in the U.S. use Google, and 55.6% use a search engine for product research.  To ensure a business’ website appears high in organic search rankings, search engine optimization (SEO) is key. And combining paid search marketing (PPC) [link to PPC/Search Marketing product page] campaigns with SEO can attract more consumer attention—and clicks.
Grow Customer Loyalty
With the seeds of stellar customer service and a robust online presence sown, it’s time to foster growth by layering in targeted digital advertising. Digital display and social media advertising can boost customer response with on-target messages about seasonal inventory or special offers.
By understanding gardening enthusiasts, a gardening center can apply customer insights on media habits to apply audience targeting to these digital advertising efforts to reach both existing and prospective customers across demographics. Beyond messaging, garden centers and nurseries can also develop custom offers that are likely to entice customers to buy—and no one can do that better than a local business.
Studies show that over 50% of gardening enthusiasts use the Internet to find coupons or discount codes, and 68% say that if price and product quality are similar, they prefer to buy from a small, family-owned or independently-owned business.  This gives local centers and nurseries an opportunity to edge-out the big guys with custom offers based on local buying trends, perennial favorites, and seasonal must-haves.
We Can Help
Whether you are new to digital marketing, or you already have a social media presence and run some digital display, we can help you leverage digital marketing to grow customer loyalty and encourage repeat business. We’ve got the insights, tactics, and expertise help you stand-out online. Contact us today.
2017 Audience Scan Survey, AdMall