Independent garden centers (IGCs) face plenty of competition nowadays, especially from large chain, big box stores that sell live goods products at the lowest possible prices. However, IGC owners can still maintain and grow a robust business presence in the marketplace. That’s because so many millennials are enthused about gardening and are looking for alternative shopping experiences that teach, inspire, and connect with their interests and lifestyles
If young adult consumers perceive your business as a gathering space and a fun place to learn about growing plants, you should find yourself with a devoted clientele.
About one out of every three millennials would like to grow fruits and vegetables, and more than a quarter of them want to know more about sustainable gardens.
What’s more, the marketing and public relations firm Garden Media Group reported a startling statistic in 2015. The average male millennial’s plant-related expenses exceed the average person’s plant-related expenses by $100 annually.
Yes, millennials everywhere have come to appreciate the joys, the challenges and the benefits of horticulture. However, they often call themselves “growers” instead of “gardeners.” Perhaps that’s because “gardening” sounds like a hobby and “growing” sounds like a serious endeavor, a way of life.
For many young adults, gardens mean lower grocery bills and healthier dishes on the kitchen table. Indeed, many of them grow extremely nutritious foods like microgreens.
Even some millennials with small homes are cultivating plants. They’re setting up rooftop, patio and indoor gardens. Plus, those who like brewing their own beer often grow hops, which don’t require much space.
The rising popularity of home gardens is part of the do-it-yourself craze that has swept up the millennial generation. Large numbers of young adults enjoy making all kinds of things, from cakes to jewelry. This fascination has driven the popularity of Pinterest, a social media network dedicated to cooking, crafts and other projects.
Adults in their twenties and early thirties often combine their love of growing with other hobbies. For instance, some incorporate their air plants and succulents into homemade decorations. Others experiment with fruits and vegetables to create original recipes or use their woodworking skills to build trellises for vertical gardens.
Given that many millennials would love to learn as much as they can about growing, your IGC could host workshops that review gardening techniques, sustainable methods in particular. These classes will help your business stand out in your local area, and they may earn you glowing online reviews and positive word of mouth.
To market your workshops and other offerings, it’s vital to have an informative website that’s easy to read and navigate. You’ll also need dynamic social media pages. After all, approximately 66 percent of millennials will study a store on the internet before deciding whether or not to shop there.
In addition, update your YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook pages constantly, and use them to show off vivid photos and videos of your edible plants, decorative indoor plants and other green products. Also, promptly respond to customer comments on those pages. And, if it’s in your budget to do so, you might buy targeted social media ads to get the name of your business in front of local consumers.
In short, when you offer gardening workshops, your revenue will likely grow, your customers’ knowledge will grow and, all over town, beautiful new plants will grow.