Mobile’s big move with outdoor furniture shoppers.
With the holidays behind us, consumers are waiting with baited breath for the return of spring and the chance to get back outside. While homeowners wait for Jack Frost to take his final bow of the season, they are busy window shopping online, especially on their phones and tablets, for the perfect combination of furniture and décor to build their personal backyard oasis.
More than one-third of all shoppers use their mobile device at some point in their furniture-buying process, 13% of which used their smartphone while they were in a store shopping1. They are accessing everything from HGTV to blogs to magazines to social media to help find inspiration. The key to getting your fair share (or more) of their design budget is to diversify your media mix, helping to position yourself as your customers’ go-to source for everything they want and need for their yard and patio.
If you pin it, they will come.
What social networks like Pinterest and Instagram lack in sheer number of users, they make up for in spades with engaged users who are actively searching for the next best thing to add to their backyard haven. In a recent survey, 61% of respondents stated that Pinterest was their top source of inspiration when designing their outdoor space2. Social media usage has exploded in recent years, even within demographics who have historically shied away from digital media.
By 2018, it is expected that nearly 60% of Baby Boomers and nearly 80% of Gen-Xers will be active monthly social media users3, both of which compose the primary target audience of outdoor living and garden centers. Boomers currently account for the largest share of spending on garden and patio products, accounting for over 50% of revenue5.
That being said, Millennials are expected to become the largest generation of homebuyers, accounting for two-thirds of all home purchases in the next five years4, so it is likely that soon, they will become a huge source of revenue for this industry. More than anyone, Millennials are the segment that can be best reached digitally, so your best bet is to have a strong website, social media profiles, or even a mobile app6. Thirteen percent of garden centers say they would most like to improve their social media presences next year7. So stay ahead of the curve and build a rockstar social media following today.
Send the big-box stores to the sandbox.
More and more, local shoppers are becoming disenfranchised with doing business with the big-box stores. While they may sometimes be able to pick things up for a buck or two cheaper there, they lose out on the experience they get buying from a local store. The more you can differentiate your store from the behemoths, the better. One way many local outdoor décor and garden centers are accomplishing this is by offering do-it-yourself classes on how to do everything from building a birdfeeder or planter to how to stain your deck. Popular themes include create-your-own containers and kids’ classes8.
Michigan.com can help plant the seed.
If you know that you need to beef up your marketing plan, give us a call. Michigan.com has the tools you need to reach your best prospects, wherever they are searching. Visit us online or call 313-222-2775.
Sources: 1French, Dana. "The New Normal Holds True with Four out of 10 Consumers." Furniture Today. Sandow Media, 24 Mar. 2014. Print. 23 Apr. 2014. 2Hodnett, Cindy. "It's Prime Time for Selling Outdoor Furniture." Furniture Today. Progressive Business Media, 23 Mar. 2015. Print. 27 Mar. 2015. 3eMarketer, 2015 42015: Year of the First-Time Home Buyer." RealtorMag. National Association of Realtors, 5 Dec. 2014. Web. 20 May 2015 5Baldwin, Ian. "Ian Baldwin: National Gardening Survey Highlights Need For Change In Retail Industry." Garden Center Magazine, GIE Media, Inc.,10 Aug. 2015. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.] 6Kleckler, Abby. "Selling to Settled-In Millennials ." Lawn & Garden Retailer. Scranton Gillette Communications, n.d. Web. 9 Feb. 2015. 7 "20 bright ideas from 20 IGCs." Garden Center. GIE Media, Inc., 26 May 2015. Web. 11 Nov. 2015; "2014 State of the Industry Report: All’s well that ends well." Garden Center. GIE Media, Inc., 22 Oct. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2015. 8"2014 State of the Industry Report: All’s well that ends well." Garden Center. GIE Media, Inc., 22 Oct. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.