Posted by Multiflora Greenhouses on December, 12, 2018 10:00 am
When it comes to selling plants, you are limited by season, space, and time. First, there’s what grows well in a particular season. Then there’s how much space you have to stock different plants. Lastly, there’s the lifetime of the plant itself when it’s in your store. How then to make the most of the seasonal demand to ensure you have a profitable season? Here are some of our tips on how to plan for seasonal demand for your garden center—wherever you may be located.
Evaluate Trends for Purchasing Insight
Before placing your next order, make sure you’re looking at a variety of trends, including the following.
Look at Sales for Past Years
By looking at the sales numbers for previous years, you can better determine how many plants you should order for future seasons.
For example, let’s say you sold 300 poinsettias in 2016 and 330 in 2017. That’s a ten percent growth, which is great! For 2018 ordering, you should take that growth into account and then increase the number by a few to ensure that you have enough plants to meet your customers’ needs. Assuming another 10% growth, you can order around 370 plants or more.
If you choose to do more promotions than in previous years, take that into account when ordering. Let’s say you’re planning a B1G1 25% off special or a doorbuster and you’ve sent out postcards to your mailing list. In that situation, you’ll want to pad your numbers so that you can cover the additional demand. Looking at the success of your previous promotions for other seasons may help provide some insight into what kind of conversion rate you can expect and how many additional plants you’ll need to order.
Get Customer Feedback
Your customers can help provide you with valuable feedback for determining what to order. While some customer favorites likely won’t change anytime soon (mums and poinsettias, for example), getting timely customer feedback can help you notice trends as they are about to blossom.
In certain areas, speaking to your customers may help you determine that you should stock more heirloom vegetable plants or more organic vegetables as more and more people comment on it or mention that they’re looking for such plants. (This has actually been an ongoing trend across the country.) By keeping your ear to the ground, so to speak, and actively seeking your customers’ feedback, you can help ensure you’re stocked from season to season with the plants and garden supplies your customers need for their garden plans.
Stay in the Gardening Loop
In addition to your customers’ feedback, you can also help determine seasonal demand by staying on top of trends in gardening in general. Many gardeners aren’t just concerned about making their homes look beautiful with flowers. While some enjoy growing their own food, others view gardening as a way to commune with the environment. These individuals may be more interested in local plant varieties, perennials, and pollinator plants. Whether you host a gardening club, frequent one, or keep on top of gardening magazines and news, ensuring you know what’s happening in your industry is important for making wise ordering decisions.
Consider the Current Economy
When there’s a good forecast, people tend to have more confidence and spend more. Right now, there’s plenty of good things being said about the economy, which gives consumers confidence to shop till they drop during the holiday season. When economic predictions are more dire, many people become a bit more tight-fisted and dial back their spending. Depending on how long you’ve been in business, you may have noticed this before and may be able to look back at previous years’ sales figures to better help you plan your ordering.
Look At Your Current Sales
Is your inventory moving more quickly than usual? Worried that you’ll run out of plants before the season ends? That’s where a good relationship with a wholesale plant greenhouse can really make a difference. When you notice an increase in sales, you can either purchase additional plants online or place a call to a knowledgeable customer service rep. Of course, the sooner you notice, the more quickly you’ll be able to restock. To ensure quick and reliable delivery, Multiflora Greenhouses maintains its own fleet of delivery vehicles with qualified drivers. If you’re concerned about low inventory, we can help you quickly fill in your tables with available plant varieties. Sales forecasts change, make sure you’re flexible and ready to order more if the need arises.
Know Your Area
A garden center in Florida is going to have different needs than a garden center in Tennessee. And while we happily deliver to both areas, it’s important that garden centers recognize the unique concerns of their target audience and the length of their growing seasons. While growing seasons may be extended in Florida, for example, gardeners in Tennessee may not be so lucky. That means that Florida garden centers may require increased inventory or multiple deliveries to ensure they are stocked throughout their season, while garden centers located in colder climates may need to maintain a high stock but for a shorter period of time.
Partner With a Responsive, Reputable Greenhouse
As a greenhouse, we also worry about seasonal demand and how to ensure we’ll have all the plants and plugs our garden center partners need. Our goal is to always provide our retailers with the best looking seasonal plants in a timely fashion so that the plants we’ve so lovingly raised can quickly find homes. We value our relationships with our partners and take their feedback into account so we can continue to provide them the excellent service we are known for.
Ready to order? Sign into your account and check out our current availability. If you aren’t already a wholesale customer, no problem! Signing up is easy. As a wholesale customer, you’ll be privy to great deals and special financing terms. What are you waiting for? Sign up today!