Garden centres are often seasonal business with shopper traffic and sales peaks at predictable times of the year. They are also businesses that attract more first-time shoppers than many other retail businesses.
The seasonal traffic peaks and first-time shopper visits present opportunities that are not leveraged as much as they could be in garden centres.
Change the game: front-end loyalty
By using an approach we call front-ending loyalty, garden centres can achieve more from seasonal growth and first-time shoppers. Front-ending loyalty brings a reward to the front in an effort to engage shoppers in additional purchases sooner.
It’s an approach that can encourage those who do not shop with you to purchase something else right away, to get the value of the cash discount offered. It’s in our Garden Centre POS Software.
Regular shoppers can spend the cash discount right away or come back within any time limit you set.
We started trialling this front-ending loyalty strategy in February 2013 in several retail businesses including a garden centre. We did it using the Discount Vouchers facilities in the Tower Systems garden centre software.
Building the basket
From the first day we saw shoppers changing behaviour.
One chap came in to purchase a specific item. When I handed him the receipt we pointed out the voucher offering $2.00 off his next purchase. He was not a regular and so spent the $2.00, and more, right away on another item. He received another voucher and purchased a third item. In all, he spent three times as much as the original purchase – all because of the Discount Vouchers he received.
Around 33% of all vouchers redeemed are used the day they are received. This shows customers building the basket – adding to their purchase that day as a result of the voucher. This makes each visit more valuable to us.
Bringing shoppers back
Around 33% of redeemed vouchers are used within seven days of issue and the remaining 33% are redeemed up to four weeks after issue.
Here’s another real story: A month after we started trialling this new approach to loyalty, a customer came in and used a voucher she had picked up a couple of weeks earlier. She was happy to get $5.00 off a $45.00 item she wanted. This resulted in another voucher so she bought another item for $29.95.
This customer said she would be back. Two weeks later she was.
You control the business rules
Like any good loyalty program, you need good levers with which to drive shopper engagement and to deliver the benefits it needs to justify the investment.
The Discount Vouchers facilities have this.
You control the amount of each sale you are prepared to give away on the voucher.
You control the products the voucher can be used for.
You control how long the voucher is live for. We suggest 28 days but I have some retailers setting this at 90 days.
Helping your garden centre business
With big box stores like Bunnings and Masters offering their corporate loyalty programs, it’s important for garden centres to offer a genuine point of difference. Discount Vouchers offer this.
While their approach is very corporate, your approach can be more flexible and more focused on early rewards. Over the months of trialling we have seen changes shopper behaviour, it gets them spending more with you.
We are confident this fresh approach to loyalty is a game changer for any garden centre business. The control you have enables you to easily manage the cost and the value you gain from the program.
This really is a new approach to bringing shoppers back sooner and getting them to spend more with you.