Stop Talking About Prices
You’re an Indy Garden Center, and you don’t have the lowest prices. And that’s okay: your customers expect higher prices. So isn’t it time to stop talking about prices and start talking about what your customers want to hear?
“Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.”
– Ed Sabol
Independent Garden Centers are more different from each other than alike. Like the Dirty Dozen and the Island of Misfit Toys, we are united more by purpose than products.
One of the things we do have in common is our prices. They aren’t the lowest; they’re often the highest.
Universally, Garden Center Owner tell me that, “it’s okay we have high prices because we have better quality.” To which I ask: “So why are you always talking about your prices?”
Stop Reminding People
Sending your customers a flyer full of prices is like Trump tweeting about Russia: it changes the conversation to a topic that you don’t want to talk about.
You can’t get into the mud with Sam’s Club and Costco. You. Just. Can’t. And frankly, your customers don’t want you to. It’s not the business model they signed up for.
Your customers expect to pay more when they come to you. They’ve accepted that, often more than we Owners have. In return, they want consistent quality, they want patient guidance, and they want a remarkable experience. They want everything that Sam’s Club can’t give them.
Think about your Target
The gardening industry is wringing its hands over how to get Millennials in-store. Baby Boomer women are our core, but it’s shrinking.
Millennials were born with devices in their hands. If all they wanted was the lowest price, they have the technical savvy to buy online at prices you never knew existed.
Companies who have build their business models on price alone should be terrified. We should be energized.
Your target customer doesn’t want you to talk about price. She wants a unique experience, to learn to grow her own food, and to not be spoken down to because she doesn’t know that an apple is in the Malus family. She’s your business’s future, and you’re telling her what she doesn’t expect or want to hear from you.
What’s in your Email Newsletter?
My job is to make the Garden Centers I work with digital marketing superstars. I keep my ear to the tracks and have signed up for hundreds of email newsletters from GCs across North America.
Almost all the email newsletters I get talk only about 1 thing: price.
Now, if I’m your customer, you bet I want to know if you’re having a sale. A big sale might even be a way to entice new customers. But does that have to be your headline every… single… time?
According to MailChimp, which boasts 1.5 million business clients, the average Open Rate for a retail email, which are price-focused, is 18%. So if your list is 10,000, 1800 people open it. They’re your die-hard base.
Hobby-based emails, which contain content about people’s’ interests, average 28%. That’s another thousand eyes looking at your advertising just because you changed the conversation from price to interest.
If you’ve got a content strategy in place to deliver helpful blogs, videos, etc to your customers that reflect their biggest gardening questions, you’ll see almost half your audience opening your email and blow the benchmarks out of the water.
It’s Tuesday afternoon in your Garden Center. Sales are slumping and you need to spark excitement. The question around the meeting table is to drive traffic this weekend. The inevitable answer: 30% off ____.
Talking about price is the quick answer. When sale are down, it’s the downright irresistible answer.
Changing the conversation, so you’re helping instead of selling, takes planning. It’s a long term process to wean ourselves off a constant stream of 30% off this, and Buy-Two-Get-1-Free that.
You’re going to need sales. But if your defining features are everything but prices, shouldn’t talking about prices come last, too?