For many retailers pelargoniums are a welcome sight for much of their core customer demographic; customers that are familiar with this summer beauty. But the new generation of gardeners are less familiar with this classic bloom and are often drawn to more contemporary plants. However, with a wealth of key selling points, including ease of care and resilience in a range of weather conditions, retailers are potentially missing out on a significant sales opportunity. Here the experts at Pelargoniums for Europe (PfE) share some top tips on how retailers can increase sales of pelargoniums this season and beyond.
What am I buying?
Many consumers like to know what they are buying before committing to a purchase. In the case of pelargoniums this might relate to the ultimate size of the plant, quick information on care and watering, and flowering time. Whilst much of this information will be present on the plant label, retailers can help increase impulse sales by making this basic information even clearer so that the customer’s attention is drawn from across the shop floor. A chalk board, for example, is a simple and cheap way to communicate these key details, whilst providing consumers with the confidence to purchase. PfE suggest retailers focus on information such as:
- Pelargoniums enjoy a long flowering period – summer until late autumn
- Pelargoniums are one of the most drought-tolerant summer plants to grace our gardens, with a proven ability to remain unfazed by periods of intense heat, however watering when the soil feels dry is the key to keeping the plant going throughout summer.
- Perfect for evoking a classic Mediterranean-style ambiance.
- Pelargoniums flower well when grown in nutrient-rich garden soil, so digging in well-rotted manure or garden compost a few weeks prior to planting will pay dividends.
- Whilst largely known for being a ‘hassle-free’ plant, pelargoniums are thankful for a fortnightly feed with a balanced liquid fertiliser or use a high potassium fertiliser such as tomato food, which is formulated to encourage even more blooms.
- Dead-head spent flowers weekly to encourage further growth.
- Pelargoniums are largely pest-free so no need to worry about tackling bugs.
- Reduce the risk of grey mould by leaving 20cm between each plant where possible.
Remember also that a retailer is only as good as the service it provides and in the case of pelargoniums aftercare advice is a vital component in enjoying sales success. Ensure that staff within the indoor plant area are well versed in pelargonium aftercare so they can help encourage more sales on the shop floor.
All the colours of the rainbow
One of the greatest joys of pelargoniums is the vast array of colours and types available. However, not all consumers are aware of this breadth. By grouping together different colours and types - such as zonal, ivy leaved, regal, scented leaf and angel –retailers are able to easily showcase just how varied pelargoniums are. Create a display that is full of colours and textures and signpost the differences with small signs which highlight key facts to impress consumers and help to increase the average basket spend.
Cross merchandise like a pro
Pelargoniums are the perfect companion for pots and planters whether designed for traditional homes, contemporary gardens or urban jungles. Savvy retailers will know that positioning the plants alongside pots and planters will increase sales, but PfE also recommends building on this further. Why not also plant up a range of different planters so that consumers can see how the plants works against different planter styles, colours and garden designs. Co-locate additional products such as compost, gardening gloves and trowels alongside the planter pot, plants and planters to make it even easier for consumers to grab exactly what they need to ‘create the look’.
The trend for blurring the lines between the indoors and outdoors shows no sign of abating, which is great news for pelargoniums! The pelargonium’s suitability for growing indoors means that retailers have twice as many opportunities to sell stock. A simple sign in the bedding plant section communicating that consumers ‘can also find me [pelargoniums] in the houseplant section’ will generate interest and encourage customers to frequent both sections of the store.
Optimise key gifting periods
Plants make for perfect gifts so retailers have a superb opportunity to drive up the average customer spend in the lead up to and during key events such as Easter, Mother’s Day, and even ‘gifts for teachers’ at the end of the school year. Signposting the gifting potential of plants such as pelargoniums makes it easy for customers to grab an appropriate gift quickly, but why not also consider adding a wrapping service in-store? This does not need to be complicated but wrapping the plant in decorative cellophane or paper will elevate it significantly. Boost the possibility of repeat sales by adding a business card with your contact details on so the gift recipient will be inspired to visit to see what else is on offer.
Utilise the Pelargonium for Europe resource library
PfE has been set up to help increase sales of the much-loved pelargonium. To make it even easier for retailers the organisation has created a rich resource library where retailers can access and download a wealth of sales support tools including point of sale signage and information to support after care and quality messaging. A large image and video library are also available, providing retailers with inspirational material for use on social media and within direct marketing to help drive more customers into store throughout the season.
For more information and images of geraniums visit: www.pelargoniumforeurope.com
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Pelargonium for Europe
Pelargonium for Europe is the marketing initiative of European geranium breeders Dümmen Orange, Elsner PAC, Florensis / P. van der Haak Handelskwekerij, Geranien Endisch, Selecta One and Syngenta Flowers. The initiative was founded in 2016 with the aim of promoting and securing long-term geranium sales in Europe. Its activities began in 2017 and in Germany, Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland, activities are supported by the EU as part of the “Europe in Bloom” campaign.