Decision-makers in companies will have to change focal points. The traditional areas of marketing (product, price, distribution and communication), will be affected by the impact of the pandemic as follows:
Online shopping is gaining even more importance
Online retail is booming and there is no end in sight. In Switzerland, for example, sales generated by mail order increased from around CHF 10 billion in 2019 to around CHF 16 billion in 2020, with a further increase to over CHF 25 billion expected in 2021. We have seen similar rates of increase in most other countries in Europe.
The conclusion for marketing and product managers in companies should be to offer 'omnichannel' services; i.e. to use digital, analogue and physical channels to interact with customers.
In the marketing of plants and horticultural services, we are only at the beginning here and there is still a lot to do.
Declining brand loyalty
Research from the US has shown that more consumers than usual switch between brands during Corona. In addition, private labels are now more part of the shopping repertoire. The green sector knows only a few consumer brands in the area of garden accessories and virtually no brands in the area of plants. In this respect, the influence of consumer behaviour is limited.
Sustainability and local procurement
Reusable packaging is gaining in importance. Resource-saving raw materials for products reflect the desire of most consumers. Local products are preferred.
Many wholesalers have been following these trends for several years and do not simply offer potatoes, for example, but provide the packaging with the image of an "actually existing" farmer and associate him with the region. According to initial research, Corona is reinforcing this trend. Horticultural businesses and garden centres benefit from this development, as consumers attribute a high share of local products to these businesses.
Corona often leads to social isolation - even digital technology cannot prevent this. In their communication, companies should therefore make sure that they perceive their customers as individuals and not as a "crowd". The offers should therefore match the values of the customers. This creates a basis of trust that creates long-term loyalty - either to the brand or to the company. In garden centres and horticultural production companies, this trust has always been an important building block for success.
We would be happy to talk to you personally about how your marketing can develop further and how you can make use of the trends mentioned.