Gardeners quizzed over purchasing habits

Results of a recent consumer survey, looking at the purchasing habits and
marketing influences in the garden-retailing sector, have been released by
Hangar Seven, a creative production agency specialising in garden centre
marketing, brochure production and photography.
The agency, which cites B&Q, Sainsbury’s and Fired Earth as customers,
surveyed around 200 gardeners from a wide variety of socio-demographic
classifications and age groups.
Though the majority (44%) still turn to friends and relatives for advice,
some 38% of those surveyed said that the internet is their first reference
point for advice on gardening
, versus 9% who use magazines.
But any retailers thinking of consigning their printed brochures to the
paper-recycling bin need to think again. Out of those surveyed 85% said they
expect to find a brochure in-store
and 95% find them a useful source of
. Half of respondents said they use brochures for range and price
research, and 41% for inspiration or advice.
Gardeners were also quizzed on their spending plans for the year ahead. 80%
revealed they intended on splurging an average of £540 on planting and
. Some 33% said they planned on completing larger projects and
would spend an average of £1,050.
Following the current trend towards ‘The Good Life’, top items that people
wanted for their gardens in 2011 included a vegetable plot, greenhouse and
shed. A perfect lawn, conservatory, hot tub and garden furniture also
featured in the list of desirable purchases. The number one item people want
in 2011 is a water feature.
Hangar Seven’s Michael Keating, who commissioned the research, said: “The
results of this survey provide a clear indication that gardeners are still
keen to use printed brochures as their main source of information, browsing
products as well as for inspiration.
“And while the internet and digital communications undoubtedly play an
increasingly important role for recommendation, gardeners still turn to
friends and family for advice.
“In a world driven by desire not need, photography remains one of the most
powerful triggers to consumer purchasing.  So I would advise retailers to
seriously consider their photography, whether on the internet, in printed
brochures or magazines, as part of their marketing activities as it could
have a significant effect on the bottom line.”