Easter – the new Black Friday? Maximising sales of garden and outdoor goods with social proof

16 Mar 2020

Easter is fast catching up with Black Friday in the retail calendar. It’s a huge shopportunity. Last year, over the 2019 Easter week, shoppers spent the equivalent of £410 for every household in the country, £11.5 billion in total.

It’s not all chocolate. With the days finally longer, warmer and sunnier (OK, maybe sunnier), householders’ thoughts turn to tidying up the garden and outdoor space, making it an attractive and enjoyable spot for the summer months.  And importantly, they have time off work to do so.

Before eCommerce, bank holiday shopping meant traffic jams and long queues to pay. It’s all much easier online, allowing consumers to shop ahead, to spend the Easter holiday relaxing on their new garden furniture on a freshly cleaned patio, surrounded by pots of flowers. 

For DIY stores, garden centres and other leisure equipment retailers, Easter is a prime promotional opportunity where giving customers a great online experience will pay off.  Social proof messaging – which highlights real-time shopping trends and reviews by showing consumers what other customers have bought, viewed or added to their cart – can help enhance the customer journey across a whole range of garden and outdoor products:

Outdoor homeware and furniture.  There’s a real trend today to treat outside space as an extension of the inside of the home, styling it with furniture and cushions, firepits, barbecues and accessories such as mirrors and lighting. Typically these are bigger, bulky items which shoppers might be reluctant to buy without viewing in person. Social proof messages added to product list pages can highlight best selling items during the shoppers’ research and discovery phase, helping them to pull together a short list of items that appeal to their taste with confidence. Further messages on the product display page that tell browsers how many have been sold today show what’s trending now and information about inventory can nudge the undecided to go on and purchase.   

Plants. Gardeners are not shy about buying plants unseen. Essential Retail reports consumer research showing that around £1 in every £10 of expenditure on garden plants is now spent online. Online gives even smaller nurseries the chance to show off their full range. Adding social messaging that draws attention to popular items or shares detailed plant information can help customers narrow down their choices, encourage them to try a new species and encourage a final decision to purchase. 

Big ticket equipment.  Some of the core purchases in designing a garden aren’t small beer. Sheds, greenhouses, arbours and children’s play equipment are all high consideration, relatively expensive items that you want to get right first time. Social proof offers evidence that you’re doing the right thing. It shows the consumer that other people have looked at this swing set, other shoppers think that a playhouse is a good choice and it’s safe to buy even items this size and budget online. 

Whether the customer is shopping for a tray of plug plants or a teak dining set, offering social proof throughout the journey helps them overcome any doubts. It encourages people they’re doing the right thing. That positive experience underpins greater customer engagement, with more informed buyers making better decisions, which translates into conversions, sales and customer satisfaction for the retailer. Examples include Aldi, which credits social proof messaging with a 9.27% conversion rate uplift* across its Specialbuys category and The Very Group with 2.7% increase in conversion.

Finally, note that it’s no big deal to get a social proof trial up and running. Easter is not far off, but there’s still time for DIY and leisure retailers to introduce social proof messaging to improve the customer journey and increase conversion uplift and sales. 

With consumers planning their Easter garden projects now, find out how Taggstar can help you increase your conversion rate and sales, contact us here.

* on Specialbuys and wine, data accurate to 20 June 2019

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