Direct marketing- the answer to all our problems?

This week the first podcast from the BPOA was released into the ether! Why, you may ask when all around are wondering if there will be any plant business….take a listen!

Wayne Brough of AHDB got Martin Emmett of Farplants and Graeme Edwards , Woodlark Nurseries on a ‘Teams’ online meeting to discuss the pros and cons of direct plant marketing. Obviously there are advantages to having the direct contact with consumers but that does mean more work in order administration and handling which are not the specialities of production focussed businesses and particularly at this time when staff are not always easily available.

What many non-growers find it hard to appreciate, is that the seasonal business of bringing huge amounts of material to market is a gargantuan task that taxes nurseries and their workers to the limit every year and that can’t be replaced by online sales. Some developments are being made with local ordering and delivery with many small distribution companies having the staff and vehicles but much of their regular work closed down. Smoothing the ordering procedure with online presentation has helped a number of growers. Woodlark is using the Shopify website to show their wares.

With the best will in the world, these measure are going to be limited in effect and estimates vary but around 10% may be the limit of the average nursery. Their success in reducing the amounts that will have to be discarded may provide a lifeline for some in terms of helping with cash flow problems.

Hopefully, this podcast will promote new ideas in plant marketing in the current difficult retail conditions and inform consumers.

If you, as professional growers, have ideas for more editions that you would like to hear on this podcast please let us know.

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