Gardening Retail Safari

At The Behaviours Agency, we’re experts in shaping shopper behaviour. We use our expertise to look into how retailers can improve their in store shopping experience and increase sales through something we call a Retail Safari. And that’s exactly what we did when looking into the gardening retail sector.

When we’re on a Retail Safari, we analyse retail environments with our unique retail communication tool called SHOP. There are six key aspects to SHOP: Personality, Navigation, Education, Promotion, Social Engagement and Product Engagement. And it’s when they’re all in sync and working beautifully together that shoppers start acting differently.

On our Gardening Retail Safari, we visited a gardening centre, a nursery and a DIY store. Like any other industry, online shopping is becoming more and more popular, meaning it’s time for the gardening stores to up their game and give shoppers more reasons to stop by, shop, and visit again. So, we’ve broke down what will improve the instore retail experience for customers, and how to achieve it for retailers.

Share your expert tips

Educating your customers throughout your store will show off your expert knowledge and increase their trust. From what bulbs to plant, how to look after your garden and what to buy next, make your expertise known with posters and banners scattered throughout your store. Customers can choose what they want to read about and it may even sway them to buy something after gaining extra information. One store on our Retail Safari had a chalk board on display featuring bespoke information about the week’s weather and what plants were best to buy. So, customers were set-up with a better frame of mind when shopping.

Get your staff clued-up

Personal service from exceptional staff is what gives retail stores the upper hand over online shopping. Whether a customer is a gardening guru or complete novice, they’re bound to ask questions. So, making sure your staff are equipped to answer everything from “What’s the best flowering plant for a sunny garden?” to “How often should I feed the fern in my garden?”. It will set you aside and give them more reason to come back. And at the end of the day, you’re the experts, and they want to know what you know.

Catering to tactile shoppers

In the past, studies have found that customers are more likely to purchase something spontaneously when they can touch a product. Being able to interact with a product creates an increased subconscious sense of ownership for the item, so customers are more likely to want to leave with it. When done right, gardening stores can be a tactile shopper’s haven, and retailers should be making the most of this.

Creating a sensory garden featuring a variety of textures is one way to encourage your customers to interact with products, which we found in one store. We also came across pick-n-mix style punnets of potatoes and bulbs that customers could select themselves, which created an authentic, hands-on experience.

Style your products

Customers can easily imagine how a product would look in their own garden if they see it styled with others. When retailers pair their garden furniture with parasols, cushions, homeware and plants, it can strike inspiration with customers. And it’s the perfect way to show off your product’s full potential and create a brand personality within your store. Feature walls are an up and coming trend in the gardening world and a really easy for retailers to do themselves in store.


Gardening enthusiasts treat their outdoor space the same as their indoor space, styling it with care and injecting personality. We saw one store cater to this crowd on our Retail Safari, as they created different style trends. Each trend had its own distinct style, featuring a variety of items from garden furniture to kitchenware accessories. So, customers could choose the trend that was perfect for them, taking inspiration from it or the whole look.

Flaunt your offers

Low prices, deals and offers are bound to make an impact with consumers, so they’re worth shouting about. Pairing together products in bundle deals encourages customers to buy more, as well as offering knowledge about what fits together. And with sales-led POS, they’ll know exactly which products they can bag a deal with and how much they’re saving.