The Essential Guide to Personalisation for the Home & Garden Industry

In 2019, the UK home and garden industry was flourishing. With a combined value of roughly £50bn*, and historically growing annually.

That was until the pandemic hit.

Covid restrictions led to a 14.4% decrease in the market value in 2020, as many stores and garden centres had to close their doors.

However, as consumers were forced to spend more time at home, it became a different space for them. It encompassed work, education, relaxation. This may be the reason that while overall sales fell, eCommerce continued to grow, with homewares seeing a 25% increase compared to 2019. And furniture seeing an even larger increase of 50% compared to 2019.

It’s clear that the market is going through a period of change. With fluctuating demand, changes to buying behaviour, and an increasing need to shift online.

In this guide, we will take you through some of the common challenges that the home and garden industry is facing, and how to solve them with personalisation.

For home and garden brands, better starts here.

Challenges

We’ve already mentioned some of the common challenges facing the home and garden industry. Demand, expectations, and a digital shift

Let’s dig into some of the specifics, and some possible solutions.

Focusing on eCommerce

Whilst many consumers are returning back to the high street as lockdown restrictions ease, 55% of consumers state that they will continue to shop more online.

Much of the home and garden industry has been traditionally reliant on bricks-and-mortar stores where consumers can test, touch, and experience their products. So this poses a significant challenge.

For brands who haven’t invested in their eCommerce offering, now is the time to get started.

Boost brand presence online

If a brand hasn’t already, improving their online presence is the first step to improving their eCommerce offering.

Firstly, this should include a review of the brand’s website. Ensuring that messaging, imagery, and overall design is working perfectly. Once they are happy with this, it’s time to expand that presence into all of the channels that are relevant to their audience.

Brands in this industry are fortunate to have incredibly visual products, perfect for showcasing on social media, video, and of course within their communications to make them as engaging as possible.

Make it easy to buy

eCommerce isn’t all about looking good. For consumers, the buying journey also needs to be spot on to ensure they actually finish their purchase.

To improve the buying journey, brands should ensure that their eCommerce website works perfectly. And that consumers are communicated with properly throughout the entire process. That includes both pre and post-purchase.

Personalised communications

Communication is the ideal way to bridge the gap between high street and online shopping. It is a key part of online presence and the buying journey, so should be focused on accordingly.

Communication can be via email, website, social media, and SMS. However, consumers receive endless communications from brands, particularly now the market is even more competitive. So brands need to ensure their communications are highly personalised and tailored to the individual, to stand out from the crowd.

Change in consumer requirements

As we mentioned, home is no longer just a place to relax after a day at the office.

It has fast become consumers’ entire world. And while most people are able to get out and about more, the importance of having a home they can spend more time in has remained.

This means that new types of consumers are showing interest in the industry. There are more people trying out gardening and DIY, office workers are now looking to turn their spare room into their workspace, and younger millennials are getting their foot on the property ladder after growing tired of renting.

This means that consumer requirements have changed drastically over the past 18 months.

Dig into audience data

Before getting carried away with marketing to these new and changeable audiences, brands need to begin by understanding them.

By digging into their audience data and analytics, brands can gain a deeper understanding of who their audience actually are, how they behave, and what they purchase.

Brands can use this data to then improve the effectiveness of their marketing and communications.

More effective targeting

For instance, data will help brands to target more effectively.

This means sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Ensuring that campaigns and promotions are sent to those who will be most likely to engage with them.

Offer personalised experiences

And even better, brands can use this data to create highly personalised marketing experiences.

From email to website, and throughout the buying journey, brands can execute personalisation that means consumers feel connected to the brands and speak to the individual.

Saturated market

It’s not just home and garden brands that are taking up space in this market.

Increasingly, other industries are branching out into this space. Recently, clothes retailers Mango and PrettyLittleThing launched their own homeware collections, a trend which has proven particularly popular with brands such as H&M.

Additionally, consumers are increasingly opting for DTC (direct to consumer) and smaller independent brands to buy their home and garden products. Meaning more ‘challenger brands’ are appearing online, often with progressive marketing and communications tactics, and lower prices.

Shout about the brand

For traditional brands, this saturated market means they have to adapt quickly to promote their online offering. Brand awareness will be key to standing out from the crowd and beginning to build those online relationships, as well as retaining existing customers.

So brands need to establish what makes them special. And shout about it online.

Build better relationships

Part of dealing with a saturated market is also building better relationships with new and current customers. After all, it costs 5 times more to sell to a new customer than an existing one.

This means communications on all channels need to be spot on. Including recognising VIP customers and treating them well, so they are more likely to refer new customers to the brand.

Promote bricks and mortar stores

Whilst eCommerce is booming, many consumers will still want to visit a physical store before making a purchase. This is especially true for more expensive items such as sofas.

So if brands have stores open, even if it’s just the flagship store, they should promote it. Encourage visitors to come and try out their goods, or attend events and sales that aren’t available online.

Solutions

So now we have identified common challenges facing the home and garden industry, and what they should do to solve them. Let’s look at how brands can achieve these objectives. 

Consolidate data

We’ve discussed how important data is to understanding an audience.

That’s why before brands can get stuck into their personalisation, they need to get the basics of their data right. Fully understanding their audience, and being any to feed personalisation tactics.

Data consolidation will achieve this. By consolidating all data into one single source, marketers can gain a high-level view of who their audience are and how they engage. And use this information for all future marketing and personalisation efforts.

Combine data sources

Separate data sources and business systems no longer cut it in 2021. Instead, brands in this industry need to combine all of their data sources into one accessible place. Ensuring that everyone from the business is working from the same information.

Data analysis

Once this data is collated and organised, marketers can begin to analyse and understand what their audience looks like and how they behave. This will help them to identify their ideal customer and those who are most likely to buy their products.

Segmentation

Additionally, marketers can use this information to create specific segments to automate highly targeted and personalised campaigns and content suggestions based on demographics, behaviour, preferences, and previous activity.

RFM analysis

And once all of this data is in place, marketers can execute RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) modelling and analysis.

This helps them to identify customers who are most likely to buy, or those they are most likely to lose. Marketers can then use these segments to communicate accordingly.

Behavioural targeting

Now that a brand has centralised their data and has a better grasp of their audience, they can begin to utilise this information to send targeted, automated communications.

With the use of behavioural targeting, brands can send the right message, at the right time, to the right recipient. Without having to manually create endless email or landing page templates.

Segmentation

They can begin with behavioural segmentation. Which refers to segmenting an audience based on something they have in common, such as demographics, their behaviour, their purchase, or even their stage in the buying journey.

They can then send campaigns that are targeted and personalised to their wants and needs. Such as sending out a promotion for a product or service that the recipients have browsed, but not yet purchased.

Abandoned basket

Basket abandon emails are one of our favourite types of behavioural targeting.

Aimed at consumers that have almost finished a purchase, but didn’t quite complete. Basket abandonment emails can help brands recover 12% of lost revenue.

These emails should include the item that the recipient hasn’t yet purchased, any additional relevant information which might encourage them to finish. And even a discount code, as 54% of consumers will purchase products left in their basket if they are offered at a lower price.

Post-purchase updates

In 2021, post-purchase updates are now essential.

After the consumer has handed over their money, they will be eager to know that the transaction has gone through smoothly and their purchase is on its way.

So brands need to keep communicating at this stage to offer reassurance.

This could include a purchase confirmation, delivery updates, post-delivery check-ins, and ratings requests.

Stock notifications

Thanks to interior design trends and influencers, home and garden products can get snapped up quickly. Leaving many consumers empty handed.

So, instead of disappointing these potential customers, brands can offer them in-stock notifications so they can be the first on the site when their desired product is in stock.

Dynamic content

Dynamic content is one of the most useful features to hit the marketing industry.

It allows brands to automatically generate engaging creative that is up-to-date and unique to the recipient. This creative can be utilised in both email and on landing pages, tailored specifically to the individual, and peppered throughout the customer journey to keep them engaged at every step.

Recommended products

80% of consumers like to receive product recommendation emails based on past purchases. But this tactic is also great to encourage shoppers to finally make their first purchase.

Brands can utilise behavioural and purchase data alongside dynamic content to automatically populate both emails and landing pages, based on products and product categories they have browsed or purchased.

This could include a similar product, an up-sell at checkout, or add-on items post-purchase.

Image Source – Cox & Cox

Live pricing and availability

For brands that offer regular sales and discounts, their pricing and availability will be fluctuating regularly.

This is a lot to keep on top of manually.

Instead, brands can utilise dynamic content alongside their data feeds to automate real-time pricing and availability. This will be updated every time a recipient opens their email or refreshes a landing page.

Not only is this really useful information for the consumer, it also adds a sense of urgency. If a consumer can see their favourite item is selling fast, they might be more likely to make the purchase.

Image Source – Wayfair

Geotargeting

We’ve mentioned that eCommerce is booming for the home and garden industry. But, many consumers will still want to buy from physical stores, or at least see items in ‘real life’ before they purchase.

With that in mind, brands should continue to promote any bricks-and-mortar stores they have.

They can achieve this efficiently by using geotargeting alongside dynamic content, to identify where specific recipients and website visitors are located, and promote the closest store to them.

This could include store opening times, sales, and events at their local store. And means that all consumers are receiving the most relevant information. As opposed to an event at a store that is too far away.

Image Source – The Range

Social proof

Social proof is increasingly essential for brands in this industry. Particularly when consumers are making large purchases without seeing or trying out items.

Fortunately, brands can utilise dynamic content alongside their social media or ratings sites to reassure customers about the purchases they are considering.

They can pull through relevant ratings, reviews, photos, and videos based on specific items. And showcase them on their website and within their emails.

This will help to build consumer trust, and also helps encourage purchases from consumers who don’t want to miss out on the latest trends or influencer favourites.

Image Source – Made.com

Are you a brand in the home and garden industry?

We understand that significant changes within an industry can be overwhelming, and can really put the pressure on a business.

At Pure360, we can help. We have supported other brands in this industry to attract, retain, and engage customers with the use of personalisation, our all-in-one AI marketing platform, and our Customer Success Team.

Get in touch today to find out more.

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