OFA Bulletin May/June 2013 : Page 3

the Small Business Association (SBA) Office of Advocacy estimates that small businesses incur an averaged monetized compliance cost per employee of approximately $4,500. We believe that a simpler, fairer compliance system for Main Street that allows for investment and innovation without significantly increasing the effective tax rate of our member businesses should be at the heart of any comprehensive tax reform proposal. Also within the same committee, we submitted comments regarding our concern they may modify cash accounting practices for nurseries. Changing the ability for our industry to use cash accounting could be devastating. We are in the early stages of urging the Committee to reconsider its decision to eliminate for nursery farmers of all sizes special consideration and access to cash accounting practice. One of the outcomes of the proposed consolidation between OFA and ANLA is the opportunity to engage the entire industry in our advocacy efforts. It takes more than a few skilled staff members in Washington, DC. It really requires the strength garnered through an alliance of thousands of individuals representing thousands of business. I hope you see there are numerous issues—big and small—that we are working on to protect, preserve, and promote the horticulture industry. Thank you for your support. Marketing WoMen shoPPers: different styles and What attracts theM CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 The book also reveals that the relationship between the shopper and the salesperson is a pivotal point in the shopping experience. Women and Shopping is an informative and enjoyable read, but also gives retailers some clues as to how to improve the experience, making shopping more enjoyable for the consumer and potentially even more profitable for the retailer. The author’s posit is that shopping is a creative act. How, exactly, that creation is made can come about through different shopping styles. Huddleston and Minihan identified several kinds of shopping: purposeful, convenience, and recreational. We should be prepared for all types of shopping styles. Spring energizes our customers to get creative with food and beauty, so garden centers should be enticing all of those types of shoppers. The purposeful shopper will know, in advance, what she is looking for. She probably has some gardening experience and has a good sense of what will work in her outdoor living space and garden. Likely, she has more disposable income than time, so she will be on a mission to fulfill her shopping list as efficiently as possible. How do we connect with this stype of shopper? Most likely through online information and experiences. These shoppers may be more likely to do their homework and have a good understanding of the areas in which plants will be grown or displayed as well as some sense of what worked well last year and what changes, if any, she’d like to make. Keeping your website up-to-date and consistent with in-store specials and advertisements will present her with a cohesive picture of what she can expect when she can make the time to shop. Her experience in the store is likely to be shaped by what she finds and how she finds it. Key to her success once in the store is for you to identify plant material and integrate complementary products. For example, if she is seeking plants for a container (which she likely already owns), her success will depend on finding colors that coordinate with her outdoor furnishings, pilows, and umbrellas, all of which may reflect color trends or favorites. Making the experience easier for her would include a color wheel prominently displayed and merchandise arranged by color, not botanical life cycle (annuals, perennials, tropicals, etc.). Color coordinating the benches would make the color blocks pop, drawing her into the area in which she’s most likely to find success. Post the Pantone colors for spring and she’s likely to notice and buy a color she’s drawn toward from other shopping adventures. She is not about browsing, but achievement. The convenience shopper has little time and is focused on efficiently getting the product. She shops alone and wants to be fast but effective. Many retailers can meet her needs as well through eye-catching displays that offer creative solutions, but she is less likely to do much online research beforehand. Inspiration and good solutons are probably the key to success for this type of shopper. She wants to find ideas and solutions; she’s not coming in with clear ideas of her own. She may or may not have plant containers at home, but is ready for a spring spruce-up in a time-and budget-friendly manner. Integration of complementary products will be essential to her success. The mixes or pre-packaged container gardens might appeal to her most. Integrating plants by more than just color, and assembling the mix ideal for sun or shade will capture her attention. Smart tags or QR codes may help her know that more information is there, if she wants it. Whether it is a salsa garden (with a tomato, pepper, and cilantro), lettuce blend (with edible pansies), or annual container for the shaded patio, be sure to cross merchandise containers, fertilizer, potting media, and some garden art for her. Model the end product, and she’s more likely to buy. Have some prepared “out the door” products as well as smaller components. Assembling those components into a group with a convenient carrying tray or handle will appeal to her even more. Don’t discount the importance of the browsing shopper. She may be alone but be gathering information and ideas about a future purchase. Browsers view shopping as a pleasurable activity, her senses are gathering information and she is enjoying the experience. She will talk to friends and can sway some of their purchases. We might not be as inclined to invite the browser in during the busy season, but treat her with kid gloves because she will be back. And she’ll be back to buy if she’s had a positive experience. If she doesn’t enjoy the browsing, feels rushed or unwanted, she won’t be back to make a purchase. Welcome the browser and she’ll reward you with purchases later. Turn her off and she’ll go elsewhere for her relaxation, fun, and purchases. The shopper with friends wants a different type of browsing experience. She may want the company of friends and enjoys shopping to lift her spirit. What better sensory experience can she have than looking at beautiful flowers, smelling pleasant floral scents, and enjoying the peaceful sounds of water flowing in water features or birds chirping, live or piped in? CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 MiChAel V. GeAry, CAe Chief Executive Officer OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals 2130 Stella Ct Columbus, OH 43215 614-487-1117 mgeary@ofa.org 3

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