Seen through a purely commerce lens, the pandemic has been a wild ride for everyone from brands and retailers to mom-and-pop stores. Gigantic commerce holes have not been able to be refilled via the sharp and sustained growth of ecommerce.
The pandemic has generated surges of interest in areas that had been in the background, such as exercise equipment — dumbbell sales grew skywards 1,980% on the previous year; with weight plates and kettlebells both reaching beyond 1,000% increases.
Another area of ecommerce that is experiencing germination, in line with warmer weather and pleasant outdoor conditions is gardening. There has been a surge in people growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables whether it’s on their urban apartment balcony or their own patch of rural land.
Online sales of garden products grew 63% from March to May, with more than 25% of those who bought gardening tools being influenced by the pandemic. While on the micro level, deeper in the dirt, the online plant seller ShrubBucket declared a 1,200% jump in demand for veggie plants.
Seeds of growth
With much of the population confined to their homes, a number of reasons for the spurt in gardening have become clear.
Early on when lockdown came into force and many stores witnessed floods of customers swiping shelves of certain products, creating a sense of certain shortages of goods. (You remember the toilet roll saga?) This led many to be concerned about their food supply, and turned their heads to some form of self-sufficiency.
And so the appeal of gardening — whether you’re home to acres in the countryside, wide and open gardens in the suburbs, or enough balcony space in the city to squeeze a few plants, fruits and vegetables — bloomed.
Another influencing factor is cost. Always a core factor for most customers, budgeting has taken on greater significance as millions of Americans were left furloughed or lost their jobs, relying on government financial assistance that temporarily replaced wages. Saving money by growing your own food not only cuts the cost per item of food, but it also eliminates additional, external costs — such as gas for driving to the store, car parking fees, packaging costs etc.
And finally, tied to the mass unemployment figures, is that more people have more time. Having a lot of unexpected extra free time given to you, you’re going to need to fill it somehow. For many, their green spaces became reimagined spaces; no longer purely for aesthetics, they can serve more practical purposes, provide a sense of control, and work to counteract anxieties and worries.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud as fertile soil
For many of the biggest and best gardening retailers, Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware) provides the best ecommerce solution to reach out to customers and provide them with comprehensive yet easy-to-navigate interfaces, and smooth online experiences.
The Burpee Seed Company sells seeds and plants and uses SFCC to host their website and provide ecommerce solutions to their business strategy. Likewise, Gardener’s Supply serves millions of gardeners via catalogs, retail stores and online, the latter of which is hosted on Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and sells everything from seeds and compost to decor and landscaping equipment.
And so when it comes to spreading gardening success, Salesforce Commerce Cloud is the fertile soil for ecommerce growth.