Fleuroselect Declares 2015 as Year of the Sunflower

The international organization for the ornamental plants industry, Fleuroselect, is calling 2015 the “year of the sunflower”.

This marketing campaign is geared towards home gardeners and is supposed to promote the use of sun flowers in private gardens. Fleuroselect is hoping to increase the sales of seeds and plants for producers, suppliers and retailers. The sunflower campaign will be promoted in all major European countries during the main selling period in 2015.

Campaign supporters have the possibility to use a range of marketing materials: A “Year of the sunflower” logo, available in English, German, Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish can be used as stickers for seed packaging or plant labels. Fleuroselect also provides a library with sunflower images, an instructional “how to” video for planting sunflowers, website banners, press releases and a range of point of sale materials for retailers.

Further information: fleuroselect.com

Digitalization of the POS: Varying Consumer Acceptance in Europe

The digitalization of the trading environment has a growing influence on the Point of Sale. Because of new technologies, retailers are now able to provide services that can theoretically offer additional benefits to the customer and the vendor alike.

For two years now, the large German drugstore chain dm offers an electronic receipt (E-Bon) to its customers. Customers with a payback card can sign-up for the E-Bon service and will receive their receipts via email after paying at the register. But according to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, as of September 2014 only 11.000 customers took advantage of this system. The opinion research center IFH Köln surveyed several European countries and asked how people view new technologies at the POS. The results between the countries varied significantly.

People from the Netherlands rated the E-Bon as quite useful: They gave it an average of 6.8 out of 10 points. Customers from Spain (6.2) and Great Britain (5.7) gave similar results. The German customers however, don’t seem to see the advantages of this system (yet). They gave it 3.8 points on average.

A different system, the personalized receipt, which shows discounts and coupons based on the customers’ individual shopping behavior, has been reviewed more positively by the Germans: It got 5.7 points on average. A possible reason might be that the benefits of discounts and coupons are easier to spot. But the survey also showed that Spaniards (8.1), Brits (6.5) and Dutch (6.0) rated these benefits higher than the Germans.

Bettina Seul, division manager from the IFH Köln, explains the results like this: “German consumers are no innovation drivers; when it comes to technological developments at the POS they are skeptics. Technologies that need explanation, like the E-Bon, are not rated well yet. This means for the retailers, that the positive values have to be explained clearer to the customers. Testing out something new without seeing the direct advantages doesn’t seem to work for German customers.

Further information: ifhkoeln.de

Garden Centers: Get Your Customers Involved

The recent insolvency of the German hardware store chain Praktiker showed that price dumping doesn’t guarantee success. Customers want to be connected and involved with the products a store wants to sell. This goes especially for garden centers. One possibility of connecting with people is through food. Everything that has to do with cooking, be it shows on TV, cookbooks or kitchen supplies, is more popular than ever nowadays. Why not creating the same enthusiasm for growing your own healthy and fresh food in the garden?

The professional horticulturist and business consultant Leslie Halleck collected some useful ideas on how to accomplish that. In her article for Garden Center Magazine Real foodies grow their own she gives answers on how to get customers involved and excited about gardening through different ways of education.

Waitrose Supermarkets Introduce Welcome Desks for Online Customers

The British supermarket chain Waitrose is planning a substantial change for their retail stores. As more and more people buy online, rather than shopping around, the supermarket intends to adapt to this new behavior. Concierge-style service desks will allow customers to make online orders, collect products bought over the internet and have their flowers and gifts wrapped. There will also be dry cleaning services.

Waitrose managing director Mark Price said that “by offering these new branch hubs, we will enhance the customer experience even further by providing greater convenience and even more personalized services.” All desks will include tablet computers that customers can use to make orders for Waitrose and their sister company John Lewis.

This year one hundred Waitrose supermarkets will be equipped with the new desks, the rest of the stores will follow within the next year.

Further Information: waitrose.com

 

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