How Horticultural Businesses are Adapting to an Online World

ZoeBagnall
Published on March 31st 2020
gardeners looking at an ipad
As a result of the current global situation, businesses are thinking outside of the box as their way of working and interacting with consumers has changed dramatically in the space of just a couple of weeks.
While economists are expressing concern about the long-term impact of the pandemic, others are seeing the situation as an opportunity for businesses to diversify and find creative ways of reaching their consumers.

How Businesses are Changing their Relationship with Customers

A lady smiling at a plant nursery
The social distancing measures introduced by the government on 23 March have meant that many companies are being forced to move online.
While there is a worry in the industry about the many plants that will potentially need to be thrown away, it's also being reported that sales of gardening supplies and plants have risen dramatically for some companies.
inews also found that seed suppliers across the UK are struggling to cope with the increase in demand as more people are considering growing their own fruit and vegetables to avoid having to go to the shops.
Chrysanthenems Direct have reported a 20% increase in online sales in the past week, as have Jekka's Herb Farm. Jekka's are now offering contactless plant-pick-up which can be arranged via email as are many other nurseries across the country.

How Technology is Supporting Local Growers

someone planting a plant
Candide are using their technology to help businesses cope with the switch to digitising their work, by offering to list nurseries for free in the app. For those nurseries who don't have online shops, they are able to list stock on Candide Marketplace for free. All profits go directly to the nursery.
It's also offering advice about how to package plants for safe delivery. Additionally, any plants sold via a Candide Marketplace listing before 30 June by a professional grower will be insured by Candide.
Chris Beardshaw, garden designer and broadcaster said: “Nurseries now like many of us face an uncertain future. However, the good news is that gardeners via Candide can gain access to those nurseries.”
Some economists are speculating that the shift to virtual ways of working is temporary, others are suggesting they could be more permanent.
On a positive note, however, it has been said that the end result of the current situation is that we will all live more humanely. Perhaps people might start to think more consciously about where plants and gardening material can be sourced from so that small, experienced nurseries are supported above plant companies who ship in from abroad. People who are craving human interaction might return to shopping locally at an even greater rate than before.
What is important to remember is that the situation is temporary and it's useful to focus on the positive things we can do in this time of uncertainty. As the character, Candide said in the novel by Voltaire after he had experienced many challenges, “let us cultivate our garden.”

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