Nothing epitomises summer in the UK better than the image of an idyllic English country garden, and even those of use that don’t live in a thatched cottage want to spruce up our outdoor spaces whether they be gardens or a roof terrace. Today, Elisabeth Rommel, Global GM at eBay Ads, taps into Brits’ passion for their gardens with advice on how to turn this enthusiasm into sales:
Spring is in full bloom which means that summer is just round the corner. And with the weather warming up and the world getting back to normal, the summer is set to be an even bigger sales opportunity for sellers in the home and garden category.
Why? Because Brits’ passion for their gardens has blossomed over the last two years as a result of the successive lockdowns. This was showcased in our latest research of 1,000 UK consumers, which found that 43% of people say they have been using their garden or outdoor space more now than pre-pandemic.
And with 79% intending to invest in their outdoor spaces in the coming months, it’s clear that this trend is not only set to stay, but gardens are set to be a lucrative area for retailers in the coming months.
With this in mind, here are my top three pieces of advice that Home & Garden sellers on eBay should consider in order to capitalise on this new generation of green-fingered gardeners in the months ahead…
1. Plan ahead
Each year, the retail calendar is peppered with a whole host of key moments and occasions which inspire people to spruce up their gardens, from bank holidays to flower shows, triggering a massive uplift in searches and sales.
For example, bank holidays present the perfect opportunity for families and friends to get together in the garden, enjoying a much-needed barbeque. In fact, we found that searches on ebay.co.uk in the Garden & Patio category increased 32% during the early 2021 May bank holiday weekend compared to the three days previous. And let’s not forget the crown jewel of the season this Spring — the Queen’s bumper Jubilee bank holiday weekend. According to our data, almost half (45%) of UK consumers intend to celebrate this, whilst 32% have plans for hosting their own celebrations.
Meanwhile other calendar moments which could prompt Brits to fix up their gardens include sports events such as Wimbledon or must-watch reality TV shows like Love Island that see people gather in their gardens to cheer along, and flower/ garden shows.
If they’re prepared for all the seasonal spikes, the opportunities for home & garden retailers are truly huge. Make sure you have mapped out all the key dates into your marketing calendar, sourced the right products and – after deciding the ones you wish to promote – setting up your campaigns in good time. This will help to ensure you’re one step ahead and in the best position to cater to gardening aficionados in the coming months.
2. Spruce up your eBay listings
Retailers looking to make fruitful connections with gardening enthusiasts in the months ahead will also need to consider fine-tuning their eBay listings. This will be crucial to boosting your brand visibility, getting much-needed cut through when demand spikes.
One of the most crucial parts of your eBay listings to get right are keywords. Consider for a moment that almost a third (31%) of consumers plan to beautify their flower beds in the coming months by buying seeds, plants and bulbs. Retailers aiming to engage with green-fingered shoppers will need to step back and think about what terms and phrases prospective buyers might use when searching for an item. Might it be ‘grass seed’, ‘summer-flowering bulb’ or ‘vegetable seeds’? Using these in your listings, you will make your products hyper searchable — significantly increasing the likelihood of securing that crucial sale.
With your keywords identified, you should turn your attention to your listing titles and descriptions as well as images, as these are the first things which prospective buyers see when searching on eBay.
When it comes to listing titles, you should include as much information as possible and use 15 or more keywords. For example, if you sell plant pots, include the colour, dimensions, if it has drainage holes, what material it’s made from and whether it’s an indoor or outdoor pot. Meanwhile, the item description is your opportunity to tell a buyer everything they need to know about your product. Keep this short, punchy and as accurate as possible (including any issues such as scratches on furniture or chips on plant pots). And, of course, be sure to once again inter-weave the description with keywords.
As for your listing images, these should showcase your products in the best light possible. Ensure you use a high-quality camera to take your snaps and use natural lighting — trying to eliminate shadows where possible. Spending time to perfect these things can make sure your listings are noticed by the right buyers at the right time and help your items sell in spades.
3. Check out the competition
Last but not least, remember that knowledge is power, and understanding the wider market landscape will give you critical insights to help boost your business.
By conducting market research to see what the competition is doing — whether that’s their marketing strategy, branding, paid promotions, listings or customer support — you can open a window into what is working well for them – and take those learnings on board for yourself to ensure you stand out from the crowd and get much-needed cut-through.
And as well as investigating direct competitors that sell to a similar audience, why not also cast your net wider to look at other retailers across sectors? What does ‘good’ look like more generally? This can yield further valuable insights and inspiration to keep your listings a cut above the rest.
Ultimately, as we look ahead to the end of spring and start of summer, the gardening revival means there are bucketfuls of opportunities for home & garden sellers, and it’s the brands that ensure they’re getting ahead of consumer trends who will outbeat the competition and rake in the rewards.