With spring in full swing, greenhouses, nurseries, and florists are eyeing more opportunities to keep business growing. As businesses gradually reopen, some may allow customers to browse in person—remember to stay up to date on your own state’s changing restrictions and mandates. But with customer capacity often limited and many shoppers still wary of browsing in stores, giving customers more no-contact purchasing options (like curbside pickup) can be more bountiful for your business.
Offering curbside pickup is a convenient way for customers to visit your shop or greenhouse, gather greenery they’ve already chosen—and perhaps paid for online—and get on with their day without coming into close quarters with others. If you’re considering adding curbside services, check out our tips below before getting started.
- Keep customers in the know: If your business begins offering curbside pickup or other no-contact options, make your customers aware of those plans. Make sure to update your website and other public profiles (like Facebook), and send email updates to customers in your database.
- Make browsing feel natural: Now in peak season, many green businesses are getting creative in their approach to showcasing their best and brightest. Some businesses are helping customers make online selections using color wheel tools, photo galleries, or even online consultations. Other growers are coming up with in-person options, like drive-through container or hanging basket days, where customers can browse and point out selections from their vehicle.
- Optimize online ordering and payment: New software applications offer plenty of ways to set up online payment options. You can also train employees to manually enter credit card information into your POS system so customers can place orders over the phone.
- Prepare for pickups: Keeping your curbside operation organized is critical to its success. Here are some things to consider:
- Make sure to designate a spot near your business for curbside pickups—and use outdoor signage to help guide customers to that spot.
- Think about making pickup orders by appointment to ensure customers aren’t left waiting.
- If you accept payments in person, make sure customers know how and where to pay in advance of their arrival to help avoid confusion or congregating at registers or near employees.
- Perhaps most importantly, use signs or line markers to help maintain at least six feet between your employees and any customers arriving for pickup.
- Offer new services or selections: Gardeners at all levels are experiencing a renewed interest in growing their own fruits and vegetables. Consider providing more of these options, or turning them into packages or growing kits. This will allow you to deliver a product and better service by offering helpful tools and advice. You may also find inspiration from businesses specializing in the floral industry. Many of these businesses are offering drop-off and pickup potting services to help ensure customers see lush growth, whether or not they have a green thumb.
With a little careful planning and creativity, adding curbside services can help your business—and your reputation for customer service—thrive. And with several weeks of spring still to come, it’s not too late to make it part of your business this season.