Here at GardenSite we are celebrating our 18th birthday, David Coton recalls how we have grown from an off shoot of a family run garden centre into one of the UK's leading online garden supplies retailers.
Our garden centre was established in 1952 and run on conventional lines until we foresaw the potential of internet and how online shopping could increase sales and expand the business.
Robert Hall, Senior Partner, recalls the site's early days and recently commented:
"GardenSite was set up to take advantage of brand new technology (the internet) and we were learning important lessons everyday. We were pioneers and had to quickly acquaint ourselves with the unfamiliar demands of online retailing."
After eighteen successful years, GardenSite is still an independent business that emphasises excellent customer service and our success has much to do with retaining traditional values in a modern environment, on top of providing a 5 star service to their customers.
It is apparent that our reputation is acknowledged by our customers through the thousands of public reviews which can be found online, including a 9/10 TrustScore rating on TrustPilot and a 4.4/5 score on Reviews.co.uk.
GardenSite sources product ranges from throughout the world and we are constantly expanding our offering, with a current record of 10,000 products available for sale through the website.
Robert Hall adds:
“We strive hard to always stock a wide selection of quality products at the keenest prices with fast and free UK delivery.”
This quest for the best products at outstanding prices is clearly shown by winning the ‘Best Online Buying Team’ award for the past two years at GLEE Birmingham, the garden industry's annual show, and again being nominated this year for 2017.
TV And Online Marketing
According to Robert, part of GardenSite's long standing success is due to the marketing efforts conducted in-house, whereby we recently produced and aired a regional TV advertising campaign with the strapline 'Create Your Perfect Space' in order to improve brand awareness in the UK.
Our marketing strategy also includes the use of social media to keep in contact with customers and inform them about new products and gardening news, while at the same time hosting regular competitions to give our followers the chance to win free products.
On top of online marketing, GardenSite takes part in donating products to local and nationwide causes. Most recently we donated products to aid with the makeover of a garden in one of this year's Love Your Garden TV episodes on ITV.
Meanwhile earlier in the year, plant specialist David Hall worked closely with one of our nursery suppliers in order to develop the 'Time To Live' potted rose, helping to raise money for the ‘Breast Cancer Now’ charity.
Improving User Experience
Over the last 18 years and with the advancement in technology, web browsers and ever increasing internet speeds, GardenSite’s development team have been heavily involved in updating and improving the website as a whole, while creating an improved experience for our users.
Our latest website improvements include a mobile friendly and user UI overhaul in April 2015, along with improving the website’s security for our users by enforcing SSL Https Encryption in January 2017. The evolution of the GardenSite.co.uk website has been recorded on the WayBack Archive and collated below in an infographic:
These past 18 years have proven successful for the our business and by the look of things, there should be no stopping GardenSite having another 18 successful years!