Monrovia informed its garden center clients through a letter that it will be launching an eCommerce portion to its website that will allow the grower to sell plants directly to consumers. And in a move to protect its relationships with independent garden centers, Monrovia plans to ship the plants to the customer’s local garden center and credit that garden center with the sale.
Monrovia is limiting the number of plants sold to a collection it is calling “Secret Gardener Collection.” The grower did not specify how many varieties it anticipated would be included in the collection for the launch.
The provision to credit the store with each eCommerce sale includes doubling the wholesale cost of the plant, so the garden center can maintain its margins. Retailers will be notified of the anticipated delivery and given the customer’s contact information, allowing the garden center to interact with the customer and offer delivery services. Monrovia will also provide customer service in the form of a follow-up thank you, request for reviews and planting tips.
Here is a copy of the letter:
As an Independent Garden Center, we know you share Monrovia’s passion for plants and therefore we are announcing a new way to partner with Monrovia and engage more consumers in the passion of gardening. Our E-commerce enhancement to Monrovia.com enables gardening consumers to purchase plants online and have them delivered with our regular shipments to your garden center this spring. This enhancement is in response to the thousands of inquiries at Monrovia.com today, to the way consumers are shopping online and to our goal of improving the success of both our businesses. Moreover, it’s a great time saver for you and your customers.
Beginning this January, consumers will be able to order online from a limited collection of Monrovia plants called the “Secret Gardener Collection.” Simultaneous with each online purchase, we will credit your account with an amount equal to a 100% mark up from your normal landed purchase price (i.e. if $10.00 is your normal landed purchase price, then you will be credited $10.00). We will package each online order distinctively and separately so it will be easy to identify during unloading. Literally the consumer’s name and special packaging materials will make it easy for you to see.
We know that successful gardeners have an enriching relationship with their Independent Garden Centers. Our new E-commerce enhancement provides you the opportunity to further enhance that relationship. You will be notified in advance of the shipment date, so you can contact the consumer to arrange for the pick-up, and offer your other services such as delivery or planting. We are offering in-store signage for you to advertise this new E-commerce service and hope that you will create a distinct holding area for online orders that attracts attention from all your customers.
The “Secret Gardener Collection” is intended for discriminating gardeners. We will stay in touch with these “Secret Gardeners” by thanking them for their purchases, seeking feedback on how the plants are performing and offering tips for success. We plan to develop new consumers loyal to you and Monrovia because of the success they enjoy. Most online orders are received in a FedEx box to one’s home and we appreciate that our E-commerce offering is distinctively different. We hope you agree it is also “Distinctively Better” because gardening consumers need and deserve the added services that only Independent Garden Centers can provide.
Working together, we can create more consumers with the passion for gardening and at the same time make our businesses more successful.