We've covered this topic in the past, but debunking the fears of buying in our industry is something we're passionate about, and the rationale for expanding your purchasing network bares repeating.
We created a brand new dashboard for suppliers on LandscapeHub to successfully navigate their business on our platform. Suppliers can track traffic to their brand and product pages as well as view sales, open quotes, and orders placed. They can even gain insights on the most and least popular products in their inventory.
Our team has been BUSY this summer, and we're so happy and fortunate that our business continues to thrive during a beyond difficult time in our world. We miss the daily face-to-face interactions with our prospects, customers, and partners, but this time has made us realize just how important a role technology plays and will continue to play in the seasons ahead. Now, more than ever before, we are assured of our mission to improve the lives of green industry professionals through technology and innovation. They will be the keys to help our industry to grow and succeed to the benefit of everyone.
Recently, we conducted a case study with a large, regional design build firm where we compared how long it would take a purchaser to complete eight quotes of equal size using the traditional offline method versus using LandscapeHub. Do you know what we found? Completing the eight quotes using the "offline way" took 30 hours, but only took 3.5 hours...equal to a 88% time savings. The same quotes also produced an 11% cost saving when using LandscapeHub!
When determining where any market is going, it’s a good idea to look at its health. The landscaping industry is in great health. It experiences $77 billion in annual revenues, according to an IBISWorld Report. This report also identifies that the industry employs around one million and has an annual growth of 3.5%. The real estate market is strong, which fuels the seller’s market in many areas of the country. This is and always will be a good indicator of the demand for landscape services.
You may not realize this, but you probably interact on open marketplaces all the time. If you’ve ever bought a Groupon or sold something on eBay, then yes, you have!
As a buyer considering participating in an online market need only look at his or her current sourcing model. Do any of these statements sound familiar?
Digital sales channels (such as e-commerce websites, amazon, content marketing, affiliate marketing) aren’t new, but because of a variety of factors (time, money, knowledge), you might not have ventured far into exploring solutions for your business. As discussed in last week's post, it can require a huge investment to travel that path on your own. With the right strategy, however, using digital channels for your nursery and landscape supply business can turn into a successful venture.
If you do currently offer online sales, you can attest to the complexity of it. When the channel is something you have to maintain yourself, you find out that it is more complicated than putting photos of products with prices on your website. You also have to consider payment methods and set up merchant accounts. You have to make sure your website is secure. And that’s just the beginning! While there is value in having your own e-commerce site, maintaining your own e-commerce site is not always the most efficient way to do it. Costs and the ability to connect to others in the supply chain limit what you can do on your own.
Advantages of Online Marketplaces Over Individual E-Commerce Efforts
Operating on a marketplace is different than sustaining your own e-commerce market on your own website. On your own, you’d have to foot the bill for the technology and features you need. That’s not all, though.
Joining a Marketplace Allows You to Grow without Massive Investments of Time and Money
Getting your product in front of buyers is actually the hardest part of the whole enterprise. Even if you put together an e-commerce site, you’re limited to your existing buyers and the few new buyers you can attract to your website. Growing your digital audience (and pool of customers) involves sophisticated digital strategy. You can’t just expect to “build it and they will come.”
When you become part of a marketplace, your business automatically reaches more buyers. But, it won’t be your investment in marketing that boosts revenue, but the platform’s investment. This is beneficial because you’re a landscape supplier, not a tech company. When you join a specialized marketplace like LandscapeHub, where the company that created it is a technology company that also has expertise in landscaping, everyone wins, because everyone is working in their area of expertise. You can concentrate on supplying great product and the marketplace can concentrate on growing the customer base.
Benefits of Marketplaces
Well-constructed marketplaces heal broken supply chains, which improves the experience for all stakeholders.
In addition to growing without your own massive investments, marketplaces offer these advantages:Online platforms assist you with delivery. It’s not solely up to you to figure out how to get things. This functionality allows logistics to be much smoother.
You receive data that you can leverage to better respond to the market.
You may learn from your platform transactions that certain plants are in greater demand than others. You might notice trends before others. This information could help you optimize your pricing and influence your product offering, giving you a tremendous competitive edge over those not on the platform.
All buyers are vetted.
A marketplace evaluates the buyers just as they do the sellers. You can be assured that those on the platform are legitimate companies.
Ordering and fulfillment is streamlined.
Quoting, ordering, payments, and delivery managed in one place saves time, which earns you money. If you spend less time chasing e-commerce challenges, you have more time to do important things for the health and growth of your business.
Receive benefits of aggregation and cooperation.
Being a supplier on a marketplace increases your ability to reach more potential buyers, which means more orders.
With all these clear benefits, it’s easy to see why the nursery and landscape supply industry is shifting to online marketplaces. These are the same benefits that successful marketplaces in other industries such as Uber, Airbnb, and Amazon bestow on participants.
An industry-built marketplace like LandscapeHub brings this to the green industry and helps both buyers and sellers.
Tune in next week for part three of our series where we'll be covering marketplace advantages for buyers!