Gardman are Britain’s largest distributor and wholesaler of gardening products that distributes its products through a network of 2000 retail garden centres. After recent acquisition by an investment group the company was looking to leverage its position in the marketplace. The business already had a number of websites and had made initial steps into eCommerce that had not achieved any significant results. Furthermore, Gardman did not own the routes to market, but was reliant on a network of agents who sold their products into the retailers. This posed a significant strategic risk to the business.
A strategic plan was created, which took the potential channel conflict with their current reseller and sales agent network into account. The plan was focused around eBusiness and allowing Gardman’s trade customers access to the back office and place orders with ease.
Mentoring of internal digital team
With a lack of senior eCommerce expertise on the management team, eCommonSense provided coaching and training to Gardman’s digital team.
Digital development partner selection criteria
As part of the process of finding a new digital development partner, a full criterion was defined in order that all the business requirements were met. This process ensured that the partner had the right experience to build a complex eBusiness and eCommerce solution which could be white labelled for the reseller garden centres, whilst allowing business to business transactions.
Assessing alternative channels to market
Gardman wanted to explore alternative channels to market such as Amazon and Ebay. eCommonSense carried out an assessment and made recommendations to the board on which approach to take from the choice of selling to Amazon direct as a third party reseller or selling themselves through the Amazon marketplace. Gardman followed the recommendations and are in the process of rolling out the strategy across the European territories.
Image credit: Tanaka Juuyoh via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)