Farmyard Nurseries is a specialist plants growing business that offers a selection of shrubs and plants to the local community. It is however, better known for supplying four groups of plants aimed at specialist gardeners.
FN’s business model is comprised of some main key elements. These include the use of effective marketing tools such as paper-based advertising, the product or plants they wish to supply to the desired market and cultivation, the customer base they wish to target and the integration of technology into the business. Staffing, location and financial control are additional elements that are included.
With any business, especially one such as this, marketing is an issue that needs to be addressed well to appreciate the customer needs and the line of business. Initially FN approached the horticultural market by listing themselves with relevance to such places as the Royal Horticultural Society National Plant Finder index, Yellow Pages and other national magazines. This provides wide scope for the prospective buyer to find them but with little information. The need for a greater more content-rich delivery of information was needed at a more cost-effective price. That is what Richard Bramley, owner of Farmyard Nurseries, had envisaged when he sought to utilise eCommerce as a tool to address many of the underpinning business issues.
The use of financial value when marketing was slightly hindered by the boundaries emplaced by limited access to useful and visual information supplied by the magazines and leaflet style advertising. The finances used to support the regulated staffing throughout different times of the year obviously were emplaced through careful study and worked effectively for the specialist planting business.
Communication and technology were used with good practice and link between distribution and location allowed potential for the expansion of services. West Wales is not a place really traveled to and the use of the internet to gain greater market reach is an excellent use of tools to harness more customers with relevant information and pictures about the business of FN.
Contributing Factors of eCommerce
The first most important contributing factor was Richard’s effective use of technology, implementation and understanding of web based services he decided to use. Having the ability to use these tools efficiently means that FN could generate more trade with better value on the outgoing costs. The choice of pages, content, website framework and relevant, up to date information, including detailed pictures means better access to the targeted market with accurate detail that subsequently lead to sales due to customer knowledge. The more comfortable the customer feels with information processed on a product will make them feel more at ease to purchase a product.
Another technological advancement is email. Emil is probably if not, the most effective modern means of fast communication. Details can be sent all over the world in a matter of minutes. Two of the most important things in eCommerce are timely and cost-effective delivery of products and services to the customer. Email offers both of these things allowing invoices and fast-flowing information to be sent worldwide in a few moments. Cute ftp as a software package is a good choice for use with website development and more of these informed choices allow for the fluent flow of intelligent business decisions that lead to greater openings for future growth. These technological tools create a platform to aid the smooth running success of the business.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is one of the most important factors in any web developer’s books. The fact that Richard has taken time to learn that data can be searched and collected by the search engine spiders and bots has opened a means of marketing and advertising that some may overlook, as did he in the first instance. Being able to be ranked and found on the net is not a mammoth task but does take careful consideration and time. Though entered into terms that describe the business help make the site easier to find for both the SE spiders and potential customers. Using techniques to aid this, such as carefully chosen meta-data will have a lasting effect for the website and FN when expanding the presence on the world wide web (www).
Specialist plants are a niche market product combined with a delivery service, now reaching an online global market is one of the contributing factors to the successful eCommerce of FN. The ability to reach a wider audience whilst networking with other industry companies but not being constrained to the physical boundaries of West Wales has meant that new strains of plant that can now be added to the product list and invariably increase the sales power of the company and increase the stock base. This is obviously a major factor considering the precise aim of introducing eCommerce was to expand the business.
Increased web hits and visitors to the nursery and an improved customer experience plus greater media exposure have created greater business opportunities at FN. This is due to the careful manipulation of marketing considerations and the effective implementation of web applications.
Online networking increases the knowledge base for suppliers and customers which in turn will raise the profile of the business over a period of time. The rapid success of businesses online can be achieved with the right level of skills and enthused business acumen which have been successfully demonstrated by Richard Bramley.
Farmyard Nurseries priority is the continued development of online exposure and applications to elevate organisation and marketing of the web site. The development of applications such as databases to organise future resources and business activities will create a better synergy within the business entire business process and consequently increase overall profitability. These applications should not be taken on lightly however and thorough research should be undertaken first but from previous knowledge Richard Bramley is very much one step ahead of the game already in that respect.