Garden furniture, outdoor furniture, patio furniture, even balcony furniture. It’s getting to be that time of year again when the thoughts of the English shopper turn to sitting around outside and enjoying their gardens. It’s a sector which attracts the big players, B&Q, IKEA, Argos and more. According to FACT.MR, the global market is projected to bring in $7,898.9 million in revenue by the end of 2026. It the UK, The Horticultural Trades Association says that the UK garden centre market is worth around £5bn a year and two-thirds of British adults visit a garden centre at least once a year.
With all the big players optimising their sites and pushing up the price of PPC shopping ads how to compete? We look at sales ideas and strategies which will help you get your share of the Great British Outdoors Furniture market.
SEO and Garden Furniture
It’s true that over half a million searches for ‘garden furniture’ are made in May. So, its unsurprising that we need to talk about SEO. Even in February a quick glance at the search results reveal a liturgy of familiar names. IKEA, Wayfair, Argos, John Lewis, Habitat, Wyevale and Dunelm are all there on page one. And we know from our own research that the companies at the tip of the list are likely to be hovering up most of the clicks.
But a gem of knowledge worth knowing is that a healthy proportion of people who buy garden furniture like to see it in person, touch and feel it. Customers tend to visit Garden Centres within a ten – fifteen mile radius. And then they will either buy there and then or go home and complete the transaction on-line. At this point search term s like ‘garden furniture near me’ or ‘garden centre near me’ become more interesting.
Following the local map there are two listings for Wyevale. One with a URL which includes ‘brighton’. The other which includes ‘Garden Centres Near Me’ in its meta data.
Interestingly, the page also includes a seven year old article from The Independent in which Kate Watson Smooth lists her top 50 Garden Centres. There’s bound to be one near you somewhere.
So it’s worth optimising for locality. Maybe have a page for each garden centre with the town in the meta data? And worth keeping all those local directories up to date with a consistently used brand name and contact details.
But how to attract the shoppers who don’t care where you are based, they just want to shop. As ever, there is something about using a variety of terms and qualifiers.
Let’s imagine that you have a range of white, metal, garden chairs that you want to sell. You could list them along with a table. There is a much more manageable 33,100 people searching for them. Or you could be more specific. Maybe someone out there has done the early consideration and has decided that only a white chair, made from metal will do for them. Well they are one of just 70 people searching for exactly what you must sell.
|Keyword||Avg. monthly searches||Competition||Competition (indexed value)||Top of page bid (low range)||Top of page bid (high range)|
|garden table and chairs||33,100||High||100||0.22||0.66|
|garden swing chair||12,100||High||100||0.16||0.62|
|reclining garden chairs||9,900||High||100||0.32||1.26|
|garden swing seat||8,100||High||100||0.25||0.89|
|outdoor table and chairs||6,600||High||100||0.3||1.01|
|garden egg chair||4,400||High||100||0.16||0.61|
|hanging garden chair||3,600||High||100||0.17||0.64|
|metal garden chairs||1,300||High||100||0.19||0.6|
|white garden chairs||390||High||100||0.27||0.63|
|blue garden chairs||110||High||100||0.21||0.57|
|white metal garden chairs||70||High||100||0.37||0.69|
We optimise home pages for the broader terms to attract the large numbers who are browsing and then target category pages and product pages with specific terms designed to get you could be customer next to your buy now button.
Pay Per Click
And when I typed ‘white metal garden chair’ into Google – the first ad which was listed was for Lazy Susan Ltd, an ambitious business certainly, but not amongst the B&Qs or IKEA’s of the world.
Garden furniture is hugely competitive and to really succeed online you are going to have to compete with paid Shopping and Display ads. Again, it is important to be highly selective about what is and isn’t triggering your ads. If someone is going to click, and cost you money, it’s important to know that there is a good chance that they may convert. It is possible to run this as a sum.
A click on a shopping Ad for ‘Garden Furniture’ is going to cost you around £1. So, for £5,000 you should get 5,000 clicks. And, of course, a lot more people will have seen your brand name but chosen not to click at this stage.
Of the 5,000, according to Econsultancy, you can expect a conversion rate of around 0.6%. so, in other words, six out of every thousand people who click on your ad will buy. We know, because it is what we do, that it is possible to increase that conversion rate significantly and also to reduce the cost of a click. But let’s accept their figure for now. Your £5,000 ad spend is going to result in 5×6, in other words, 30 customers. The next part of the sum involves your numbers but if the profit on selling whatever it is that people are clicking on to buy, let say a garden furniture set costing £700, with cost of goods and other factors accounting for half of that, then you have £10,500 profit before the cost of your ads, £5,500 after.
Facebook and Instagram
There are, of course, lots of other places to sell your white garden metal chairs. Facebook, for example where IKEA have getting on for 28 million followers and Instagram where they have a relatively modest 685,000. But don’t despair, it is still possible to compete. Your ad can be served regardless of your online popularity. For both platforms we recommend starting with something to gather email addresses, or maybe you already have a thousand or more GDPR approved and useable addresses? Either way, you can’t simply pick an existing group and target them. Once you have your email list you can upload it and advertise. But even 1,000 people are going to tire of your ads quickly, you need to start reaching people who are like the people who’s email addresses you have. That’s known as a look-a-like audience. And we strongly recommend expanding your list slowly so that you can see what the impact of adding people with similar qualities as your seed audience has.
So, it is possible to compete with the big players in the world of garden or outdoor furniture. But you need to be systematic about your approach. And it’s probably not worth waiting until May!