FEATURES
10/1/2020

Tags = Gardening Confidence

Gerry Giorgio

It’s important that we not forget who really supports us all. From breeding and branding, through production and retailing, our collective success as an industry relies on a shopper in a garden center and their decision to buy.

Recent research conducted through the Home Garden Panel demonstrates that consumers in a garden center make their purchase decisions based on what they read on the plant tag. In fact, it shows that tags are very important, and in their eyes, they contribute to the overall value of the product, as well as their shopping experience.

Consider that 90% of consumers are looking at tags in the store on almost every trip, while 70% use tags in the store to learn about what plant to purchase, and 61% purchased a plant based on what they read on the tag.

So why are plant tags the primary source of information in the garden center? Well, most garden center consumers say they need help when selecting plants and information is what they need, both at the store and at home.

While at the store, tags provide the shopper the information they need to make a purchase with confidence. Tags give an assurance that they can be successful and provide the right conditions and care. And once at home, the tag continues to serve people’s need as they commonly reference it or use it as a plant marker.

It was asked three different ways, what is considered the most important information on a tag. And Light Requirement was consistently the most important to people, while 71% responded that including a retail price on the tag was the second-most important piece of information.

So helpful information ranks high for people shopping for plants—the more that can be provided on the tag, the more confident a shopper will be to make a decision to buy.

When consumers were asked about their preference of a plant with a tag vs. a pressure-sensitive label, an overwhelming 70% responded that they would prefer a plant with a tag. In fact, 34% said they might not even purchase a plant with a pressure sensitive label and no tag.

Why is having a tag and not a label so important to consumers? The reason is the tag has a value even after the plant is purchased. A significant 74% of people save their tags and an overwhelming 98% of people will reference them during the growing season.

Even with easy access to mobile devices and the Internet at home, people still find it easier to reference the tag. Why is this? Research indicates two common behaviors with tags—one is that over 50% of the tag savers use them for future reference, while a nearly equal amount place them next to the plant.

In fact, what people do with a tag is dependent upon the type of plant. Annual and perennial tags are saved for reference, while vegetable tags are placed next to the plant.

Though sometimes to a grower or retailer tags seem like a necessary evil, it’s important to remember that with informed design and good information, the plant tag is highly valued, and that in consumers’ eyes, adds value to the product, as well as their shopping experience. GP


Gerry Giorgio is an artist, urban gardener and the Creative Director at MasterTag—a horticultural printing company. To see examples of tags designed with the consumer in mind, visit www.MasterTag.com.

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