Online Excellence Award - Winner: Hayes Garden World

Over the past nine years, the development team at Hayes Garden World, led by digital sales manager Lyndan Orvis, has developed its website (www.hayes from a simple online brochure into a major commercial force.

The team had the benefit of being linked to one of the UK's premier garden centres, with a very loyal retail following, thanks to tourist visitors to the Lake District.

The website started with just a few listed products and staff were initially surprised at how well they sold. The commercial and brand-building opportunity soon became clear. From the start, the mission was not only to build sales but also to replicate the business ethos online, through quality products, excellent service and freely available customer advice.

Hayes has invested in quality content for site visitors. The website is kept vibrant and updated with new information as it happens. During office hours, visitors to the website are offered instant help or a call back from staff to advise on purchases.

As well as offering a wide selection of seasonal products, the website communicates the many special promotions and events designed to always offer something entertaining and new. The Hayes blog provides informative content, viewed by more than 10,000 people a month.

Another development has been to use the power of digital media such as YouTube to post advice videos online. Engaging online content and a programme of constantly changing activities and competitions have also proved very successful.

The final but vital link in the chain of delivering excellent customer service is achieved by the dedicated team of distribution staff. Some 90% of the value of Hayes' online turnover is delivered via its own vehicles and staff.

Since relaunching the enhanced version of the website five years ago, 70% of visitors find it through organic, content-driven searches. There has been double-digit turnover growth for several years and 2015's 25% increase was set to be exceeded in 2016, while profitability is extremely strong.

Highly commended

Hedges Direct

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Is local 'reveg' a commercial opportunity in the UK?

Is local 'reveg' a commercial opportunity in the UK?

Botanist Dr Trevor Dines suggests there are commercial opportunities for local seed supply in the UK.

What next for Bunnings UK after massive write-down?

What next for Bunnings UK after massive write-down?

Australian analysts suggest Wesfarmers could pull out of the UK following the continued woes of Bunnings/Homebase UK & Ireland, but is there a way forward for the 250-store DIY/garden centre group?

Business planning - cash-flow management

Business planning - cash-flow management

Wider market volatility can have a big impact on cash flow but there are ways to avoid problems, Neville Stein explains.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy