John Woods Nurseries has launched an online ordering system that it claims is the first of its kind in the UK.
The website, www.johnwoodsnurseries.co.uk, allows trade customers to log on to make reservations and view stock information. Each plant is accompanied by a current product shot, which means that customers can see its exact stage of topicality and order accordingly. Each product is pictured alongside a metre ruler.
The site can also suggest an order based on what is looking most topical on reserve. Customer specific pre-pricing is also shown and can be adjusted where required.
Managing director John Lord said: "We know people buy with their eyes so this seemed a natural progression. By using the web we are able to give our customers access to the most up-to-date stock information and let them view stock and order when it's most convenient."
Speaking at this year's British Protected Ornamentals Association conference, AC Consulting director Andy Campbell said systems such as this could have big benefits for nurseries.
"There is an increasing focus on what is looking good now," he added. "If you can see the product and it looks good, you might decide to buy more than you were planning to."
Roundstone Nurseries technical director Chris Need said he was interested in this kind of system. "It would be good for nurseries, because it spreads the massive rush on Monday to get all the orders out.
1,500 varieties - The number of varieties currently available in the John Woods range