From Bud to Bloom – Radio Grows Site Traffic for Lawn and Garden Retailers

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

According to Punxsutawney Phil, winter should be over in three more weeks. Within those weeks, landscapers and lawn and garden centers will experience an influx of want-to-be and experienced gardeners. It’s the time when most people will find out what kind of “thumb” they have.

As the pandemic hit, people across the country picked up new hobbies – from cooking to puzzles and even gardening.

According to a 2020 survey, adults turned to gardening for various reasons. They used it to stay busy, reduce stress and even feel a sense of accomplishment. (Who doesn’t love it when a plant begins to bud?!) While some adults were already enjoying the great outdoors and planting, gardening became a new hobby for some. Adults tested their green thumbs and planted flowers and even vegetables. In fact, 20 million first-time gardeners planted a vegetable garden for the first time in 2020.

There are indications that gardening is not just a fad. Sales of seeds spiked in 2020, and some growers dipped into their 2021 inventory because of demand. This demand will continue into 2022. According to the 2022 Gardening Insights Survey, 62% of adults stated that they would be planting more in 2022. Another indicator is that 76% of millennials stated that they will be planting more this year.

What will they plant? If money was not an issue, gardeners will most likely increase the size of their gardens. The gardens will most likely contain vegetables, followed by annuals or perennials. They will seek out advice to learn about new plants, gardening supplies and outdoor living products. The most common resource for these items will be locally owned independent garden centers or nurseries. Traditional big box garden centers or home improvement centers rank second as a resource followed by websites.

Reaching these gardeners couldn’t be simpler. Whether they are gardening in their yards or in their homes, radio can deliver the message. Radio reaches 84% of adults who have shopped at any lawn and garden store, 85% who have done any gardening this year and 88% who plan to landscape this year, according to Scarborough data.

Radio not only reaches these budding horticulturists, but it also drives traffic to websites. Based on an analysis of nearly 93,000 radio ads during 2021, radio grew site activity by 4%. Radio campaigns also had a residual effect on site traffic when the campaign was not running. Using data populated by the NumericOwl platform, there was a 21% increase in new site users those days radio ads were off-air versus on – an indication of radio’s ability to influence and drive behavior.

Gardeners may be methodical on the planting strategy. Unlike other categories, site activity was highest on Thursdays – perhaps an indication of what they planned for the weekends. Saturday ranked second in activity.

Although the early bird has been known to catch the worm, that’s not the case there. Midday drove the highest number of new visits to sites for every radio spot that aired. Afternoon (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) was also extremely effective and delivered 91% of midday activity. Advertisers interested in reaching these gardening adults should also include evening within the daypart mix since it delivers half the number of new users as midday.

Regardless of the consumer any lawn and garden retailer is trying to reach, radio is the perfect medium to plant the gardening seed. Whether trying to reach the gardening newbie or the greenhouse guru, radio is a medium that will grow their business.

Click here to view the entire analysis.


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