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Dropshipping Plants

Guide to Sell Plants Online in 2024

By
Ashutosh Ranjan

The plant business is flourishing like never before, and the internet landscape provides fertile ground for expansion. As more people strive to incorporate nature into their homes and workplaces, the demand for plants has increased dramatically. This spike in interest provides an excellent opportunity for both experienced horticulturists and enthusiastic plant lovers to convert their green thumbs into a profitable business. With the convenience and accessibility of e-commerce, along with an ever-increasing enthusiasm for greenery, 2024 is shaping up to be a banner year for online plant enterprises.

In this detailed guide, we'll go over everything you need to know to successfully sell plants online. We've got you covered on everything from researching market trends and selecting the perfect plants to launching your online store and mastering marketing methods. Let's get into the fundamentals of transforming your plant business.

Why Sell Plants Online?

The increase in love for the environment has increased the trend of plants both indoors and outdoors. The size of the worldwide market for online plant nurseries was estimated at USD 9099.04 million in 2021, and over the forecast period, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.15% to reach USD 32112.56 million by 2032. Also, post-COVID there is a significant increase in online shopping, which makes it perfect to sell plants online or start dropshipping plants. Following are some of the factors that show dropshipping plants or selling them online is an excellent opportunity.

Flourishing Trend: Despite being a passing craze, the houseplant trend has been prospering. Online sales provide a practical means of satisfying people's growing desire to add greenery to their living environments.

Millennial Market: People who have a lot of purchasing power, such as millennials, are especially fond of houseplants. They view them as a means of enhancing their well-being and fostering an indoor natural environment. 

Greater Reach: Geographical restrictions are removed from an online store. When compared to a physical store, you can access a larger customer base.

Convenience for Customers: People like being able to browse and buy plants from the comfort of their own homes with ease. The inconvenience of making the trip to a nursery or garden shop can be avoided.

Reduced Overhead: Selling online may result in fewer overhead expenses like rent and utilities when compared to operating a physical store. As a result, your profit margins may increase.

Upselling Opportunities: To raise the average order value, you can sell supplementary items like potting soil, fertilizers, or ornamental pots in addition to plants.

Niche Markets: You can serve niche markets for unusual or rare plants that local merchants might not carry by using the internet marketplace. 

The above points make dropshipping plants an excellent niche to boost your dropshipping career.

Dropshipping Plants: Step by Step Guide

Now, that you have learned about the benefits of selling plants online, here is a step-by-step guide to let you know how to start selling plants online from scratch.

Conducting Market Research and Finding your Niche

Before starting any business, you must conduct market research to find out what's going on. You can check Amazon and AliExpress best sellers, perform keyword research, and check social media to find out what people like and dislike. Here is a detailed guide to knowing what to look for while conducting market research and finding your niche.

Conducting Market Research

Identify Market Trends: Research what types of plants are now popular. Plant kinds such as succulents, air plants, and unusual and exotic species can all be considered trends. Check out social media platforms, gardening blogs, and plant-related forums to see what's popular. Understand the seasonal need for various types of plants. For example, indoor plants may sell well all year, whereas outdoor plants may have peak seasons in the spring and summer.

Analyze Competitors: Identify and assess other online plant dealers' product offerings, pricing, website design, customer feedback, and marketing techniques. Consider companies who do not specialize in plants but sell gardening tools, home decor, or lifestyle products that overlap with your target market.

Understand Your Target Audience: Determine the age, gender, income level, and location of your prospective clients. Younger generations, such as Millennials and Generation Z, are often more concerned about houseplants and sustainability. Understand your target audience's interests, values, and lifestyles. Are they searching for low-maintenance plants for busy lifestyles, or do they collect rare species?

Finding Your Niche

There's a big market for plants online. Here are some pointers for identifying your niche:

Specialize by Plant Type: Concentrate on a particular area, such as low-maintenance cultivators, air-purifying plants, blooming houseplants, or succulents.

Respond to Particular Needs: Choose low-light or beginner-friendly plants, as well as plants that are good for pets.

Provide Special Products: Offer unusual or unusual plants for sale, put together themed plant collections, or sell kits for making your own terrariums.

Aim for a Particular Demographic: Focus your marketing and product offers on millennials, working professionals, and environmentally sensitive customers.

Sourcing Plant and Managing Inventory

Selling plants online requires careful planning and administration to ensure that your consumers receive healthy plants while maintaining efficient operations. This is a comprehensive guide on obtaining plants and maintaining inventory for your online plant business.

Find Reliable Suppliers and Evaluate Them

Local Nurseries and Growers: Establish partnerships with local nurseries and producers to obtain a wide range of plants. Local providers frequently offer fresher plants and faster delivery periods.

Wholesale Plant Distributors: Look for reputed wholesalers who can supply huge volumes of plants at cheap prices. Check their quality standards and delivery processes.

Online plant marketplaces: PlantHaven International, Florida Colors Nursery, and other online markets provide a diverse selection of plants from various producers.

Quality Assurance: Visit suppliers’ facilities if possible to inspect their plants and ensure they meet your quality standards. Look for healthy, pest-free plants with strong root systems.

Supplier Reliability: Check reviews and references to ensure suppliers are reliable in terms of delivery times, plant quality, and customer service.

Plant Nursery
Credit: Shopify

Managing Inventory

Climate Control: Set up a storage area with proper climate control to keep plants healthy. Ensure adequate lighting, humidity, and temperature control based on the needs of different plant types.

Organization: Organize your inventory by plant type, size, and condition. Use labels and shelving to keep plants easily accessible and well-maintained.

Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular checks and maintenance to ensure plants remain healthy. Remove any diseased or damaged plants promptly to prevent the spread of issues.

Consider dropshipping: This allows you to work with a supplier that handles storage, packaging, and shipping while you operate the web store. This might be an effective way for new enterprises to reduce initial expenditures and storage requirements. Spocket can help you build your online store and find reliable suppliers.

Building Your Online Store

Creating an online store to sell plants requires numerous processes, including selecting the appropriate platform, building an attractive website, and optimizing it for sales.

Choose a Platform

Shopify: Shopify is well-known for its user-friendliness, and it provides a diverse range of themes as well as a large app ecosystem.

WooCommerce: A WordPress plugin that offers flexibility and customization possibilities for individuals who are familiar with WordPress.

BigCommerce: It is ideal for developing enterprises, with built-in functionality and flexibility.

Designing Your Online Store

Plant-Specific Themes: Choose themes that feature plant imagery and provide a clean, natural feel.

Add Your Products: Add your products with proper product descriptions, categories, and filters

Mobile Responsiveness: Make sure the theme is mobile-friendly, as many people purchase from their phones.

User Experience: Emphasize simple navigation, fast load times, and an understandable layout.

Homepage: Highlight your top-selling or highlighted plants, seasonal promotions, and distinct selling points.

Setup Payment and Shipping Options

Popular Payment Options: Integrate with frequently used payment channels like PayPal, Stripe, and Square.

Security: Use SSL certificates to ensure the payment process is secure, and complies with PCI DSS regulations.

Shipping alternatives: Provide several shipping alternatives, including standard, expedited, and local delivery.

Listing Your Product with Description

Creating attractive product listings with informative descriptions is critical for attracting and influencing customers to make a purchase. You can use a product description tool to write product descriptions with the help of AI. Here's a step-by-step method for successfully listing your plants online.

Add Product Title: Add a clear and descriptive product title. It must include both a common name and a scientific name. For Example, Snake Plant - Dracaena trifasciata

Add Image: Add a high-quality image of your product with various angles and close shots.

Add a Product Description: Add a detailed product description mentioning its common name, scientific name, and key features such as size, characteristics, leaf shape, color, etc. Product description should also include care instructions such as light requirements, watering intervals, soil type fertilizers, etc. Don't forget to mention the unique feature or USP of the product.

Product Description of Plants
Credit: Amazon

Photographing Your Products

High-quality photos are essential when selling plants online. They entice potential clients, express the plant's health and attractiveness, and build trust in your products. This is a complete method of photographing your plants for internet sales.

Equipment and Setup

Camera Type: DSLR or mirrorless Camera Provides the highest image quality and control over settings. You can also use smartphone cameras.

Lighting: Natural light provides the most appealing and accurate representation of plant hues. Shoot near a window that receives indirect sunlight. If natural light is insufficient, utilize softbox lights or LED panels to provide even, diffused lighting.

Background: A white or light-colored background makes the plant stand out. Use a clean wall or a roll of seamless paper. Wood or natural textures can provide warmth and context while not detracting from the plant.

Tripod: Use a tripod to keep the camera steady and get crisp shots. It's especially effective for shooting in low light or with lengthy exposures.

Setting up the Plant

Clean the Plant: Maintain a healthy appearance by removing dead or yellowing leaves and pruning the plant to enhance its shape. Clean the leaves to remove dust and watermarks for a fresh appearance.

Positioning: Center the pot and plant in the frame. Position the plant to highlight its most appealing features.

Photography Techniques and Image Processing

Multiple Angles: Photograph the plant from multiple angles, including front, side, top-down, and close-ups of leaves or blossoms.

Rule of Thirds: Apply the rule of thirds to produce a balanced and visually appealing composition. Position the plant off-center to catch the viewer's attention.

Blurred Background: Use a wide aperture (low f-stop number) to create a shallow depth of field, which blurs the background and highlights the plant.

Focus: Make sure the plant is in sharp focus, particularly the most important aspects, such as flowers or unusual leaves.

Use Editing Tool: You can use editing tools such as Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop to refine the image

File Format and Resolution: Use a high-resolution image, preferably 1000 pixels, and keep the format of the file in JPEG or PNG Format

3D Imaging: Use AR Technology to add a 3D product view, which helps customers realize plants in their real life.

Photography for Shopify
Credit: Shopify

Cultivating Your Plant Brand and Marketing Your Brand

In the cutthroat online plant industry, creating a distinctive brand identity is essential to being seen. Here's how to develop your brand and create winning advertising campaigns:

Describe Your Brand Story: What sets apart your virtual plant shop? Do you prioritize unique variety, environmentally friendly methods, or meeting particular needs? Create an engaging narrative that appeals to your intended audience.

Select a Logo and Brand Name: Choose a name for your company and create a memorable logo that captures its essence. Keep your visual identity (fonts, colors) consistent.

Social Media Presence: Use sites like Pinterest and Instagram to stay engaged. Post lovely images of plants, provide maintenance advice, and run interesting sections like "Plant of the Week"

Collaborations: To reach a larger audience, team up with local businesses, bloggers, or plant influencers. Provide special discounts or product bundles under your own brand.

Email marketing: Create an email list and distribute newsletters on a regular basis that highlight new items, offers, tips for caring for plants, and customized suggestions based on previous purchases.

SEO Optimization: To raise your website's organic traffic and search engine rating, use relevant keywords in your product listings and website content. Think about adding blog entries that answer particular search queries.

Targeted Ads: Use pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on search engines or social media ads to target particular interests or demographics.

Pricing Your Product

Finding the best online price for your plants requires balancing a number of aspects, including:

Cost of Goods: This covers the price of the plant (whether you cultivate it yourself or buy it wholesale), the pot, the soil, and any additional supplies.

Costs of Overhead: Consider labor costs, website fees, marketing charges, storage costs, and rent (if applicable).

Profit Margin: To guarantee the longevity of your company, strive for a robust profit margin. Look up industry standards for comparable plants.

Market Competition: Examine the costs that your rivals are charging for similar plants. While it's not necessary to be the lowest, make sure your prices are reasonable.

Size and Type of Plant: Naturally, rarer or older varieties of plants will fetch a higher price than smaller or more common ones. Think of implementing tier pricing according to differences in size.

Value-Based Pricing: Pay attention to your plant's unique selling point. To justify the cost, emphasize features like air purification, ease of maintenance, or aesthetic appeal.

Bundle Pricing: Provide special rates for groups of plants or plants in bundles. This can raise the average order value and encourage larger purchases.

Packing and Shipping Your Products

Making sure your plants arrive in ideal condition is essential to both the profitability of your online plant business and client happiness. In addition to improving the overall customer experience, using proper packaging and shipping practices will help safeguard your plants throughout travel.

Securing the Soil: To keep the soil contained, cover the plant's base with plastic wrap or put it in a plastic bag.

Cushion the Pots: To preserve the foliage, encase the leaves and stems in bubble wrap, foam sheets, or paper towels. To provide cushioning, cover the pot with bubble wrap and fasten it firmly with tape.

Place in Box: Tightly, but not too tightly, place the wrapped plant into the box.

Add Padding: To stop movement during transit, stuff any empty places with crumpled paper, air cushions, or packing peanuts.

Mark the box: To guarantee mindful handling, clearly mark the box with stickers that read "Fragile" and "This Side Up."

Delivery Speed: Take into account providing a range of delivery speeds depending on the type of plant and the needs of the customer. For fragile plants, shipping times may need to be accelerated.

Shipping costs: To achieve a balance between price and service, compare quotes from several carriers, such as FedEx, UPS, and USPS.

Watering before delivery: Give the plant a little mist one or two days before delivery in order to keep it hydrated. Steer clear of overwatering, as this might cause root rot.

Provide Exceptional Customer Support

Delivering outstanding customer service is essential to fostering loyalty and confidence in your online plant business. The following are some essential tactics to guarantee that your clients have a satisfying experience:

Emails with Order Confirmation: Email order confirmations that are both clear and comprehensive, with projected arrival dates and instructions for taking care of your plants.

Notifications about Shipping: After the plant is dispatched, include tracking details and anticipated delivery dates.

Following Purchase Follow-up: A few days following delivery, think about sending a follow-up email to see if the customer has any queries or needs help with caring for their plants.

Returns and Replacements procedure: Provide a transparent, user-friendly procedure for returning plants that are damaged during shipping or in the event of unforeseen problems.

Optimize and Adjust

This is the most ignored step by entrepreneurs. After performing all the steps, you need to optimize all the steps, find out what the lacunas are, and optimize everything needed from time to time, from optimizing your store, product description, product image, pricing, shipping, delivery, and customer support. Listen to the customers; they will actually let you know the problems and optimize accordingly.

FAQs on How to Sell Plants Online in 2024

Is it legal to sell plants online?

Yes, it is definitely legal to sell plants online

Is selling plants online a profitable business?

Yes, seeing the trend and potential growth, selling plants online is a profitable business.

What are the best plants to sell online?

The best plants to sell online are those that require less care, can be placed inside, have an aesthetic appeal, have air purifying abilities, and have a good profit margin. Some of the examples are snake plants, spider plants, Peace lily, Boston Ferns, etc.

Where can I source plants to sell online?

You can source plants from local nurseries, wholesalers, and online stores such as PlantHaven International, Florida Colors Nursery, etc.

Where can I sell my plants online?

You can sell your plants online via Shopify, or Amazon or make your own dropshipping stores using WordPress, WooCommerce, etc.

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Ashutosh Ranjan

Ashutosh is a Postgraduate in Engineering and has years of experience in content writing across wide domains, including educational and e-commerce.

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