Monday, April 25, 2011

Amazon.com: A Grower’s New Frontier



My hometown newspaper, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, published an interesting story last week about a grower-retailer who went from a traditional family grower-retail business to one that generates about 70 percent of its annual sales from Amazon.com. I've heard mixed stories over the years about growers who've tried e-commerce, but this particular grower-retailer, Hirt's Gardens, has found Amazon to be a great fit.

Alan Hirt, 63, says his company originally tried to sell products on its own website, but sales through it and eBay weren't enough to support Hirt's seven employees. Hirt always thought of Amazon as a book website first, but he found an opportunity for his own businesss there. Hirt's has grown tremendously over the last five years.

Sales are now $3 million, Hirt says -- 300 percent times what they were in 2006 -- and average orders are around $20. Hirt's Gardens doesn't just sell plants through Amazon, either. It sells other garden products and gifts.

"It didn't take long for us to realize that it's very expensive trying to drive people to your website with Internet advertising," Alan Hirt told The Plain Dealer. "Overnight we expanded our customer base to include the whole country."

The Plain Dealer indicates Hirt's Gardens is the only grower Amazon is currently working with.

Visit Hirt's Gardens on its Amazon Web store.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard mixed stories over the years about growers who've tried e-commerce, buy book reviews

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