Ignite Hardlines Breakout: Scotts Miracle Gro Stays Best in Class

August 11, 2021
Content Strategies

During our recent Ignite: Experiences virtual event, Whatever it Takes, we had the opportunity to visit with some of our clients in different sectors to share their content management insights from their areas of expertise. We were pleased to have Kaileigh Campbell, eCommerce Manager from The Scotts Miracle Gro Company, share her experiences on what it takes to deliver a great content experience. Here are a few takeaways and insights from this Ignite Breakout Session focused on Hardlines.

Scotts Miracle Gro is considered a “best in class” example of how the company integrates their Core and Enhanced Content, including lifestyle images, buying guides, and other content to educate shoppers on how their products tie together as an integrated group of products. Syndigo has found that hardlines suppliers can see as much as a 37% lift in add-to-cart numbers when shoppers engage in Enhanced Content (including product tours and image carousels) in the sector.

Consistency First

The content that’s been most impactful for the Scotts brand is fairly consistent, even in a changing environment, according to Campbell. “It’s a constantly evolving landscape,” she said. “The best things my team sees – number one – is having a good product title. It’s not the time to be conversational.”

By that, Campbell explained, she meant that shoppers don’t want to spend the time wading through a lot of words and creative explanations. Rather, they want to know the item is what they are searching for. And if they can’t figure that out, they will move on to another competitor.

The number-two element is also not surprising, but also sometimes overlooked: Having a good, clear main image. “Zoom is a key thing,” noted said Campbell, as many shoppers prefer to look closely at the packaging for the ingredients, rather than scrolling to the product descriptions on the page.

Outside having the basics down, both 360-spin (where available) and product videos were strong performers for Scotts—and impactful for their category. They use ‘how-to’ videos to demonstrate, in an instructional way, how to use the product clearly. This is particularly important for the up and coming new-homeowner demographic, who may have never had to care for a lawn before.

Staying Relevant

One challenge a brand like Scotts encounters is how to stay relevant in a vast landscape of competition. It’s a benefit for them to have Enhanced Content for the retail sites that create ‘brand stores’ which are a cleaner brand experience, rather than being in a more general category. For Scotts, “Those lifestyle images help play that role too,” according to Campbell, because showing an image using the product may help trigger a reminder to the shopper how the product is used and what it looks like.

One continual challenge in terms of both relevancy and brand consistency is maintaining their product naming identity across different recipients. It’s a challenge that Scotts acknowledges takes some work to review and update. Some retailers create their own naming conventions, for example, where others may have character limits or place SKU numbers in titles. It’s a common problem that comes with the territory, and the team at Scotts can monitor and review the listings regularly to ensure accuracy and consistency as best they can…which is why Enhanced Content can help reinforce their information.

Future Opportunities

Looking forward, the Scotts team is excited for the growth potential it has with some of their newly acquired brands or branding partners. In addition, they see other opportunities to build on the brand experience, by looking at different demographics (Millennials, Gen Z) and how they are moving into larger homes with smaller outdoor yards – which is different than prior generations.

Scotts has found that they can cater to these different types of shoppers by “teaching” more about lawn care – which is facilitated by Enhanced Content. They’re also leveraging “emerging” new markets, including non-traditional gardening retailers like Kohl’s, Zulily, Wayfair, and others. Put together, Scotts Miracle Gro has found its niche in delivering what their customers want in their homes and is able to provide a means to show what can be done to make it their own.

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