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Prairie Moon Nursery

Initially focused on search and navigation, Prairie Moon Nursery further optimized the shopping experience with their new merchandising powers.

“No matter what you sell, you need a powerful search tool on your site. Searchspring is a no brainer, it pays for itself and then some.”

Becky Klukas-Brewer, Director of Marketing, Sales & Consulting, Prairie Moon Nursery

Prairie Moon Nursery ecommerce

THE BRAND

Prairie Moon Nursery traces its roots back to two early advocates of prairie restoration, Doug and Dot Wade. Their son, Alan, began selling native seeds from his rural Minnesota living room in 1982, and forty years later, Prairie Moon Nursery offers the largest native plant collection available for retail sale in the U.S.

With a network of growers across the Midwest, the brand’s products span over 700 North American species, and their seeds and plants have been used by national parks, local municipalities, corporate planners, teachers, farmers, and backyard gardeners.

Alongside the catalog of products on the Prairie Moon Nursery site, customers can find educational resources to help them join the collective effort to nurture and sustain the living landscape – a movement that the brand champions.

Prairie Moon Nursery success story

THE CHALLENGES

“When you sell 700+ species and they all have a variety of sun, soils, heights, colors, bloom times, growing zones, and other attributes, you have to provide a robust search tool for customers to find the right plants for their needs,” says Becky Klukas-Brewer, Director of Marketing, Sales & Consulting. “Miva had a basic filter search, and it was clear from the beginning that we needed something more tailored to our requirements.”  

When mapping out the online shopping journey, Prairie Moon Nursery’s customer demographic also has to be taken into account. “One of the challenges faced by the Gardening industry is an aging population, many are hesitant to embrace technology. We need our navigation and facets to be easy to use,” says Becky. 

The pandemic has created issues of its own for the industry. While the surge in demand is positive, the knock-on effects have been complicated. “We do feel fortunate to be in an industry that has proven to thrive during COVID-19. People are taking up new pastimes, or renewing their interest in a very affordable hobby in gardening. But given that we sell perennial plants, we can’t just order more products to keep up with demand. These crops take two or more years to grow so we’re actually scaling back on advertising to help our inventory last as we inch toward spring.”  

Prairie Moon Nursery Searchspring

THE SOLUTIONS

Searchspring was suggested to the Prairie Moon Nursery team as a solution to their complex search and navigation needs. “Searchspring came highly recommended by Miva when they were building our site. We also spoke to other Miva clients using Searchspring and their experiences were positive, so we knew the investment would pay for itself,” says Becky. 

Addressing the navigation and faceting issues on the site, and creating search synonyms and redirects were their first priorities. “We have product abbreviations that we use internally, and we wanted to make them searchable on the website so sales staff could help customers more efficiently,” says Heather Gustat, Sales & Consulting at Prairie Moon Nursery. Soon, the team found themselves using other tools and features that they hadn’t previously considered. 

“We came to Searchspring for the filters and synonyms, they were essential. But we were surprised by how much we ended up using the merchandising campaigns and how useful they are. We have close to 100 ongoing campaigns; we use them to organize existing pages, to redirect customers who search for products we don’t carry, to create landing pages for sales, and to provide more information about our seed mixes. Searchspring also did some custom work that allows us to create campaigns that filter out unavailable products, which saves hours of manual labor,” says Heather. 

“We whip up new categories all the time to match email campaigns and seasonal pushes,” adds Becky. “Seeing our website from the eyes of our customers is something I always strive to do, so I’m constantly in Miva and Searchspring making small adjustments.”

Prairie Moon Nursery results

THE RESULTS

“Because our website is now more efficient, we have fewer customer questions to field,” says Heather. “It’s easy to add a new page or change the order of products, and as we work to scale up, Searchspring helps to ease some of the growing pains.”  

In 2020, Prairie Moon Nursery saw:

43%
of revenue attributed to search.
4x
higher conversion rates with search.

 

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