|Years site Active||4.5|
|Range of sizes||9|
Garden Goods Direct Review
We mentioned last month that Garden Goods Direct re-designed their site. In our opinion it reaffirms that they are really good plant people. Just maybe not the greatest marketing folks. Their new design is a tribute to the design company who actually gets free advertising from Garden Goods Direct with a link at the bottom of their website that takes you away from gardengoodsdirect.com..
The new site design looks awesome. I'd be willing to bet the overall conversions have declined since the site changes as well as the number of pages per session. There's too many basic issues to list here and you would get bored at me talking about optimization. They seem like good people, I kind of feel bad for them. They do appear to be testing new elements and making revisions frequently.
They're also offering 10% off coupons as well as free shipping on orders over $99. If you sign up to their email list, you will get a 15% off coupon. No, you can't use them both on the same order.
We've ordered from Garden Goods Direct, interacted via email with their support and really like them overall. They have a good selection with good prices. And at least from what we received, they send quality plant materials. Check out our blog post, "Camellia's from Garden Goods Direct" for a complete review including a bunch of pictures.
Overall the rating for Garden Goods Direct this month went down 1/2 point which keeps their grade at a C+. In our opinion, the drop is nothing serious as far as buying from them online.
It appears they're the online store for, or associated with Patuxent Garden Center. We came to this brilliant deduction because they share the same address. They don't have a lot of reviews for products but they have a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Etsy with 2,119 reviews. That's a plus.
Garden Goods Direct reviews on Google average 4.2 out of 5 stars. 260 total reviews which you can view here.
They have an impressive number of evergreen trees & shrubs. Mostly 1 and 3 gallon sizes and at reasonable prices relative to what others online are charging.
One part of the new design that is an improvement is the checkout process. It's fast, intuitive and much easier to navigate through. After shopping and buying from them online, It's good to see that part improve.
Our bottom line is they seem to be good people that care. Especially with the latest site design changes, it is more obvious that they are plant people, not necessarily online marketing people. That's not a totally bad thing!
What were the red flags? We deducted four points for the following reasons.
- Even though the site is relatively new, it's still been around for 9 years. The number of reviews on the product pages are unusually low. It could just be that they don't actively solicit them?
- Their guarantee and return policies are very similar to Nature Hills. That's not necessarily a good thing. You will get a 50% store credit if something you bought from them dies. They do cover that for a full year where others charge for a full 1 year guarantee. They also charge a 10% ($10 minimum) if you cancel an order before it ships. Fulfilling orders for live plants is not easy. It's not like a robot pulling a product off a shelf in a warehouse somewhere. Having worked in the business, and actually spending time in fields pulling trees & shrubs for orders, I can vouch that it is labor intensive.
- We mentioned it above but the new site design actually makes it tougher for a user in many ways.
- Their domain authority has dropped 9 points the past four months. Not a huge concern other than they dropped more than any other online nursery we review and haven't recovered from the drop.
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