Amazon Plant Store - what does it all mean?

In February 2018, retail giant Amazon surprised many industries – most notably the horticulture industry – when it officially launched the Amazon Plant Store – also called your new “online greenhouse”.
 
There you can purchase plants in a multitude of categories and in various pot sizes to suit your needs from flowering plants, to shrubs, to succulents. In comparison, it is said that the quality and price is comparable to the big-box-store Home Depot.
 
David Notis from New York Magazine decided to give it a try and here’s what he found out after buying the Amazon Plant Store’s top-rated houseplant – the fiddle-leaf fig.
 
“It came in a large cardboard box, clearly marked “This End Up,” and indicated that a live plant was inside. It was well-packaged, wrapped securely in paper, and held in place by indentations in the box, set in a plastic grower’s pot filled with soil. In short, it was just about as seamless a transaction as I could’ve hoped for — as easy and hassle-free as buying a toothbrush.”
 
Robert James, the store manager at The Garden Factory in Rochester, NY, is not convinced.
 
“I still believe people need to go into a garden center to buy a plant. I don’t understand how people buy plants sight unseen.”
 
But the Amazon Plant Store was not created for the generation who grew up shopping at brick-and-mortar stores throughout their community. Amazon had one generation in mind – millennials.
 
According to the 2017 National Gardening Survey, the gardening industry hit $36.9 billion in 2016 and of the six million Americans who got into gardening that year, five million of them were between the ages of 18-34.
 
The younger generation is comfortable ordering just about everything online – including plants. They’re also accustomed to the convenience of returning those items if they aren’t completely satisfied, so buying plants sight unseen is not an issue.
 
While there will always be a core customer base who wants to “touch and feel” the merchandise before making a purchase, Amazon is leveraging their business towards a generation that chooses to do all of their shopping anonymously through their cell phone.