A free, multi-platform companion app for (vegetable) gardening, which provides smart assistive functionality and connects the user to retail partners at just the right moments.
VegPatch represents a new approach to garden products retail - initially for vegetable gardening, but ultimately applicable to all aspects of garden product retail. Rather than offering a standard e-commerce experience, VegPatch is based around a vegetable gardening assistant experience, available on multiple platforms, that helps our users to:
Plan their garden
We gather some information on the users growing space and what crops they want to grow, whilst providing helpful suggestions to help them do more with their growing space.
Order their seeds (and other materials)
Using the information we have on what they want to grow and how much space they have we can provide the user with a focused, assisted approach to their e-commerce experience via filtered product suggestions and auto-calculated quantities, with suggestions for add-ons such as pots, growing media and supports such as bamboo canes etc.
Spread the cost
Orders can be staged so that items are paid for and delivered when needed rather than in a single big hit, helping users to spread the cost out over the growing system and allowing them to idly shop at other times and create wish lists for later in the season or next year.
Maintain their garden
VegPatch generates a personalised to-do list for garden, optimised for local weather conditions and soil type, which will remind the user to sow, plant-out, weed, thin and water crops at the appropriate times. We can even call out great evenings and weekends for gardening with helpful suggestions as to what might need doing - keeping the user engaged with both their garden and the app. With VegPatch they'll never forget to water and we're ideally placed to get the user started on time next season.
Journal their progress
Skilled gardeners keep records of their gardens -but getting round to it can be a challenge. VegPatch makes it easy with its journal function, automatically logging crop information, allowing the user's to take photos and create posts and even track their harvests. By making it easy for the user to share this content with their social network we hope to help users create great social stories.
Do more with their growing space
Throughout the VegPatch user journeys we aim to provide users with access to relevant help and suggestions on how to do more with their growing space, for example:
suggesting pots and larger planters when they are telling us how much space they have, or when they fill it with crops,
offering conventional or IOT irrigation systems when watering tasks are starting to take over,
suggesting and helping to select/configure a greenhouse to improve tomato and other crop yields
Connect to retailers (at just the right moments)
By engaging the user throughout the season (rather than just during a shopping trip) we're ideally placed to provide a perfectly timed retail experience, both this season and at the start of next - helping our users to get going and ensuring that they shop with us again next season.
Marketing for VegPatch is based around the assistive functions (planning, ideas, todo-list, watering and task reminders, journal etc.), with separate campaigns targeted at both aspiring and experienced gardeners. With the application offered free, and available on multiple platforms (Web, iOS, Android and Voice assistants), we intend to remove all the usual speed bumps or drop-off points in the uptake of apps (no fee to pay and even no need to install as you can start planning your garden right from the web browser). Further, by supporting users in the creation of great social content, social competitions (share your veg!) and other campaigns we will encourage viral marketing of the app (and veg gardening in general).
VegPatch integrates seamlessly into voice-assistant platforms allowing the user to plan their whole garden, ask for information or even 'what needs doing in the veg patch today?'
We're also developing a Pro version of VegPatch, aimed at small-scale market gardeners, veg box schemes, CSAs and community gardens. Many of the same principles apply and we believe VegPatch Pro will help commercial gardens to plan their operations, train and manage their workforce, manage ordering and supply, track yields and more.