Averi Phan

September 18, 2020
How Gertens Used Dispatch’s Same-Day Delivery Platform to Combat Coronavirus

A local family-owned garden center in its third generation, Gertens was built on the simple idea that customers should "Buy from the Grower." Because of this, Gertens cultivates most of their plant products at their main location in Inver Grove Heights, MN, as well as several other growing ranges throughout the Twin Cities metro area.

With several departments to meet all aspects of their customers' gardening, landscaping, and outdoor living needs — Gertens' goal has been to provide the widest selection and highest quality plant materials.

The COVID Conundrum

Although Gertens was able to remain open during quarantine, COVID-19 still impacted the business. Prior to the pandemic, most of the revenue generated came from foot traffic to the garden center. But with a statewide lockdown in place and concerns for the health and safety of their customers and employees, Gertens needed to figure out an alternative to the traditional brick-and-mortar approach.

Aside from making changes to the store's layout, like widening the isles and directing the flow of customers outside to the open-air portion of their garden center, Gertens knew that more could be done.

How Gertens Adjusted

While Gertens had previously utilized a courier service for the occasional delivery, there was no formal or established process for this. As the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic continued to evolve, however, Gertens realized they had to evolve with it. In adjusting their business model to accommodate social distancing measures and to provide customers with continued convenience, Gertens created their curbside pickup and delivery department in April.

Now considered a permanent asset to their business, this department has not only enabled them to meet the ever-changing commerce expectations of their customers, but it has also played a crucial role in converting new business.

As an on-demand delivery platform, Dispatch allowed Gertens to ramp up their delivery service without having to invest in a fleet of their own. By utilizing Dispatch’s established network of independent drivers, Gertens was able to rapidly scale a previously non-existent offering. During a time when businesses needed to adapt quickly — same-day delivery was vital.

Since partnering together, Dispatch has helped Gertens fulfill over 3,000 delivery orders, with approximately 2,500 deliveries in 2020 alone. Gertens has also seen an increase in their Q2 sales by an estimate of 20% year-over-year.

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