The E-Commerce Landscape: An Environmental Scan of Online Greenhouse Retailing

Authors: Dandi Thomas, Charlsie Craig, Samantha Coupon, Lauri M. Baker, Audrey E.H. King, Cheryl R. Boyer, & Hikaru Peterson. 

Study Purpose

The purpose of this study was to determine how many garden centers were involved in online retailing of plant products. The objectives of this study were to determine if
e-commerce was being used by garden centers and the techniques implemented. This study was conducted by web-based searches through and each garden center’s website.


As the e-commerce sector continues to grow, there will be a need for more businesses to be online. Additionally, garden centers are not strongly concentrated on Amazon or selling online, but the future for online sales shows potential. This study also indicates that many garden centers not thinking about national markets but solely focusing on local sales.


It is recommended that training be developed to help garden centers navigate selling online. Future research should also look at the barriers and benefits to garden centers selling online.


Ecommerce landscape

Click on the image for the full-size poster.


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  1. Four advantages of e-commerce and how it can increase your profit | Center for Rural Enterprise Engagement

    […] According to a study conducted by our undergraduate researchers looking at online greenhouse retailing, only 10.1% (n=10) sold products online with a full e-commerce site. One participant sold live plants on Amazon, while four had a downloadable form available on its website. The largest response category consisted of 85.9% (n=85) that did not sell any products online. From this study, it was concluded that many garden centers are not thinking of national markets but are solely focused on local selling. (Read more information about this study here.) […]

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