Case studies



The Challenge: Webbs is a privately owned business committed to providing the very best for garden and home. The brand has two retail sites situated in the centre of England.  Customers visit Webbs for a variety of reasons; many are keen gardeners, but Webbs is also a destination centre for families, coach tours and seasonal shoppers. Following significant investment at their central site, Webbs wanted to check how changes had been perceived, particularly amongst key, high-spend consumers.

The Solution: For over 10 years, Webbs has run a highly successful clubCARD scheme whereby customers receive a 10% discount on garden and aquatic plants, houseplants, flower bulbs, seeds and fresh Christmas trees. Members of the clubCARD scheme are the heart of the customer base. Since their spending and visiting behaviours are captured through card transactions, we had a unique opportunity to understand more about how members use Webbs, with a view to further developing their visiting experience.  

We undertook a deep-dive into a vast dataset containing 140,000 till transactions made by 12,500 members. This allowed us to segment customers according to frequency and spend. We also identified patterns in how customers move around the destination and make transactions in different departments. 

The transactional ‘Big Data’ was supplemented with a profiling survey sent to members. This was conducted online and allowed us to bring the data alive by capturing demographic and household information about members. Tactical feedback was also sought through bespoke questions about the in-store experience and the clubCARD proposition itself. 

Based on answers given to the survey, a small selection of customers were invited to a series of in-store focus groups. This enabled us to explore more emotional reactions to the Webbs offer; for instance, how it compares with their perfect garden centre experience and pros/cons of local competitors, including DIY sheds (Homebase, B&Q). By analysing this feedback alongside insights generated from the Big Data, we were able to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of customer behaviour.

The Outcome: Insights from the study were presented to the Chairman, marketing team and communications agency. As a result of the research, Webbs are planning on updating all the membership literature and developing a more robust membership pack next year. Our findings about member benefits will help inform how the proposition will be adapted moving forward (for example, with regard to how vouchers can be redeemed). The research also helped to inform ‘customer profiles’ which will be used as a guides for buyers.

Testimonial from Claire Wilson, Marketing Manager:

“This project was something totally new to myself and my team and we were pretty daunted at the beginning by the scale of it but RbD were there every step of the way, patiently explaining things in an understandable manner which made everything a lot easier for us.  We worked very closely with a couple of members of RbD and felt involved at all stages.”