To provide a convenient way for consumers to tackle lawn care, direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are offering subscription solutions that can be customized to individual properties.
Take Sunday, which delivers a tailored nutrient plan to customers. As Founder Coulter Lewis told PYMNTS in an interview, the company uses data on specific properties to enable customers “to have a great-looking lawn with less work” – and without toxic pesticides.
The company starts by looking at a customer’s soil composition and climate history along with satellite and aerial photos of their homes. It then uses those elements to create a custom plan and ships the appropriate products.
As Lewis described it, it’s almost like the consumer gets their own dedicated turf manager or head groundskeeper, while also getting the experience of caring for their properties and seeing the results.
Currently, Sunday sells entirely direct-to-consumer. Customers start their plans by entering their home address on the company’s website, and then the company pulls the data and takes a first pass at creating a plan. Sunday examines information such as historical temperatures, average rainfall and cloud cover, and then provides a lawn size estimate. It also asks the customer some questions about their lawn care history. The customer is then presented with a one-year plan for the season.
Sunday’s custom plan includes three shipments per year, nutrient pouches, a lab soil test, a hose-end sprayer, custom instructions and access to the company’s support team. For payments, the company accepts credit cards and debit cards.
The nutrients in the company’s line-up are separated into categories such as core, target and focus. They come in plastic pouches that are about 1.25 liters and contain ingredients such as seaweed extract. Sunday also uses recycled food waste from grocery store produce, as well as molasses and other kinds of core lawn nutrients. The company’s “grass machine” pouch, for instance, contains iron, nitrogen and seaweed, and its “lawn balance” pouch comes with iron, nitrogen and food hydrolysate.
Sunday also offers weed control products in two parts. One part is Weed Warrior, which is a non-selective weed control that Lewis describes as a “herbicidal soap.” Another part, Dandelion Doom, contains iron as its one active ingredient.
Lewis believes the core reasons consumers are purchasing his product are that it’s easy to use and they get a great-looking lawn.
To help get the word out, Lewis said the company is fortunate to have great press. It also advertises online and has tapped into radio.
According to a study that was published in the Environmental Management journal, more than 40 million acres of continental U.S. land has some form of a lawn. In terms of reinventing the American lawn, Lewis said, “that’s a big mission.”
The company recently notched $6 million in a Series A funding round led by Tusk Venture Partners. The round, according to reports, brings the company’s total funding to $9 million as of half a year of its launch.
The Lawn Care Market
Beyond Sunday, the Lawn Serv subscription service offers custom pro-grade fertilizer, weed control, bug control and pH control. Customers can pick from multiple plan options – traditional, mostly natural and all-natural – when signing up for the service. They can then size their lawn and provide that information at the time of sign-up.
Next, customers enter their payment information along with their grass type, which varies between northern and southern climates. Consumers can choose to pay monthly or annually (the latter option comes with a discount). For payments, the site accepts credit as well as debit cards.
From Lawn Serv to Sunday, DTC innovators are aiming to provide consumers with products to take care of their lawns with the help of the subscription business model.