In the past, most florists were limited by geography in terms of how far they could expand their wedding, event or prom business. Those limitations no longer exist in today’s ecommerce and overnight shipping world.
If people can overnight steaks and cheesecakes, then surely we can just as easily sell corsages, boutonnières and wedding bouquets and have an overnight shipping company deliver them by 10:30 a.m. the next day. If you don’t believe this, just look up a company called Bloominous (bloominous.com). It does an exceptional job of selling wedding kits better than anyone I have seen to date.
There are many restaurants that have built a loyal national following using overnight services to deliver fresh breads, pastries and other fresh foods. There is no reason you can’t do the same thing with flowers. In fact, the real question is, “Why is it taking so long?” Sure, the flower industry has been shipping unarranged flowers in boxes for decades now, but rarely has anyone taken this to the next level in terms of personalization.
If customers love your work today locally, why wouldn’t customers from all over the country not also love your work? It makes logical sense that, if marketed properly online, there should be no reason not to sell across the country.
With a solid ecommerce foundation and a CalFlowers membership (for 70 percent off FedEx air rates), you can work to expand your market share nationally (see cafgs.org).
The recent advances in preserved flowers further minimize the risk of shipping fresh flowers and allow you to stockpile an inventory of “on demand” product that can be ready to ship within an hour’s notice.
In fact, many consumers prefer preserved corsages and boutonnières that they can keep after the event – even if it means paying a premium for them. Best of all, with preserved flowers, you don’t have to overnight them! They can be ordered weeks in advance, dramatically lowering your shipping costs nationwide.
We are seeing flower shops utilize this strategy with their entire wedding work and even funeral work in some countries. You can even have consumers see how the product looks in 3D now! (See the “IKEA Place” app for an extraordinary new way to shop for furniture.)
Today’s flower buyers do not want to be held back by limited choices or selection. So give them as many choices and reasons as possible to buy from your flower shop. The results may surprise you.