Where to put your energy to maximize sales during the spring and summer flower sales season.

As we enter the new year, we need to bring forth the same optimism and energy that was required during the spring and summer months of 2020, as the pandemic swept across the country. Florists around the world had to endure closures and restrictions in the midst of some of their busiest seasons and flower-giving holidays. For some, business stayed the same, but others saw an increase in sales as consumers had to send sentiments instead of being with friends and family. Many more floral businesses struggled to make ends meet, and everyone in the floral industry had to learn to adapt.

While the way we do business usually changes over time, it has had to change very quickly over the past several months because of the pandemic. Consumer priorities began to shift dramatically, as well. Florists had to be willing to try new things and turn the changes into opportunities. Most people will continue to want an easy, no-contact way to buy and receive their purchases, and by looking at the struggles last year, we are now better prepared for things to come.

So what should you focus on as we enter a new spring and summer flower season? Here are four suggestions.

1. Make sure you are selling online. Virtual shopping is here to stay and expected by consumers. And they don’t just want to shop—they still want an experience, and they want to be engaged. Try holding a virtual selling event, and communicate with your customers more. Tipton & Hurst, in Little Rock, Ark., sold more than $35,000 during its first virtual sales event. Very impressive!

2. Give your physical and virtual shop a spring cleaning or update. Because floral can often be an impulse buy, focusing on your product both online and in-store is key. You can choose to add more variety to your inventory, showcase seasonal flowers or try new merchandising techniques.

3. Use health as a selling point. Consumers have been more focused on health—both mental and physical—this past year, and rightfully so. Research shows that flowers and plants can help with stress relief, improve mood, aid in relaxation, increase energy and help oxygenate air.

4. Bring inside spaces outside. As we transition into spring, consumers will be looking to get outside and, with any luck, enjoy more gatherings again. Find a way to use your outdoor space, even if it’s small, for both shopping and events. Create a new experience and a more comfortable situation for your customers.

Change is the new normal, and if you’re willing to adapt, you will be better equipped for whatever happens next in the flower business. By examining how business and consumer habits have changed this last year, you can prepare for 2021 and beyond.