The Future of the Floral Industry 6
Where the Floral Industry is HeadedYou talk to anybody in the floral industry and you receive many different responses as to where they think the industry is going next. Half of the flower shops owners believe retail shops will continue to be viable well into the foreseeable future. And the other half of shop owners believe that yes, retail shops will stay relevant, but only to those owners who can keep up with the changing technologies and have the ability to cater to the new wave of flower buyers (millennials). More and more have decided to become studio florists and cut out the retail location completely, focusing on loyal customers to maintain their business. Both of these routes are workable and profitable. What is undeniable, is the industry is undergoing a rapid change. By riding this new wave, florists can maintain relevance and reach a whole new level of profitability.
New Floral Technology Developments
Will mobile apps, mobile POS systems and a heavier reliance on e-commerce be the way of the future for the floral industry? Looking around at other sectors, the answer is undeniably yes. There is always resistance to change, but looking objectively, one can conclude there are many benefits to the changing technologies:
Speed and Efficiency
Inventory Management Control (including wholesale)
Lower Operational Cost
Larger Overall Margin
Affordable Pricing Models
The bottom line is there will always be a portion of the population that will want to do things the “old school” way -- walk-ins, taking orders on carbon copies etc, but the new generation of customer is more tech-savvy and unfortunately, less socially inclined to walk into a store and engage with a shop owner. Not all change is progress, but in this industry, it just might be.
The floral industry is one of those industries that is greatly affected by booms and busts in the economy. It’s no mystery that when consumers have less disposable income they tend to only focus on necessities rather than additional expenditures. Since the industry lives and dies by special occasions, events and major holidays, florists rely on consumers buying during specific times to keep themselves afloat for when the summer hits and the downturn inevitably begins. Since 2007, the landscape of the industry has changed. Florists in every city remark that there used to be double the amount of shops in town and everybody was getting a piece of the pie. Many shops have closed and, subsequently, here’s what has happened:
1) Wire services lost considerable revenue and had to concoct a way to generate more
2) Fees and penalties increased on wire service members
3) Surviving florists were squeezed out of any chance of a decent profit
ConclusionIt’s encouraging to see many florists dropping the wire services and taking their business into their own hands. Many new startups are trying to fill the void that is left when dropping the wire services, but most have missed the mark. What florists need, both new school and old, is a low cost platform in which to run their business effectively without the high costs and low morale that exists now. The way things operate now are simply unsustainable, unprofitable, and disincentivizing for anyone trying to make a decent living going forward. Big change and improvement to an industry we all love is coming soon.
- Joe Arrigo
Florists, Who’s on Your Website? 0
Using AnalyticsThe most overlooked aspect of a floral website is the monitoring of your web traffic. Without knowing who is visiting, where they are from, when they are visiting and the time spent visiting, you are left in the dark to improve your website’s performance.
Google Analytics is a the best tool to monitor your web traffic. And it's free! It’s easy to set up on your website and will benefit you tremendously, once you learn how to utilize it. This link walks you through the process of the set up and adding the tracking code. If you are already using a Floral Tab created website through our partner Shopify, entering this block of code into your website is even easier.
Key Factors in Monitoring Traffic
Landing Page: This is the page where people land on when coming from a search engine or clickable advertisement. Knowing what pages people visit can help you decide what to display on that particular page to increase sales and interactions.
Pageviews: This stat shows how many different pages were visited during a certain time period. For example, you might want to see how many people viewed your Valentine's’ Day arrangement during the Valentine’s Day week. This information can help you decide if you need to change the page to drive more traffic, or keep it the same if you're getting the results you desire.
Bounce Rate: This is simply the rate at which people leave your site without navigating to other pages. The lower the bounce rate, the better your site is performing. This means people are exploring your site deeper than the landing page. It’s crucial to know where people are Landing, and then the rate at which they are bouncing. Knowing the bounce rate can help you tailor the landing page so people stay on your website and browse more arrangements!
Source/Medium: This shows where your traffic is coming from (Facebook, Google, Email, etc.) This helps you know what sources drive the most traffic to your site and where you need to focus your marketing energy.
Running a flower shop is unquestionably one of the most life-consuming career choices one can make. This free analytics tool only enhances your ability to monitor the health of your business and will help you find ways to increase revenue. With flower shops struggling against the plague of wire services, the more you know about your website traffic, the better chances of success you'll have.
- Joe Arrigo
Top 5 Tips for Buying Wholesale 2
Most florists purchase their fresh flowers and hard goods from a wholesaler, rather than directly through a distributor. In certain big cities, there are a lot of choices for florists, but in others small cities, the options are limited. Either way, keeping a good relationship with your wholesalers is essential to getting good service and earning karma for when needing a favor down the line.
Floral Tab has come up with our list of tips for smooth wholesale ordering:
1) For ordering hard goods (vases, containers, balloons, funeral forms) give as much time as possible if you know you have a wedding, funeral, or event coming up. Wholesalers usually do not carry every item in stock, especially event glass and speciality colored glass. Oftentimes that glass needs to be ordered a week in advance to ensure prompt delivery.
2) If the option is available, try to spread your business around to multiple wholesalers. One, it helps another small business like yourself, and two, it develops a familiarity with how all your local wholesalers operate. If one supplier is out of certain goods, you can easily order from another without going through the sign-up process of inputting credit card information and getting an account set up. You will have already done this prior to this moment.
3) For those wholesalers that give credit, florists should be sure to pay as soon as possible, ESPECIALLY when it comes to large orders. Prompt payment is the #1 way to get secure a good relationship with a wholesaler.
4) Take advantage of wholesalers that have websites, (for example HERE and HERE) in which to place orders. This method is beneficial to both parties because it cuts down time on the phone and allows you the florist a more convenient way to shop.
5) Know the cut-off time for placing orders. Orders placed late at night can sometimes be missed when the delivery trucks leave in the morning.
In the first paragraph we mentioned earning karma to cash in favors down the line. This is absolutely crucial in the floral business. For example, during the Valentine’s Day preparations when florists feel the apocalypse coming and their world is utter anarchy, it really helps to have a wholesaler who will make an extra trip to your shop to deliver 2 cases of 4042 vases or 3 bunches of roses. If you’ve been a difficult customer for your wholesaler you may find it tough to get special treatment during crucial times.
Florists and wholesalers are on the same team. They both want to succeed by providing the highest quality arrangements and service to their customers. To do this, they must have an excellent working relationship and an adherence to solid business practices.
- Joe Arrigo
- Tags: Flowers Supplies Wholesale flowers
Why We Need Flowers 0
“I must have flowers, always, and always.” ― Claude Monet
Claude Monet, famous French impressionist painter, was correct in saying this. But there’s more reasons why we need flowers other than their obvious beauty and decoration value. In what is now an infamous University study from Rutgers, we learn there are both mental health benefits and physical benefits to having flowers in your house and within eyesight.
Flowers and Mood
One’s mood is greatly affected upon receiving flowers, as is clearly obvious to any floral delivery drivers when seeing the face of their recipient. But more than this, is the calming effect the flowers have throughout the following days. The study showed decreased anxiety and stress and an increased sense of well being after receiving flowers. The emotional connection between the giver and receiver has a different effect than other gifts. Giving flowers is seen as a more intimate display of friendship and love over a gift that may be more materialistic. A bottle of wine or brandy, although classic in its use as a friendly gesture, doesn’t resonate in the same way as flowers do.
Flowers and Feng Shui
Flowers displayed in your house where guests see them as they enter is a huge trigger for a positive emotional response. The theory says that flowers remind us subconsciously of our natural being, reconnecting us with mother nature in a very primitive way. Did you know that Feng Shui and flowers are connected? This article explains the relationship between certain flowers and the brain’s response. For example, the Chrysanthemum is considered to have a strong yang energy (the opposite of the yin energy) which is used to attract good luck to your home.
Give flowers more often to improve your friendships and enhance their physical/emotional well-being. Always buy from a local florist, you're guaranteed the freshest flowers and the most beautiful designs.
- Joe Arrigo
- Tags: Flowers Fresh Flowers
Flowers and Instagram 0
Share your flower arrangements on Instagram
One way to improve those floral shots is to USE BOTH HANDS. iPhones, as well as many other smartphones, are light and thin. This makes your ability to capture your flower arrangements nearly unlimited. However, to stabilize your shots, you should use both hands and rest your arms against your body. This will keep you from getting those shaky, blurry product shots when you’re capturing the beauty of your unique flower arrangements. Low quality product images are unwanted in a social feed and you must strive to keep them off your feed and never in the face of your social following.
Take a photos of your flowers using the HDR Setting
Also, always-always-always find a natural light source. Whether that be in the front window of your flower shop or right outside your door, let that sunlight help to capture every stunning detail of your lilies, roses, orchids, and whatever else is in your flower arrangement. This is one of the most important ways to improve the floral buying experience for your customers.
Amazing quality flower photos
You have most cost-efficient quality tools like the iPhone at your disposal and the most powerful social media platform in the world for images (Instagram). It takes just a few minutes a day to show off your flower arrangements and advertise your business. Best of all, it's FREE advertisement for your flower shop. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that!
- Anna Bryant
- Tags: Technology
Social media outlets like Twitter and Instagram are changing the way we communicate with others. Instead of drawing attention from traditional forms of advertising, we now communicate our message through the use of hashtags (#). Hashtags allow people to specify keywords and/or phrases about their picture or post. This will gain the attention of your target audience at low cost… Free. Your post can be found by others searching the same or related hashtag, and it allows a large audience of people to join a conversation or follow a movement.
This is an opportunity for businesses to leverage trends. This marketing strategy is supplemental to current forms and it’s very easy to do. For example, you might see a designer clothing company posting about the Presidential Election Debate while simultaneously promoting their own brand.
“Wow, look at that suit (insert candidate) is wearing! Pretty sharp! #Debate2016 #Election2016 #suit #pinstripe #(their company)”
You can see from this example how a current event can be taken advantage of and used as a marketing tool. It has the possibility of receiving a large amount of impressions and potential customers looking into your company/brand. The trends can be on a city, state or nationwide level. Be mindful and focus on your target market and delivery areas you serve for the best results. Also be aware, with this maneuver as it may seem like a cheap tactic if you can’t find a way to tie in your business with a hot trend. The hashtag keyword used should hold value to your post/proposition.
For your flower shop there are plenty of ways to get your photos, blog posts, and sales advertisements out into the world without much time or a huge advertising budget. This small technique should be leveraged to gain a competitive advantage in the local floral space.
Try to follow the unwritten rules of the hashtag and avoid “hashtag stuffing” which can clog up your post and detract from your overall message. Followers may soon become unfollowers if they see this too often.
Best of luck and don’t forget to hashtag #floraltab
- Joe Arrigo