Sick of the bad news? Winter Blues getting you down? Here’s some positive news to boost your spirits:
The future of floristry is looking bright!
Yes, that’s right; floristry is set to ascend like a Phoenix from the ashes. Here’s the deal.
The Rise of Order Gatherers – And Why They Will Fall Again
The Internet created the opportunity for the expansion of the Order Gatherers (who kind of SOUND like a mutant race of zombies from a B-grade sci-fi film).
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Suddenly it was easy for the OGs to cheaply and effectively distribute a standardised catalogue to the whole nation.
But doing so has also exposed their major weakness.
Flowers Are Not Hamburgers
It’s one thing to have a standard catalogue, but it is logistically impossible for all retail/distributors across a country to all have the same flowers, same quality and same colours in stock simultaneously.
National catalogue sales of flowers is always going to be either the luck of the draw, a very basic product or a very ‘flexible’ order that can be filled from whatever the florist has available.
The web made it look easy for order-gatherers to roll out standardised floral products across the board. The reality is – it is not easy for them to do this at all. Basically – they advertise products that they cannot reliably deliver. This is not a good recipe for future success!
Meanwhile, at the Local Flower Shop…
…. the web DID make a number of OTHER things much easier for florists and customers:
- finding a florist in the geographical area you need is now easy.
- Using social media to check out customer reviews of any florist is now easy (and getting more prevalent all the time)
- Using Paypal and secure web based payment services to solve the financial risk problem is now easy.
- Getting a decent website and maintaining it is now easy. The technical skills required and the costs of effective web sites have fallen to the point that soon every florist will have (or should have) an effective retail presence online.
And This is All Good for Florists Because ….
At every level of retail, customers are trying to shorten the supply chain – they want to save money by cutting out the middle men.
Floristry is no different – so increasingly customers will go direct to the florist they need and choose from the actual flowers available, probably after reading customer reviews about the florist which make them feel confident that they will get good service and product.
Even international sales require no order gatherer. Credit cards operate worldwide and web browsers can automatically translate languages to suit.
Also, a lot of florist websites will soon enough offer real-time responses using instant messaging systems.
Once people have found the right florist in the right area who does a good job, these relationships will last a long time.
What You Need:
- A simple, attractive website
- That can be found on Google
- Simple, secure e-commerce (online shopping) facility
- Great product and customer service – some things never change!
Get your Internet ducks in a row and you will survive and thrive for many years to come!
Written by Steve White, CEO Tesselaar Flowers (with bonus hamburger and zombie references by Seamus – Tesselaar’s website manager and marketing nerd)
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