Valentine’s Day falls on a Monday this year, which usually means more floral business as customers have an extra few weekend days to order. However, it also means a lot of last-minute business—particularly since Valentine’s Day lands right after Super Bowl Sunday this year. So, how can you prepare well in advance, so you’re not bombarded by all those last-minute orders? Here are a few tips:
- Contact Last Year’s Customers Now
Don’t wait to get in your Valentine’s Day orders. Instead, grab a list of everyone who purchased last year and contact them individually. Let them know that it will be a busy Valentine’s Day and that you want to give them the first choice of flowers this year. Doing this will help you forecast your Valentine’s Day product and staffing needs and save you a lot of last-minute scrambling.
- Prep Your Team
Whether you already have a team in place or you’re planning to hire temporary staff, it’s essential to train them as rapidly as possible. Get them all up to speed on your shop systems, policies, and procedures, before they’re bombarded by customers. And be sure to instruct them on how to upsell and offer add-ons. This will take a lot of pressure off you and keep everything running smoothly despite how busy it gets.
- Encourage Early Ordering
In every email, social media ad, and website promotion, encourage your customers to place their orders now. They all know about supply chain issues, particularly after such a wild Christmas season, so they’ll be more likely to understand why they should order now to “lock-in” their choice of arrangement. To sweeten the deal, you can also offer a free add-on for early orders, such as a heart balloon or stuffed animal.
- Come up with Creative Alternatives to Red Roses
With so many supply issues currently and such a huge need for red roses on Valentine’s Day, you may find yourself in a challenging situation. So, now’s the time to come up with clever alternatives. If you can find it, stock up on red ranunculus, pink roses, red carnations, and other flowers as alternatives.
- Suggest Early “Surprise” Delivery
With Valentine’s Day on a Monday this year, you’re likely to be inundated with last-minute orders and deliveries that day. By spreading out your deliveries, you can make things easier on the entire team. Suggest to your customers that you deliver their flowers early, on Friday or Saturday, to surprise their loved ones. You can even add a card that says, “I couldn’t wait to show you how much I love you,” or something similar.
- Update Your Website and Shopping Cart
Make sure your website is fully updated, including your address and hours. Most importantly, update your shopping cart as needed so it automatically suggests add-ons for Valentine’s Day when a customer checks out. This not only makes it easy for your customer to get another gift, but it also increases your revenue. Plus, make sure to have a pick-up option during online checkout, so even if shoppers miss your delivery window, they can get their flowers in time for the big day.
- Increase Your Online Ads
If you already run Google or Facebook ads, this is an excellent time to increase your ad buy. After all, Valentine’s Day is a “flower holiday” like no other, and people will be searching the web to find their perfect arrangement. And if you haven’t run an online ad before, this can be a great way to start. One thing’s for sure: You’ll likely get the most “bang for your buck” during the one day of the year when it seems like everyone wants flowers!
- Cut Down on Your Selection
Make things easier for your staff and your customers by offering a select number of choices for your Valentine’s Day arrangements. This is a busy time, and you’ll be able to work ahead if you create a smaller selection of possible arrangements. Plus, if you design arrangements that use similar flowers, you’ll minimize shrink. And lastly, by giving your customers fewer choices, it’s far easier for them to decide which one they want.
- Offer Grab-and-Go Options
For those last-minute shoppers who aren’t particularly picky about what they want (you know the ones), offer some simple, lower-priced arrangements in your shop. This way, they can easily choose one and take it with them right then. And don’t forget to include add-ons at the register since they’re likely to grab those as well. This will save you a lot of time in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, when you’ll be busy with other customers who need more of your attention.
- Host a Playoff Pop-up Shop
Since Valentine’s Day comes on the heels of Super Bowl Sunday, why not tap into the football frenzy in your area? Consider contacting a local sports bar, grocery store, or liquor store to ask if you can set up a pop-up shop during the playoffs. It can be a simple setup, with a small selection of arrangements at different price points. In the earlier weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, you can let customers order in advance and set up delivery. And on Super Bowl Sunday, you’ll likely catch a few of those V-Day procrastinators with a last-minute arrangement—and save the day while you’re at it!
We hope these tips will help you prepare for Valentine’s Day and make that last-minute rush go a bit more smoothly. We’d love to hear how they work for you!