Younger consumers are purchasing fewer flowers than two decades ago, yet millennials are key to the future of the floral industry. Millennials are defined as individuals born between 1977 and 1994, are newly entering the job market, and have more purchasing power than in previous years. A 2013 study showed millennial consumers with a collective buying power of $200 billion, and indirect spending reaching $500 billion!
Millennial consumers are significantly different from other generations in terms of their unique needs, attitudes and preferences. They are also resistant to traditional marketing strategies, and are far more likely to respond to marketing approaches that embrace new technologies, particularly social media. So, how do you tap into this market? By knowing what millennials consider barriers to floral purchasing, and coming up with bright ways to overcome them!
The First Barrier: Price
In a national survey done on more than 3,000 millennial consumers, 75% of them felt that price was the major barrier to purchasing floral products. Price is a bigger barrier for women than men, which may be due to their different uses: Women tend to purchase flowers for themselves as well as for gifts, and men purchase them mostly for gifts; often when consumers purchase gifts the price is less of a concern. Millennials also indicated on the survey that they would definitely purchase more floral products if they received discounts, coupons or other sales promotions.
Barriers to Shopping at Local Florists
While millennials stated that they prefer to shop at a local florist to get their flowers, it’s important to know their barriers to doing so. First of all, they feel that it’s not as convenient to shop for flowers at a florist, and it’s much more convenient at a grocery store or mass merchandiser since they are already shopping there for other products. Another barrier is that millennial consumers frequently perceive local florists as being more expensive than non-specialized retailers, in alignment with their major barrier: price.
Additional Important Attributes
In addition to price, other attributes that millennials consider valuable are flower/bloom quality, flower type/variety, longevity, ease of care, design, and fragrance. Women and men differed slightly in terms of which was most important, but again, when someone purchases flowers as a gift they are more concerned with quality and less about longevity and care; conversely, when purchasing flowers for themselves, longevity and caring for the product becomes much more important. Sustainability is also becoming increasingly important to millennials, including ethical treatment of workers and less pesticide and chemical use.
How to Overcome the Barriers
Offering financial incentives is one key way to attract millennial consumers. Coupons, discounts and other promotions can be effective, especially when marketed across social media platforms where they are most likely to see them. Additionally, there is a real need by millennials to purchase flowers that are not only beautiful, but are high quality and long lasting; focusing on the quality of the product when promoting it will help the consumer to understand that the higher quality equals longer lasting blooms.
Follow-through is important here: back up the social media campaign with great service, convenient hours and high quality, and millennials can become a huge part of any floral business now and many years into the future.