Spring is upon us! It’s the season when flower holidays are in full bloom: Easter, Administrative Professionals Week, and Mother’s Day. As the floral industry moves into high gear for the Spring season, here are a few points both wholesale and retail florists should keep in mind in order to be fully prepared.
Who are your current customers? Future customers? Potential customers? Knowing your markets and why your customers buy from you is the best way to work out ways to attract new customers. Plus, any time spent researching potential new markets can be valuable, as this can add an entirely new revenue stream. It’s also important to know which current and future customers are most profitable—event planners or larger businesses, for example, who may place regular orders with you.
Florists should connect with local businesses such as funeral homes, car dealerships, law firms, and real estate agencies, and sell them regular weekly arrangements. You can also create a subscription program for customers, where you automatically send arrangements each week.
What do your competitors offer? What are they promoting? Staying up-to-date with the competition is vital, particularly as it pertains to market trends and your business’ profits. Pay close attention to what your competitors are offering that you aren’t, and what promotions they are running. Compare your prices to those of competitors, in order to determine whether or not your prices are competitively priced in your particular market.
There are certain cultural trends that may be hurting the flower business—” donations in lieu of flowers” is one example—but florists can combat these. One idea would be to offer gift baskets or flower arrangements sent from your store directly to the family’s home.
There may be untapped opportunities for new ways to distribute your product, such as partnering with another business and offering bundled packages. Finding new and unique means of distribution can boost sales.
For florists, there may be a large market around local high school proms or weddings: You may want to partner with event photographers or limo services to offer one-stop packages for prom or wedding attendees.
How current is your marketing strategy? Are you using online marketing? Social media? Consider the benefits of these platforms, as they can further enhance the image you want to portray. When you know the demographics of your target customer, you can run Facebook campaign to that specifically-targeted audience. A small investment like this can get you the exposure and sales you need.
Florists should ensure all promotional contact with customers is both fresh and professional. Keep your social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) regularly updated, and interact with customers by asking questions and offering promotions. Post any relevant news articles or stories about your business, as this will add credibility to your brand and maximize customer engagement.
Dig into all aspects of your pricing; variable pricing might make sense for different markets, perishable products, or holiday sales. However, this doesn’t mean offering lower prices when it isn’t warranted: Emphasize the value of your product and offer different options before lowering prices. Make sure your employees know how to communicate these options correctly, in preparation for price-sensitive customers.
Review all service and delivery areas to ensure any problems in delivery or production are rapidly dealt with. Have routine methods in place to evaluate your customer service to ensure your standards are being met. If staff need more specific training, make sure to offer it; your delivery personnel are the face of your business, so they need to be well trained.
Florists should follow up with any clients who stopped buying from you, to get feedback on your quality and customer service. This is a great time to remedy any prior customer service issues and regain that customer’s loyalty.
With these steps in place, be prepared to see your sales and profits blossom as never before!