Leveraging technology, cross-selling, or integrating a subscription service may be what’s needed to grow your business even further.
- Embrace technology. Your online community, website, ordering and payment system are crucial points of contact with clients. Provide a streamlined process to make it easy for customers to use.
- Cross-selling. Assuming your business is a brick and mortar shop, keep chocolates, cards, plants, and other gifts on hand for cross-selling.
- Subscription services. Restaurants, coffee shops, and churches typically have ordering systems in place, and it wouldn’t be hard for them to add a floral subscription to their weekly orders.
Do you have customers that struggle to rationalize the cost of flowers (not to mention labor)? Does your website have an e-commerce platform? Do you offer specialty services like installations or corporate discounts? Maintaining a floral shop can pose challenges beyond the everyday business affairs. In our growing marketplace, know that there are many ways to grow your client base and establish yourself as an expert in the floral industry.
Optimizing your floral shop is more than just cleaning the cooler
The online marketplace is here to stay
Instagram’s best feature allows customers to shop directly in the app. No longer do people have to pop over to a new platform to make a purchase, and when it comes to flowers the sky’s the limit. Things you will need: You will need a Facebook Business page with a catalogue set up (more details can be found here), a creator profile on Instagram, and a connection between the two accounts. Afterward, you will add items for sale along with product descriptions and images. Remember to limit the number of items so that you have enough flowers in stock for other projects.
Now that we have that set up, it will be time to ship your products. It is likely that you have a local following online and a delivery process. Try sending a physical reminder (packed neatly with outgoing orders) of who made the flower arrangement. Whether it’s your business card, a thank-you card, or a stamped ribbon with your logo, any small token of your shop’s image and mission can make a big impact. Customized rubber stamps with your logo come in handy.
Another important detail is sending follow-up email to your customers who have purchased. Zapier has a free integration that allows you to spark up an email right after someone buys from you. Zapier is the easiest way to automate your workflow, and can connect to many applications (including Gmail and MailChimp). Sending a quick email to someone interested in your bouquet can be the difference between a warm lead and a true sale.
When people think working as a florist is a breeze…
Many of you can probably relate to the endless “oohs” and “ahhs” expressed when walk-ins think how easy it must be to run a flower shop. Folks, they don’t know the struggle of managing pricing, products, projects, cleaning, customer service, invoicing, finding time to eat! Wholesalers do, and we’re here for more than just emotional support. We want you to thrive and shine!
With that said, it may be hard for customers to understand and appreciate the cost of flowers (plus labor) involved in making their orders. “Alexa, how do you say ‘I don’t work for free,’ politely?” One strategy in combating those conversations is educating your clients on your website, social media posts, and in-person. A lot of times, people simply need enough information to rationalize their decision to purchase.
Do you offer discounts for booking in advance? Paste it on your website that booking early = more savings. Especially now, certain flowers can be hard to source when needed. Do your brides only want Playa Blanca roses yet there won’t be any in stock for their big day? Arrange a sample of similar flowers and post a blog or an image with ‘wedding flower alternatives’, specifically for those clients that have trouble visualizing the end result. It’s all about getting ahead of the questions before they come.
Working with event planners can prove indispensable to a florist. They can connect you to corporate events, help you to form a referral network of professionals, and generally keep you in the loop of the event space in your area. A simple Google search or checking out new Facebook groups can help you find the right connections. Once these are established, consider offering referral discounts for those who have found you through the grapevine.
Another option for low-cost marketing would be to offer a subscription service (can be B2B or B2C). A monthly subscription could look like one bouquet per week at a fixed cost. Or if you are selling to a business, you could provide small bud vase bouquets to sit on tables, again, for a selected price. Either way, extending a subscription service will allow you to schedule recurring business well into the future.
Reintroduce yourself to former clients
Do you have an internal database that keeps track of past purchases? If so, it may be beneficial to remind a past customer of their purchase. You could also add images of related products that they may be interested in this time around. Saying, “It’s been a while!” in the subject line is sure to get the attention of many, and always use images — they work!
Colorful floral emails aren’t something we typically receive, so it’s a great opportunity to brighten someone’s inbox. Flower arranging is a service that only few offer, yet its impact can be overwhelmingly positive to the person on the receiving end. Some emails you can send:
- “Give a gift to yourself this week”
- “Moms deserve love any day of the week”
- “Say thank you to those who need to hear it”
- “Bring inspiration to someone’s day”
- “Someone needs flowers today”
“The best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service.” — Oprah
Remember local opportunities
Though we live our lives online now, there are ways to promote yourself in real life. Remember walking about town and seeing an event flyer nailed to a telephone pole? Even though it’s impossible to track ROI on flyers, they still add value to your business. It’s safe to say that after that person walked by your flyer, they thought about sending flowers.
Brochures, flyers, and stickers are all personal touches that generate trust and warmth with potential customers. Even the most tech-savvy companies utilize paper marketing materials and send them to mailboxes. Flyers are an amazing tool to maximize your market potential with a limited budget.
Sponsor a local event or nonprofit. In the city of Austin, Texas, there is plenty to do and many organizations to support. To get your floral name out into the community, try offering bouquets to an event you resonate with. Though it may have costs upfront, the reward of gaining new business is priceless.
Overall, marketing your business is like budding a friendship (pun intended). Humans generally love little surprises and they respond well to flowers. Whether it’s a click on Instagram, a view to your website, a special offering, or seeing a flyer in your neighborhood, people want to get to know you!
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