How can a website help a florist grow & succeed?

Every business should have a website. But the value to a florist store is particularly high. This is because a website is a perfect fit for the needs of their customers. Of course, a website also helps their businesses be discovered by customers. But this is only half of the equation, it can also provide meaningful value to customers creating a competitive edge. In this blog post, I will explain how this is possible.

Understanding the True Value of a Customer to Your Business

A customer’s lifetime value can be significant if managed correctly. This is because flowers can be sold for almost any occasion. Often, these sales opportunities are extremely predictable i.e. Mother’s Day. In contrast, most industries cannot say the same. If a business is selling TVs, they cannot say that on a specific date everybody is going to want a new TV for example.

Contrast this with your industry. For example, every male in the country is a potential customer on the day before valentines day. The challenge is to reach them before they find a competitor or a substitute (i.e. jewelry). You then want to have the least amount of purchase friction as possible. These are the biggest failings that florists currently make with their websites. A florist’s site should provide customers with the greatest amount of convenience at the same time as providing expertise.

The Big Mistakes That Most Independent Florists Make

Despite this, a common approach to a florist’s website is to add dozens if not 100s of bouquets etc on a limited set of pages. This is likely the result of imitating online-only competitors. Why is it bad? Because it assumes that flower arrangements are simple commodity products. The 2nd aspect of this is that a florist should not confuse itself for selling products, they sell a service. This service has a physical aspect, of course, but at its core, it’s about selling expertise.

Selling dozens or hundreds of products on a website invites customers to decision fatigue and frustration. At the same time, florists that have this approach are reduced to competing with convenience stores and discount online florists. But it’s worse than that because of the process involved in this purchase scenario. They go to the same store they go to likely every day, and they are presented with 2 or 3 arrangements. Their memory is jogged that they need flowers at the counter because they are directly in their field of vision, so they grab 1 of the 3 options. The decision is simple because the options are limited while the purchase process is convenient.

The Solution to This & How to Beat Competitors

The interplay between this and the reality that a florist’s website should be seasonally oriented is excellent. As it’s going to result in higher sales while also being accepting of the nature of the average florist business. Maintaining a website with 30+ arrangements that reflect what your suppliers are able to give you at any given time invites burnout. In addition to unnecessary cost, all while creating decision fatigue for customers.

So what is the right approach? It sounds intimidating, but it starts with proper Customer Relationship Management. A florist’s website should be designed to remember customer details, and serve buyers with timed marketing. For example, if a customer buys flowers two days before Mother’s Day one year, they will likely do the same next year. So imagine the opportunities of a website that sends a message to a customer 3 days before Mother’s Day reminding them.

When they go onto the site and choose Mother’s Day flowers. They are presented with 4 choices, each one priced on a scale to fit their budget. Because of this, it’s a straightforward decision, there is no guesswork. The customer then clicks on their choice and buys it. This whole process is designed to provide value to the customer and to have the least amount of purchase friction. While the florist has provided value through convenience, and expertise because they have curated the options to the needs of their customers and helped save them time.

Closing Thoughts & Recommended Content

This is just a snapshot of a much larger well thought out approach to designing a website for a florist’s website. If you sell gourmet food like some florist and gift shops do you might like to read our post on how to use social media to market gourmet food.

Originally published on the 6th of December 2015, updated October 28 2017.

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