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Flower Power: Valentine’s Day Shopping Done Right

A person is arranging flowers creatively in a vase for Valentine's Day.

Ariella Brown

February 12 2020

Got flowers?

You can’t go wrong with flowers… or can you?

Flower deliveries from centralized wire services don’t always deliver truly personalized service. BloomNation, the American online floral marketplace, addresses that problem by combining online convenience with local-level service. In a phone interview, BloomNation’s founder, Gregg Weisstein, discussed how the business strives to win customer loyalty and repeat business through transparency and improved experiences.

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Weisstein explained the problem of searching for florists online is that what appears to be a local flower shop is really a wire service, which is essentially functioning as a broker. There is a “disconnect between the customer and the florist who delivers.”  Because there’s no real relationship in place, the florist doesn’t care that much about maintaining the customer relationship.

Consequently, the florists are more motivated to cut costs than to do their best and sometimes use their oldest rather than freshest flowers for such orders. They also don’t necessarily specialize in the arrangements shown in the broker’s stock images and can only approximate them for the order, which means you don’t necessarily get what you order.

In contrast, Weisstein pointed out that “BloomNation only features real flower shops and studios and lets you shop the local floral designer’s actual designs as the site doesn’t permit stock images.” That increases the number of arrangements you can see from 1,100 on a wire service to hundreds of thousands.

Shoppers can also select among a number of different local florists when they shop for their arrangements by occasion including the type of flower, price, reviews or whatever filter they stipulate. That gives them the information they need to make the best selection without having to click through multiple websites.

Improved Customer Experience

“The better the experience for the customer, the more likely they are to come back and reorder flowers,” declared Weisstein. Accordingly, they designed some features to take away the pain points involved in ordering flowers like the concern about getting what you picked out and it getting delivered on time.

Customers can get a “BloomSnap,” which shows a photo of the arrangement before it goes out to assure that the arrangement matches what was ordered. Weisstein reports “great return and repeat from that.”

Winning repeat customers is an important part of their marketing strategy because they know that retaining customers is more cost-effective than winning over new ones. Most customers will order twice a year, and they find that the Bloomsnap beature increases the likelihood of repeat order by 20-30%.

To address concerns over delivery, they offer a tracking system that shows the driver on the way with real time location updates. It’s about delivering “the best possible floral experience, so that customers want to come back,” he said. They also encourage repeat business with friendly reminders like the birthday they ordered flowers for last year coming up and the like.

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Advice for Valentine’s Day Flowers

Valentine’s Day is the second busiest holiday for florists, just behind Mother’s Day. According to the NRF, 58 percent of men and 16 percent of women will be buying flowers on February 14th. The increased demand for red roses in particular pushes prices up at this time of year.

On the florist’s end, coping with this huge rush usually means reducing the number of arrangements on offer to make it easier to keep up with fulfillment. From the customer’s end, you’re better off thinking outside the box and looking for arrangements with flowers other than red roses. The wide assortment of possibilities shown on BloomNation helps people select something more original.

Weisstein also recommends that customers beat the rush by getting their order in ahead of Valentine’s Day and even taking delivery several days in advance of the 14th in order to enjoy the flowers for the whole week. “It’s nice to celebrate your Valentine on more than just one day,” he points out.

This article was originally published by our friends at PostFunnel.

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