Florist strategies: when the going gets tough, the tough get going

Florist strategies: when the going gets tough, the tough get going

The modern retail landscape today is vibrant, interactive and competitive. The florist industry has kept pace with the overhaul of traditional methods of selling, by using their professional skills as well as changing old habits and mindsets. Businesses both small and large have embraced the opportunity to take back their customers with superior service, quality of product and professional enthusiasm.

There are several key areas in which the florist is working hard to improve, and is winning. Let’s take a look at these and consider how all florists can continue to compete successfully in these challenging times.

1. Technology.

This is the key to success for any business today, and it is not only your website and social media. It is essential to manage your workflow through your point-of¬sale software from order to final sale. There are some really good products in the market today that are simple and easy to use.
Furthermore, building a customer database and servicing your customer is paramount. When you ring up for a pizza, your local store knows everything about you and your last order details so they can ensure they give you great service. Florists can use the same approach to get to know their customers and ensure repeat business.

2. Competition.

Are the supermarkets and order gatherers really your competition? Do you sell and make the same products as they do, or can you create a point of difference? Something unique to you and your store? Your only competition is yourself!

3. Your offer.

How good is your offer? Do you buy the same flowers and supplies every week, or do you have something that is different, enticing and fresh to offer to keep your customers coming back? Do not let your anxiousness for more sales drive the outcomes of your designs, but rather, ensure your designs drive your sales outcomes.

4. Your personalised message.

How well do you sell your products? Do you ask your customers “how much do you want to spend?”, or do you find out what you can sell them to not only optimise the sale, but also help the customer work out exactly what they wanted for that special occasion? Your staff, store and website should be doing this every step of the way.

5. Pricing.

Do I sell too low or too high? You may be selling too cheaply, if you offer better quality and design. Do not doubt your pricing, or you may give the impression that you are overcharging. Educate your customers to understand what superior quality and design is, and why they are getting great value.

6. Profits.

Do you understand the cost of goods, the value of your customers and the value of your ability? Margin and profits are paramount to a florist’s success. Buying well and selling well are both as important as each other.

Do you rely too heavily on relay order gatherer businesses? Don’t forget that the relay services need your resources, delivery and skills. This business is heavily discounted, so choose carefully. If someone walks into your store and asks you to give them a 30 per cent discount as per what the relay services ask for, you would ask them to leave your store.

These are only some of the challenges that all florists are faced with on a daily basis. But they are challenges which they can overcome with the professionalism and skills they already have. The newly educated and well-serviced consumer will continue to demand more from floristry. It is the modern approach and openmindedness of the collective industry that will allow it to embrace the challenge, and move forward into the future.

This article was published in the June 2018 issue of Flowers magazine, an award-winning Australian publication focusing on the whole of the flower supply chain from breeders to retailers.

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