As retail florists, one of our greatest strengths is our ability to deliver the same day, it’s what sets us apart from the supermarket down the street.
Re-delivery fees are not a new concept, yet as an industry, we seem divided on the subject. Shops are typically either all for them, or completely against them, claiming customers need to know the final cost at the time of purchase.
The average profitability for a retail florist is about 10% and in most cases shops don’t generate a profit on delivery. The average delivery service is typically a loss when we discount it to $10 because average cost is $16.95. These types of numbers don't allow us the luxury of giving away services that cost us money - so then why are we doing it?
Does This Happen In Your Shop?
A customer calls or visits and makes a purchase of a product you decided has a value. They ask for a balloon, so you charge for the balloon. They ask for a teddy bear, so you charge for the teddy bear. All is good and the customer is getting what they want.
Now, they ask for delivery and give you the address. You look it up and charge the appropriate fee depending on where it is to be delivered.
Then it begins…
Your driver goes to the customer's confirmed address and the recipient is either not there, or the address given was wrong, so your driver returns to the shop with flowers still in hand. Your designer then has to re-cut the flowers and change the water as your customer service rep notifies your customer. All of this effort takes time in which we are paying staff and incurring additional expenses which is not our fault.
At this point haven’t you performed the actions requested of you?
Do you now let the customer know the flowers are back at the shop and ask if they would like to pick them up, OR do you ask if they would like to have another delivery made?
Will this second delivery attempt not cost you revenue and continue to chip away at the little margin you have? Maybe you should ask for the proper fee for this additional service they are requesting of you? As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your shop profitable.
How to Ask For The Re-Delivery Fee:
Hello (Mrs. Doe), my name is (Bob) calling from (Your Flower Shop) about the order you requested we deliver to (Jane Doe). After arriving at the address you gave, we found out that she no longer lives there. We had to bring the flowers back and are now calling to make you aware. Would you like to pick up the flowers you ordered or would you like for us to arrange for a new delivery?
Remember, the customer ordered these flowers and the responsibility to pay for them is theirs. We attempted a delivery and the recipient is no longer where we were requested to go - this is not a fault of yours. The customer is responsible for the $50 bouquet and we are trying to help get it delivered.
They paid us to deliver a gift from our shop to a specified location. If this is not possible, who should be responsible? We need to remember we provide services and maybe we gave away this second delivery before, but should we continue to do so? The choice is yours.
I'd love to hear your thoughts!