At Bloomerang Solutions, we specialize in marketing strategies for florists and other small business owners. We focus on what is current as well as what’s “up and coming.” For most retailers, and especially retail florists, these next few months are critical for success and profitability. Here are a few tips and ideas to help you with a smooth and successful holiday season.
Preparation for the holidays; why market when you’re busy?
One critical mistake many florists make is thinking they will have all the business they need during the holidays, so they don’t see the value of marketing. Unfortunately, that way of thinking does more harm than good.
You need to view this time of year as your time to shine! With at least three major holidays between now and Valentine’s Day, the world is sending flowers - so how will they find you? PPC (pay per click) marketing is your key to attracting new clients and increasing sales. The next three months provide some of the best retail opportunities of the year; make the most of them with these proven marketing tactics.
Statistically, only a small percentage of these customers will send flowers again in the summer and beyond, so the more orders you secure now, the better your chances are of organic home-grown business. The second order doesn't cost you and reduces the real value of the first order if you paid to secure it.
Offer what you have on hand
Now, more than ever, it’s critical to watch your offerings. The floral industry has changed drastically in the past decade. There are very few "fill to value" orders out there anymore because everyone is looking at a picture online somewhere. Hopefully we are inching closer to an honest industry where what you see will be close to what you get with the understanding you have a product of nature and minor substitutions and varieties may occur.
Use discipline in what you place on your home page because that is where you secure interest. Be sure you have products you can create and don’t make them so local that sending out of town may not be an option. Be neutral on most offerings so your customers call you for all their orders. You would be surprised how many customers call local shops for local deliveries and a 1-800 number for out of town requests.
Over-stuffing, a profit killer
Secure your profits. There is no question you believe in your designers to produce a quality product, the question is - are they adding a flower or two to make it "just a little nicer?" Double checkout is your answer and it’s as simple as this: When a design is completed, have someone else double check it for consistency and value.
Why is this so important? Just $5 of over-stuffing in a shop with 50 deliveries a day could cost you $250 every day, if not more - this adds up quick. This system also helps to eliminate other mistakes you may have missed. You work so hard to offer add –on’s, so you definitely don’t want to forget them on the delivery.
Hand-written cards and other exclusive offerings
All flowers are delivered with a card but the message on that card is usually printed on a plain piece of paper that will probably get lost or thrown away quickly. Why not offer a better option like a hand-written card? It’s an easy up-sell and many of your customers will be grateful that you took the time and care to go the extra mile. Best of all, they have something special to keep long after the flowers are gone. It really is as simple as finding an employee with excellent handwriting! Little touches like this one as well as other exclusive products you offer should be heavily promoted because those are the things that set your shop apart from everyone else in town.
Always start your day with the question, "Why should anyone shop with me?" More than just to buy flowers, but what is the hook? Just about every company today offers some sort of rewards program. From Dominos to Saks and Neiman Marcus, they all have incentives. You are not too big or too small to get in the game. Companies like Profit Point have systems and cards in place you can have set up to reward your customers and keep them coming back.
Start promoting early
Plan ahead! The weekend after Thanksgiving is exhausting from the promotion angle. We have all our promos set for florists to be ready for, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and then Cyber Monday. Things move pretty fast after that, so the better you're prepared beforehand, the better off you'll be when your shop is packed with customers.
Last, but certainly not least, don't just take one order when you can TURN 2. Most customers that order for Thanksgiving will most likely order for the holidays at some point. While finishing up the order, just suggest an incentive if a second order is placed. Contact us if you would like the script or click below for in instructional video.
There’s more where that came from
Consider implementing some of these strategies to increase revenue in your shop this holiday season and you could be well on your way to your most successful season yet! And remember, for more tips and advice, call Art anytime at (941) 809-1911.