What is the biggest challenge when selling fresh roses on the holiday of love? Which on-trend styles are customers looking for this season? Why does Thursday make a difference?
Roses of course remain the Valentine’s flower of choice, according to the Society of American Florists. An estimated 250 million roses are produced each year for Valentine’s Day. 83 percent of consumers will choose roses with 69 percent opting for the color red.
Why are red roses so popular when there are so many other seasonal options? In Valentine lore, red roses represent passion! But that doesn’t mean you should just make every arrangement all roses.
Here are 34 Valentine’s Day floral design and business tips to help you prepare to meet the demands of the hectic day, including how to vary styles and take advantage of last minute and impulse buys.
Flower longevity is #1
- Flower longevity is the number one objection to purchasing fresh flowers. Consumers expect their flowers to last an average of seven to 10 days. If they’re disappointed, they’re hesitant to purchase flowers again.
- Know your rose varieties. Some cultivars are longer-lasting, while others offer enhanced fragrance or a larger-sized bloom. Sell roses based on the qualities that are important to your specific customer.
- Keep your roses comfy! Roses need cool storage temperatures between 33 F and 35 F for peak performance. Be careful that your cooler doesn’t fall below the 29-degree freezing point for roses.
- Fight germs behind the scenes. Clean all design surfaces, floral tools and buckets with Floralife® D.C.D.® Cleaner to keep hidden bacteria from shortening the life of your roses.
- Carefully remove thorns. Scraping and skinning the stem reduces the life of the rose.
- Remove all foliage that will fall below the waterline to prevent a bacteria build-up in the water that will shorten the life of the flower.
- Use Quick Dip. This instant hydrating treatment helps reduce bent neck and droopy stems in roses.
- Place roses in clean buckets of fresh water with flower food added.
- After the roses have been arranged mist them with the anti-transpirant Finishing Touch.
Process flowers faster with Express
- If you haven’t tried no-cut Express flower food, experiment with it in January. Express eliminates the need to recut rose stems before putting them in water for storage. You can strip the foliage from stems and drop the flowers into the water without re-cutting the stems.
- It’s never a good idea to try new care and handling products during a holiday crunch. If you’re going to give Express a try, experiment with it now.
Valentine’s Day—a holiday for all ages
- This year Valentine’s Day will fall on Thursday. A mid-week holiday means you should prepare for last-minute and grab-and-go purchases.
- Vary your design styles and price points so that you have something for everyone. It can be as simple as adding a Valentine pick (ask your wholesaler for product 31-90093 or see the Handy Floral Products catalog here) or as intricate as reconfiguring the design.
- Offer gifts for all ages and relationships: gifts that children can enjoy including balloons, candy and stuffed animals; inexpensive flower designs for parents and grandparents; small floral thank-you gifts for teachers, co-workers or friends; and premium flower bouquets for that special someone.
- Develop arrangement recipes in a range of prices including budget, moderate and exceptional designs.
- Customers often request something new and different. Offering on-trend designs is one way to inspire increased holiday sales.
- Develop a menu of standard designs in a range of affordable prices and offer exclusive customized designs for a premium price.
- Train your sales team to ask the customer what style of design they prefer when taking the order. It’s a good idea to ask about any allergies to fragrance as well.
What unique design styles can you offer your customers this year? We noticed three categories rising in popularity for 2019: artistic, heartwarming and traditional-with-a-flair.
- Create floral works of art for your artistic clientele by mixing architectural detail with geometric form. This unexpected combination of flowers and decorative wire in a square form is eye-catching.
- A dozen roses doesn’t have to look like a traditional rose arrangement. You can add visual interest with creative use of botanical materials.
- Handcrafted. Handmade. Heartwarming. All are popular buzzwords this season. These arrangements use roses to best advantage by incorporating floral accents like silver flat wire, diamond wire, red beaded wire and silver armature.
- Heartwarming designs can come in any size and price range.
- Sumptuous designs offer a style and grace that can warm a loved one’s heart.
- How can we continue to create designs that appeal to customers with traditional tastes without repeating ourselves year-after-year? Use floral trends to update your look. It’s said 80 percent of business comes from 20 percent of customers, who year after year typically buy gifts for many of the same people.
- For rose budvases or arrangements with a half dozen or dozen stems, add visual flair with decorative floral accents and increase the perceived value.
Planning and prep
- Use your laser-like focus to prep for the success this holiday of love can bring: menu planning, pre-booking bulk flowers, containers and hardgoods, shop décor and product display, advertising campaign and intensive design prep. If you haven’t already started, it’s time to jump in!
- Create a menu of designs to determine the cost of labor and materials and set accurate prices. Take photos of these mock-up designs to use for in-store sales and your advertising media.
- Develop procurement lists from your holiday recipes and order early for best prices and advance delivery of hard-good products so you can get started prepping.
- Showcase your holiday designs in the cooler and begin taking advance orders.
- To create impulse sales, cluster long-lasting flowers around the sales counter to be seen and touched.
- But not roses. Remember, roses are best left chillin’ in the cooler.
- To inspire DIY buyers, create and display groupings of flowers that will arrange well.
- Display eye-catching grab-and-go completed arrangement impulse buys for last minute shoppers.
- Use storytelling to connect. Consumers love a good story. Share the details of where your flowers are grown, how to care for them or other interesting facts customers can enjoy retelling when they give their gift.
Most importantly, make it feel good to buy flowers, so your customers want to return.
What plans do you have for featuring red roses yet designing in innovative ways this year?