Every year on Feb. 14, Valentines around the world have celebrated love by giving flowers to their sweethearts in a tradition that has lasted for a few thousand years.
Yet luxury gifts like jewelry, perfume, and travel have always been competitors for this holiday of passion. Increasingly, online companies are making inroads with their quick delivery of less expensive gifts as well.
How can florists keep customers coming back for flowers as their No. 1 choice for Valentine’s Day gifts?
Flowers say ‘I love you.’
Sending fresh flowers is a simple, easy and natural way to say ‘I love you!’ Flowers represent real emotions. Love. Appreciation. Celebration. These gifts of expression give pleasure to the sender and recipient.
Sell to trend
The updated design in the photo above is not your Grandmother’s typical dozen roses. Use stylish accents like this OASIS™ Floral Mesh, to keep your customers coming back to you in a competitive market. What else encourages people to choose flowers first?
Make it fun to buy flowers
Flower senders tend to be sentimental and looking for a ‘feel good’ experience. Make it fun to buy flowers to gain their loyalty. When I owned a retail flower shop, we added a jar of chocolate body paint to our “Sweets for the Sweetest’ Valentine specials and sold out quickly! What unexpected themes can you create?
To inspire more interest in your flowers, attach a card that tells a story. Where did the flowers originate? What message do they deliver? Who created the design? How can the flowers last longer? Channel your inner ‘Starbucks’ – they romanced the story of coffee beans with great financial success.
Share with customers these four compelling reasons for buying flowers for Valentine’s Day.
Present flowers as a gift of floral art
Customers are no longer satisfied with mass produced items and luxury brands that have lost their luster. They are now choosing natural materials and are especially attracted to the arts. Handcrafted and artisan items are gaining favor. Personalize designs with new products and colors like OASIS™ Natural Wrap, Woodland Bark, OASIS™ Natural Wrap, Moss, OASIS™ Flat Cane, and OASIS™ Bind Wire.
Display your upscale designs in a museum-like setting to help create that mental connection. Photograph them for social media offering a behind-the-scenes look at how you create your floral art. Give artistic names to the themes and designs.
Schedule deliveries to offices first
Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday this year, and that’s good news for florists, especially for deliveries going to offices that can be seen and enjoyed all week.
People love receiving flowers in front of their co-workers. The arrival of the gift says of the recipient ‘I am special,’ ‘I am loved’ without speaking a word.
Be sure to send the first deliveries of the day to office buildings, schools, and hospitals where many people work together. Hopefully, this will inspire copycat orders throughout the day.
Supposedly, people are most influenced to take action between 8 and 10 o’clock in the morning. That makes first thing Monday an excellent time to send out a text, email, Facebook or Instagram post to your customers reminding them of the Valentine’s Day gifts you offer. Add the incentive of an upgrade or an add-on for responding within the hour or requesting a Monday delivery.
Adapt designs to fit all budgets
The sales adage “you can’t be all things to all people” is good retail advice, but when it comes to price points – flowers can be adapted to fit all budgets.
Take your featured specials and produce them in ‘budget, moderate, and exceptional’ pricing levels, leaving the ‘one-size-fits-all’ concept to clothing stores.
Through the ages, flowers have always been the Valentine gift of choice. In Victorian times, flowers were given meanings and roses came to represent love. Many modern-day cupids still prefer roses. Add contemporary touches like OASIS™ Sequin Wrap, accents to update the traditional look.
Think Groupon, a promo code or something similar
The last week of January is ‘D’ Day for launching Valentine’s Day promotions.
- What deal, voucher or social media connection can you make to increase your last minute Valentine sales?
- Add a card to each delivery encouraging recipients to share a photo of their flowers with friends on social media. Ask them to tag your business and include your #storename in their message. On the Monday following Valentine’s week, post a Facebook Live video of drawing the prizewinner from the names of online tags you’ve received.
- Set up a backdrop with your shop name on it or attach a roll down, white shade to the ceiling to use as a backdrop for taking photos of designs as they leave your store for delivery. Text these images to senders and suggest they share and tag, as well.
Flowers are fun to give and to receive and they help us to express our emotions. Traditionally, flowers have been the gift of choice for communicating love to a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.
What fresh and exciting ideas can you suggest to help keep flowers at the top of your customer’s gift list?
Piano arrangement photo courtesy Chris Collum AIFD, CFD, TMF