The already too competitive flower business just got a bit more competitive.
Alongside supermarkets, wire services, and order gatherers, the retail florist can now add event flower providers.
The online-only corporate florist event company H.Bloom has raised more than $2 million to steal your corporate customers. The money, which comes from ventur capital firm Battery Ventures (which has raised $3 billion in its lifetime) will most likely be used to bring the company’s New York and Washington D.C.-based business across the country.
So how does it work? H.Bloom doesn’t have to have a retail outlet, so their overhead is cheaper than a retail florist. Because they have stable, recurring customers base, they can bulk order flowers directly from the grower more cheaply than a retail business, which has more variable demand (and potentially procure higher quality flowers). And finally they have a great website which makes it easy for people to find what they are looking for in seconds.
What can a local florist do to compete in an increasingly competitive climate for event flowers? As always, smaller players can compete and win on customer service, convenience, and personality. That means engaging your customers – not just when they want to buy, but proactively through email marketing, Facebook, and Twitter. Think hard about how you can make it easy for customers and give them exceptional service offline and online.