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Florists for Change – Breakout Session Summary

Posted on August 17th, 2011

The Florist for Change afternoon breakout session was productive – the group separated into four groups to discuss some key topics, including the cause of inertia, where the industry will be in 5 years, and how a florist to florist technology network would work.


What causes inertia in the flower industry?

What causes inertia?
– Fear of the unknow
– Fragmented industry – hard to organize for change
– Old Dogs – too much trouble to change
– Lack of Time
– Lack of Leadership

Where will the industry be in 5 years?

Where will the flower industry be in 5 years?

Where will the industry be in 5 years?
– Decline in retail shops
– Decline in profits
– Price matters more- Flowers as gift category declines due to dissatisfaction
– Additional Drop-ships

How are flower shops' interests aligned with wire services?

How are flower shops’ interests aligned with wire services?

Where are florists’ interests aligned with wire services?
– Want flowers to be the gifts of choice for consumers
– We both need a clearing house to push out/share orders
– We need technology solutions
– Want good customer experience
– Importance of standardized products
– Want to make profits

Where do interests diverge?
– No longer partners, competition
– Products that are advertised are un-fillable
– More personal relationship with customer
– Imbalance of profits

What happens if florists refuse orders?
– Customers will lose out, bad for industry
– Some florist will always fill the order (grocery stores, etc.)
– Orders that are refused will go to drop ship


What technology solutions can help the industry?

Florist to Florist direct order system?
– Needs to be simple – any florist can use
– Needs to be easy to use – able to be built into any POS or accessible via a website
– Cleaning house could be replaced with credit card
– Reputation system (visibile to florists only) like eBay or Yelp for florists to rank other florists
– Could change the split or vary per florist
– Florist to Florist direct order system is a standard, not than a single technology
– Potential for national brand/website/local florist directory that would compete for marketing with wire services

What does this look like to the consumer?
– National brand with logo, appealing to young consumers
– Ownership vs. cooperation?
– Florists need to educate customers
– A website, but one that showcases local florists (unlike wire services, which promote their own brand only)

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4 thoughts on “Florists for Change – Breakout Session Summary”

  1. BOSS says:

    The technological solution is already available. The key is to get the independent technology companies to work together for their florist customers benefit rather than fight amongst themselves.

    I have spoken with 4 different ones, all willing to “talk”… time will tell…

    Thanks for blogging with Ryan…

  2. Educate… Most customer think they are ordering off a florist. I had a few that I called by mistake, when they gave their phone number for the customers phone number. When I called to make a delivery and say I am chesterland floral. They say that is not the florists I called. OK!!!! ANother thing to look into is PFS, which is up and running and looking real good for us florists. It is only for us the florist. Thanks Kathy

  3. Rick says:

    I have a huge problem with wire services pitting shops against shops for “advertising” deals. Find-a-florist is a great example of how Teleflora had a great product that worked well for both the consumer and the florist. Now it is just a revenue generating machine for TF and the florist and the consumer get screwed.

  4. City Florist says:

    Florists need to recognize that wire services are not their partner but a competitor. Every order should be scrutinized as a single business unit ie does it make sense to do it or are we willing to do it just because a wire service is giving us over a certain qty of orders? Fiscal responsibility and feasibility of an order must be taken into account to survive and prosper.

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