Stand Up to Internet Floral Order Gatherers

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Have you worked hard to provide quality blooms and care to all your customers, only to be forced to compete with a floral order gatherer?

It can be frustrating and discouraging for florists who invest serious sweat equity into running a flower business only to see an eCommerce company to move in and pass themselves off as local florists.

There are many different kinds of floral order gathers, from the larger, well-known wire services to ones that take over search engines. We will focus on the floral order gatherers who run search engine ads that knowingly deceive their consumers, and offer you ways to maximize your sales and eCommerce legibility without worrying over order gatherers’ paid ads to lure customers into shopping with them under false pretenses.

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What are Floral Order Gatherers?

Order gatherers—in this case, floral order gatherers—are virtual businesses that have no intention of filling the order purchased by its customers. What order gatherers essentially do is harvest the customer’s information and payment details and then look for real local florists to fulfill the order.

Order gatherers can benefit themselves and the filling flower shop alike, right? Well, yes and no. Order gatherers only pass along a fraction of the customer’s payment, and the customer gets less of what they actually paid for.

Floral order gatherers know that they profit by sending orders to a real local florist, while you the actual florist pay for mortgage/rent, utilities, employees, and product.

Another concern is that some order gatherers are passing themselves off as local florists when in actuality they do not run a flower shop or design flowers. You likely have seen their paid ads on search engines.

Below is an order gatherer’s paid ad on Google. (We covered the name of the order gatherer as well as their website address.) If you look at this ad you can see how easily a customers could believe this is a genuine San Diego florist. There is no indication that this company has nothing to do with fulfilling their order.

image provided by Google

A Step in the Right Direction: There have been several lawsuits filed by florists to stop these order gatherers from blatantly falsifying information on their ads regarding their location.

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How to Beat Floral Order Gatherers

So what can you do to stand apart from floral order gathers that are taking over your area with paid ads on search engines? Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to stop them other than educating your consumers and marketing your floral business in a way in which it is not affected.

We understand that is easier said than done, however there are a few points working in your favor: floral order gatherers’ time is limited, there are more and more articles out to help consumers identify order gatherers, and consumers are wary of paying more for something only to get less.

Take these actions to brand yourself and increase your visibility as a legitimate local florist in your area, that will offer customers exactly what they paid for.

  1. Use a blog. If you have an option to add a blog to your floral website, do so and take an action on educating customers on what a real local florist offers versus a floral order gatherer. An article on your website on this topic will reach more people than visitors that just land on your web page. Besides discrediting order gatherers, this strategy will bolster consumer confidence in your floral eCommerce.
  2. Add content and write-ups. Add a gallery and write-ups of your flower business’s staff to your website to showcase you as a local florist.
  3. Consider your marketing. The advantage you have as a real local florist is that you do not have to spend a small fortune on ads that fundamentally deceive your customers you’re trying to attract. Market your flower business on social media consistently and be sure to ask satisfied customers to review your shop on Google and Yelp. The best way to do this is having links on your floral website to allow customers to easily click and review you.
  4. Use store promotions and offers. Floral order gathers offer many enticing promotions to entice customers to click and shop—refer to the search engine add above, offering 45% savings. We do not want you to give your flower arrangements away from free, however, consider running some enticing offers to get customers to click on your website. This is a great option for gaining new customers as well.
  5. Don’t forget about SEO. Your search engine optimization should be on point to compete with online businesses like order gatherers. Work with your floral website provider to make sure you are listing on the first page on search engines. Make sure your Google business page is set up and work on adding images and getting reviews. This all helpful in raising your site’s ranking on search engines.
  6. Try a Google ad. Thanks to the internet, marketing is so different today than it has been in the past. That isn’t to say that mailers don’t work, but placing a Google AdWords ad can be helpful in building your brand visibility. Start off with a lower budget, see how your conversions go, and build up from there.

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Floral order gatherers do not play fair. There is no way to stop them completely, however, florists do have the upper hand as floral order gatherers need filling florists to make their business possible. Partner up with other real local florists and stand up to the floral order gatherers by educating your consumers. We are not saying that no florist should ever fill a floral order gatherer’s order, but it’s about time that florists get compensated appropriately for their services. Do not hesitate to ask for more money if you are filling a gatherer’s order. Florists, your expertise and resources are needed to keep floral order gatherers in business—remember that.

 

 

Florists, how have floral order gatherers impacted your flower business? Please share your feedback in the comment section below. If you have any questions please post below as well!

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7 Comments

  1. Lisa Miller
    November 1, 2017

    Can we repost this in our blog with a link to your article? I wish I new how to stop Avas flowers from listing me as a filling florist. Of course some if the one’s they list have been out of business for iver 20 years so they are not to bright.

    Reply
    • Idalina Floranext
      November 1, 2017

      Yes you may Lisa :)

      Reply
  2. Linda Chambers
    November 1, 2017

    They are taking parts of our names and reusing it, for instance Flower Delivery Express, and customers think this is us. I have 2 negative reviews on google, from customers that did not know who they ordered from, so they slapped the negative against us, and google will not do anything. We are Flower Express USA, not even close, but I have had regular customers of ours say I just ordered from you last week, I do not have an order them. What next??

    Reply
  3. Linda Chambers
    November 1, 2017

    I do not have an order for them.

    Reply
  4. Ann Marie Peckham
    November 1, 2017

    Just keep asking for more and more money. It will force them to either give you more money or cancel the order. The customer will be frustrated and find that it’s not that convenient to order with them and will cancel the order (and hopefully go to you directly). Most the time they do give more money and the jokes on them. You make more and that’s all that matters. Especially holidays, put a high minimum (like $75 plus) and don’t even bat an eye. They are at your mercy and if we can get other real florist on board, that will be one way to put a hurting on them. Also, don’t be afraid to give them a hard time either when they send messages. During the holidays I usually put “florist design only” on substitution request and it will require them to call their customer and ask for substitutions. Again making it annoying for the customer, and hopefully realize that they are just order gatherers, not real florist. I used to feel stuck and that I relied on these companies, yes and no. They are a necessary evil at times, but honestly since I raised my minimums and keep asking for more money, I’ve made a lot more, and annoy them a lot more, which makes me happy. :) Work on your website and compete with theirs, do more incentives and especially google ads

    Reply
  5. Angie
    November 6, 2017

    We have annoyed Ava’s Flowers so much in the past by asking for extra money, for things they were charging their customer for, that they actually blocked us from their website!
    We always ask for more money from order takers, we are in business to make money for us not them.
    We have also had customers tell us that they have ordered from us recently or that they are on our website while on the phone with us – nope, they’re on an order taker website so we quickly explain that they are much better off on a local florist website than the one they are on. When talking about florist websites and Google to people I always tell them to ignore the top ads (and why) and tell the to scroll down to the map that shows real local shops and to choose from there. I also tell them to look for a local address and/or phone number.

    Reply
  6. Karla
    November 7, 2017

    I started asking order gathers for name, address and phone number of their customer. just like we do with our customers, this really stumped them, they had to call us back about five to get us all that. Don;t think they were happy. And will start asking for more money too!

    Reply

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