I read an article the other day on 9homes that suggested that the future of buying flowers was an Uber-esque website called Bag a Bouquet. Like many platforms these days, what this does is offer you an array of products that are available in your delivery area from different businesses and suppliers. From there you can choose your bouquet based on style, or price, rather than having to sift through several websites yourself. Bag a Bouquet is the brain child of former property industry worker, 26 year old Xanthe Reynolds, who saw a problem in her own buying experience and made it an opportunity.
For some generations, this new world look at buying flowers will fit perfectly, but for others who value loyalty and a personalised experience, this will yet again miss the mark by removing the human component of gift giving. As a florist, when you want to create something unique, it is imperative that you understand both your client and the intended recipient, and how do you do that if you never interact with anyone? Simply choosing from a website picture just isn’t going to cut it on many occasions. And whilst websites are easily updated and changed daily allowing for seasonal variations, we are still working in a creative industry, Working directly with nature, and where many factors are beyond our control.
For Florist with Flowers, Tasteful white blooms is one of our most popular arrangements. When you choose an arrangement of all whites and greens you know that even when substitutions are made, the overall look and feel of the arrangement will remain the same.
Unlike the process of comparing hotels online, where the product is stagnant and fixed, with any fresh product there is always the need to make substitutions and design decisions based on what is available at the time. The reality is a bouquet in a picture is near impossible to replicate; there are colour variations, size variations, stage of bloom variations… There will also be differences in the way the stem has grown, and therefore the direction it naturally moves in an arrangement. These may sound so insignificant individually, but it can vastly change an arrangement. And it is also these little intricacies that can take a bouquet from average to awesome.
This I believe is the strength of knowing and patronising a small local business. Instagram, Facebook and other social media outlets are invaluable in growing your audience and bringing them into your creative world. There, you can show them how much talent you have in your business and develop a level of trust that means they will allow you to create what you think best suits a brief without specifying exactly what that will be in advance. It is then, that you are able to do your best work also.
But in a florist business there is also the need to manage expectations. When you are face to face with a client or on the phone, you are able to talk to them about any changes you may need to make to an arrangement and also mitigate any concerns they have.
Like any other buying decision you make online, I believe that it is always best to deal directly with the business that you are buying from. That means it is important to avoid any third party interactions. This is where communication generally breaks down, plus you will often find that some of the money you have spent is paid to the third party as an (often hefty) commission…..so despite spending a lot, you may not end up seeing the value in the final product. It is also much quicker and easier to deal with address changes, or any issues that need to be resolved if you are dealing directly with the business who executes the order for you….
My vote is still 100% for supporting an individual local business!
Just something to keep in mind!