What do YOU do when you want to send flowers to an unfamiliar area? Like most people you probably type something into google and pick the first (relevant) option, right?
Beware! The first few results are paid ads that sit at the top of the page by order gatherers. The problem with that is that these third party businesses are set up with the sole purpose of aggressively promoting the hire/sale of the goods/services you are seeking, with the intention to broker your business to local companies for fulfilment. This all happens for a fixed processing fee and commission….but this is not adequately explained when you make your purchase with them.
This isn’t something confined to our industry, this kind of thing is present in every industry on some level I’m sure- I’ve experienced it myself when hiring a car. The issue for florists however is that when you accept and fulfil orders from these so called ‘order gatherers’ you are never able to present your work in the best light. This is because the customer has paid a commission to the order gatherer, on top of the delivery and handling fee. What is left, (a fraction of the customers total spend) is all the executing florist can create the arrangement with. Can they do a $100 arrangement with $60 worth of flowers? As a customer do you think you would be satisfied with that arrangement considering what you have spent?
The customer often has selected a picture from a catalogue and therefore has expectations that the order will look like that on the other end. These catalogues tend to be fairly generic, and do not take into account each florists unique style, or what stock is available to them. This varies greatly, particularly in remote and rural areas. Often substitutions have to be made based on what they have in store, or what is in season.
Order gatherers are sneaky. They have domain names that sound like a little family business using a person’s name in the title like ‘Joanne’s Juicy Blooms’. This conjures up images of a cute little bricks and mortar corner store style set up. The reality is NO STORE even exists. They use names that include the suburb or city you are searching for…surely that means you have gone directly to a local business right? Wrong. They are savvy, and they rely on people making assumptions and being complacent or confused…
Look, I’m not sure whether we need order gathers…but perhaps the biggest issue is the feeling that these companies seem to be misleading consumers rather than disclosing all relevant information. If the consumer is fully aware of all the costs and commission amounts that will be deducted from their total spend before the arrangement can be made, AND understand that the order will be forwarded to a local business with no guarantee that the order can be fuflfilled as pictured, then I see no issue. At this point though, order gatherers do not make it easy for the consumer to see what value of their order will actually be translated into flowers.
Many businesses have begun distancing themselves from relay services and order gatherers as they feel they are having a detrimental affect of the industry. Instead they are developing their own floral networks throughout the country so that local businesses can execute the work with integrity.
Florist With Flowers is your local Carlingford florist, we deliver locally and to surrounding areas our own, fresh product.
We do offer relay services and can guide you in your choices when sending flowers elsewhere, explaining what costs are involved in that service.
As a local family run business we rely on word of mouth by providing you with quality fresh flowers and great customer service.
Each order that we execute is potentially our first introduction to a new customer. That means of course we want to put our best foot forwards does every small business, so where possible try to order direct. Shop small. Support small.