We all learned something in 2020. It was a different experience for all of us. Many lessons learned :). While we are not experts on other fields to guide you, for example, how to navigate online work, school, mental health, or finances - we for sure are experts when it comes to flowers. In this blog we will guide you how to shop for flowers in 2021.
The times have changed, and the way business is done now-a-days has changed too.
Us, florists, we are known as artsy, creative bunch of people (as we are) but we needed to learn and change our ways of doing business. We love talking to our customers, welcoming people to our shops, hearing their stories and what not but 2020. showed us how cruel this life can be and suddenly, everything changed.
We all knew it is important to have a website and online presence - what we did not know is how to survive relying on online presence only!!! Game changer!!! Our "fight" with the online world began!
We all know the importance of small businesses. We hire local people and create local jobs, we contribute to local economy, we conserve your tax dollars, and the bottom line is we care about the community and our reputation in the community.
Many of you probably never heard of the expression "Order Gatherers" or how we call them OGs :)
The industry describes an "order gatherer" as a company that pretends to be a local florist but is a national or even international service that simply takes your order, passes it on to a local florist, and pockets a commission and/or service fee.
When you call an order gatherer, you may wind up speaking to a person who has never even been inside a flower shop; a person who surely does not know what the delivering florist has in stock that day, or what looks most fresh and appealing. The same is true of the big “1-800” companies and national wire services, who will charge the sending customer a service fee and then collect a sales commission from the delivering florist at the other end. On top of that, the delivering florist will get charged an additional fee for using “wire in” services.
Now, since those OGs took a huge portion of our market real florists do not have much choice rather then joining one of those “wire in” services to ensure enough business.
You can usually tell whether a florist is truly local if their address appears on their website. If it does not, they are probably an order gatherer operating from somewhere far away, even if they have a local phone number. If you are not sure, and you choose to call them anyway, ask the person who answers the phone where they are located. Incidentally, several US states have passed laws which prohibit order gathering through misleading advertising. We hope to see this happening in Canada too :). If things do not change soon, we are facing a cruel future of non existing flower shops!!! Can you imagine a world where there are no flower shops??? We CAN NOT! Help us and save one beautiful industry, a true form of art.
So, here is a few simple steps how to buy flowers in 2021. (and after)
- Google and find an actual local flower shop, with physical address in the city where you need your flowers delivered.
- Florists always like to hear from their customers so we all welcome you to give us a call and we will be happy to serve you.
- If you are looking to buy flowers in person skip going to grocery stores. Many florists will gladly make flowers for any budget. This way you will spend same amount of money, but you will receive better quality and professional design (2 bonuses right there) 😊.
- When you stumble upon a website that sells cheap, discounted flowers trust us, please, that is exactly what you will get. You will get the cheapest flowers available, poor selection and amateur design. By the time you pay extra money for the vase, expensive delivery fee and so on, your total will end up being the same as if you went to a flower shop. From cost of goods point of view - we know how much good quality flowers cost and we know it is not possible to offer good quality and cheap price!!!!
To sum up, and I believe I speak on behalf of every florist, help us survive, help us thrive, help us in hiring more people, expanding. Help us in offering higher pay to our employees, keeping our local jobs.
If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call and ask us, we would be genuinely happy to share our knowledge with all of you.
Share our blog for more people to read. The more people see this the more shops will stay open for years to come!
With all my love,