Floral shops have operated on a transactional basis for years – customers come in or call to purchase individual arrangements for specific occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebrations. However, the emergence of subscription-based businesses has disrupted many industries by providing customers with an easy and convenient recurring service.
Floral shops now have an opportunity to tap into this growing subscription economy by offering their own flower subscription service. A flower subscription allows customers to receive a fresh arrangement on a scheduled recurring basis, like weekly or monthly, removing the hassle of individually ordering flowers each time.
Why offer a flower subscription service?
There are several compelling reasons why adding a flower subscription product could greatly benefit your floral shop:
Recurring Revenue: Instead of relying solely on one-time transactions, a subscription provides predictable monthly or weekly revenue throughout the year. This helps smooth out variability and allows for better forecasting.
Customer Retention: By engaging customers on a recurring subscription, you are building stronger, longer-lasting relationships compared to individual sales. It discourages customers from exploring competitors for their floral needs.
Acquisition of New Customers: A subscription offering provides a low-commitment way for new customers to try your shop. Someone unsure about a large one-time purchase may be willing to sign up for a low-cost subscription to sample your arrangements.
Increased Average Order Value: While individual orders are hit-or-miss, subscriptions encourage customers to pre-commit larger budgets. The average subscription value will tend to be higher than single transactions.
Automated Recurring Sales: Subscriptions create effortless, autopiloted recurring revenue since delivery and payment are handled automatically each period. This frees your team from constantly hunting for new customers.
Ability to Bundle and Upsell: Flower subscriptions are highly conducive to bundling with other items like greeting cards, chocolates, or plants. You can also promote special offers to entice subscribers to seasonal or premium upgrades.
The benefits are compelling. A well-executed flower subscription has the potential to dramatically alter the steadiness and growth trajectory of your floral business over time.
Choosing the Right Subscription Model
When launching your subscription offering, a crucial step is determining which model will work best:
Weekly Floral Arrangement: This is a very common choice that delivers a fresh bouquet or arrangement once per week. It fits the cadence of weekly gift-giving and allows for steady usage of seasonal flowers.
Monthly Fresh Arrangement: A monthly subscription stretches the delivery interval longer but can accommodate larger or more elaborate arrangements since a higher budget is committed all at once.
Seasonal Arrangement Box: Rather than a repeating timeline, customers receive a curated seasonal box on a quarterly or bi-annual schedule. For example, a spring or fall assortment box shipped just before the start of each season.
Dollar-A-Day Subscription: Customers prepay for a set dollar amount per month (like $30/month) and use it to purchase any item in the store, be it an arrangement, plant, card, etc. This flexibility adds convenience.
Carefully test different models in your market. Track the open and click-through rates of various subscription option ads or listings to see which generates the most engagement and conversions to help indicate what customers are most receptive towards. Always start with one easy-to-execute model and fine-reticle other options once traction is achieved.
Setting up subscription fulfillment & payments
Managing the logistics and payments of a subscription flower program requires some setup. Fortunately, a few simple steps can get you up and running:
- Schedule workflow calendars for arranging and delivering subscriptions on their repeat interval cadence (weekly, monthly, etc.).
- Prepare marketing assets like “Thank You” cards to include with each shipment thanking customers for being subscribers.
- Store customer delivery addresses, and preferences in your POS or CRM system for easy order fulfillment.
- Choose a payment processor like Stripe to accept and auto-charge monthly/recurring payments from customers’ cards or bank accounts.
- During signups, ask customers for billing information and consent for future automated charges.
- Configure Auto-Pay settings within your processor to generate scheduled processing of future subscription payments.
- Set systems to email subscription renewals 1-2 weeks before the next auto-charge date as a courtesy reminder.
- Track expiration dates and procedures for non-renewals versus customers taking a temporary break from their subscriptions.
- Once subscriptions are powered by integrated, automated tools it takes the effort and headache out of manual management. Your team can then fully focus on the creative aspects of generating fresh, seasonal arrangements that delight customers week after week.
Marketing your subscription offering
Finally, developing a strong marketing campaign is crucial to generating awareness and attracting initial subscribers:
Promotional Pricing: Launch with introductory discounting to gain traction, like 50% off the first 3 months.
Email Marketing: Prominently feature subscription options and sign-up forms in regular shop email newsletters to existing customers.
Social Media: Run targeted Facebook and Instagram ads designed specifically around sharing the value and convenience of a subscription.
Referral Program: Reward existing happy subscribers for each new customer they refer to the program with a discount or freebie for themselves.
Printed Materials: Create colorful brochures, flyers, and tabletop signup cards to place both in-store and at venues like cafes or retailers frequented by your target audience.
Website: Ensure your website home page prominently pitches subscriptions as one of your top offerings. Use testimonials and benefits-focused messaging to convince site visitors.
The goal is to utilize multiple consistent touchpoints to continually expose potential customers to the subscription concept over time, building an ongoing dialogue. With a mix of online and offline channels, enough leads are sure to convert into dedicated subscribers.
Tracking results and optimizing over time
Like any new business initiative, it’s important to closely monitor key performance metrics of your flower subscription offering as it ramps up:
Track conversion rates from promotional campaigns to gauge what strategies effectively attract signups.
Monitor retention rates – how long on average before customers cancel? Are renewal rates staying high?
Analyze customer lifetime value – how much revenue on the net is generated by the average subscriber over their lifespan?
Note the average order value from subscriptions versus one-off transactions. Are ARPU goals being met?
Gauge customer satisfaction through surveys and online reviews of the experience.
Armed with insight from analytics, you can continuously refine the subscription experience over time. Tweak elements from fulfillment to content to keep subscribers fully engaged. With high renewal rates, your subscription business is bound to blossom.
Offering a recurring flower subscription product opens the door to a whole new dimension of steady revenue streams and loyal customers for your shop. By leveraging industry-leading POS systems like Hana Florist POS, subscription management can be effortlessly set up and automated. Hana Florist POS integrates with all major payment processors while synchronizing orders, inventory, and fulfillment. Contact us today!