Starting your own e-commerce florist business requires proper planning and knowledge. Even if you’re an experienced florist, while switching from physical store to an online model, many things can miss your attention, and become a setback.
We’ve created this checklist for you so that you don’t miss any important aspect of your online flower business. Keep reading to know more.
1. Analyze the market and competition
Before you dive in, start with a thorough background research about the florist business. Learn about your competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, and their business model. Find out how they are pricing their products, where they are operating, what all services and products they are operating, what their customers are saying, and so on. Knowing about your competition will help you create a competitive business model by offering better services, or at least similar to start with. It will also help you to know about your potential customer’s pain points, and how you can solve them in a better way.
2. Create your business model
After gaining enough data about the existing market, it’s time to create a strategy that’ll work for you.
Start with coining a suitable name for your business. A short, creative, and catchy name will catch the customer’s attention faster. The same goes for the business logo.
Next, it’s time to consider other factors, such as whether to niche down or not. Selecting a particular niche will help establish yourself as a specialist and offer premium services at an above-average price point. At the same time, it will limit your business and target audience to a certain genre and you’ll be missing out on the others.
You have to also decide what your operational area will be, what kinds of delivery options you want to offer, any special and customized services to offer (wedding flowers, party décor, corporate gifting etc.), other non-floral products to include (chocolates, soft toys, greetings, etc.), and so on.
3. Develop website or get a pos software
After you have developed your business plan, it’s time to gear up and sort out the essentials. The first primary requirement for an e-commerce business is a functional website that can show the customers what you offer and take orders from them. High quality images along with SEO-friendly product descriptions, a user-friendly yet attractive website layout, these are all prerequisite for a successful ecommerce business for florists.
A flower shop POS system can be a big help in this step. Florist pos software offers a complete solution for florists by developing the website, taking orders from customers, accepting payments and storing the delivery information, auto-assigning delivery persons, and fulfilling the complete order cycle for the florist. A mere ecommerce website cannot fulfill all these tasks on its own.
4. Create marketing plans
Next, in order to onboard new customers and retain the old ones, you need to create highly targeted marketing campaigns. In order to do so, you need to consider factors like who your primary target audience is and their likes/dislikes, any particular local area that you’re targeting, the holidays or festivals that you’re targeting, and so on.
A floral point of sale system can help you in this step too. Further, with the help of data analytics that a florist pos system comes with, you get a better idea about the market trends and the choice of your customers, thus creating better and more effective marketing strategies.
5. Choose your flower supplier
Another important step in creating your online floral business is choosing the right wholesale flower supplier for your business. In this case, you can either go with multiple suppliers, or commit to only one who can take care of all your floral needs. Some factors to consider while choosing a wholesaler are:
- They should be supportive and understanding. In case of quality issues, they should offer replacement/refund.
- Offer discounts for bulk purchases, and accept orders in both large and small quantities as per requirements.
- Introduce new products from time to time to support your business.
- Allow credits at times of needs and so on.
6. Build your team
Your team members are the most important pillars of support for your business. Make sure that you surround yourself with the best people you can find. Hire expert florists and bouquet designers from nearby areas or collaborate with them on a freelance basis. If you’re a floriologist yourself, then also you’ll need to hire skilled personnel for performing other duties such as marketing, sales, delivery, customer service, etc.
7. Arrange for delivery
Now it’s time to consider the delivery options. Most people like to buy flowers as gifts, and let’s face it, most of them wait till the last minute to buy presents for others. This is why offering faster delivery options are so important for an online florist business. Offering same day delivery, pay on delivery options, scheduled delivery, etc. are some of the services that you should consider offering.
Also, try to include non-floral gifts like chocolates, cookies or other desserts, balloons, fruit baskets, and other things as add-ons with your flowers, so that a customer can purchase a pretty neat gift collection from a single platform.
8. Set up a customer service team
Any B2C business should have a highly efficient customer service team. Before you hang the open-to-business sign, don’t forget to set up your customer service team. The chances of goof-ups are always there in an online business, and your customer service team should be able to understand your customer’s problems and solve it in the most efficient way. Also, the customer support should be easily reachable, and available for long working hours every day.
9. Learn from reviews and ratings
Finally, when your online florist business is up and running, don’t forget to check the reviews and ratings left by the customers periodically. This will give you a better idea about your customers’ expectations and pain points, and if you can find practical solutions for all of them, your business will soar through.