The art of upselling is a skill every business owner should master. Considered by some a dirty word, upselling is more a way to offer your customers the best of your brand — and product — while turning a bigger margin while you’re at it.
If you’re the kind of florist who shies away from up or cross selling, then you’re probably working longer hours to fill more orders to make up for all those revenue generating opportunities you kissed goodbye — don’t be that florist. In fact, up and cross selling brings around 30% increase in revenue to the average florist business, which translates into far more money in the till and fewer late nights chasing order from wire services.
Also, it’s often the case that people buy their flowers and other niceties, like chocolates, balloons or cards, separately because they didn’t think of asking you if you could provide the same. So don’t be shy and give your customers the best and brightest of your brand when they buy their bouquets from you.
Here are some ideas on upselling to get the creative juices flowing.
Balloons, plush toys and other standard items
Easy to source and even easier to sell. Traditional balloons are evergreen extras to almost every flowery occasion and can increase your profits handsomely. The typical price you can expect to pay for a Mylar balloon, for example, is around 0.59c. Include the cost of helium and a single balloon will set you back $1.50. Deduct this from the retail price of around $6.00 per Mylar balloon that florists charge and you’ve got a great upsell opportunity.
The same goes for plush toys that you can easily source from your nearest bulk supplier. These and the other usual items you’d expect from a florist should be stocked and ready to be included in every order that comes your way. This is how you’ll increase your margins without having to spend most of your evenings pumping out orders to keep afloat.
Also, remember to stock up for those big calendar dates. Days like Valentine’s, Christmas and others should be catered for in advance so you don’t get tripped up with last minute negotiations with suppliers.
Home decor items and wall planters
Home decor is an adjacent industry that florists can tap into without breaking a sweat. And don’t feel too bad about stepping on any toes; home decor stores are profiting from a hugely favorable market by adding fauna to their offerings. But we know all things fauna and flowery is your department, right?
Turnovers on items like potted succulents, wall planters and even small ceramic items make them a must-have in your upsell cache. A small succulent retails for $6.50 these days, while you can expect to fork out almost $30.00 for a small wall planter. Do a bit of research on where you can find these extras at a good price, put your markup on it and sell, sell, sell!
Things you can’t stock but can sell
So you’re not a baker or savory master but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your sweet and salty-toothed customers, does it? Local bakeries, fruit vendors and savory stores would be more than willing to partner up with their local flower wiz to sell more of their own product, don’t you think?
While it’s definitely not a good idea to tempt yourself and your staff by stocking delicious treats in your cooler, having your locals on speed dial when there’s an upsell opportunity means not missing out on that extra money in the till. The price of an average birthday cake retails for around $200, which gives you some wiggle room for negotiation.
You could, for example, offer to take care of deliveries and take a bigger chunk of the profits, or offer your suppliers flowers at a reduced rate if they were to buy from you. Sharpen those negotiation skills and you’ll soon find yourself in a handsomely profitable business relationship with local suppliers.
The free petal offer
“Buy a bouquet and we’ll add three stunning roses for free!” Now there’s a smart way to keep your products moving off the shelves and giving your customers a great deal at the same time. If a certain stem is going out of season and you’ve got stock on the shelf, think about including them as optional extras with orders for a small markup. Excess stock can hurt bottom lines if they’re not managed and upsells are a great way to keep them moving.
There you have it. Upselling to your customers isn’t something you should shy away from as a business owner, in fact, it should be part and parcel of your offering. The reality is that people are looking for convenience as they navigate their busy lives and being a one-stop shop of sorts will make them come back to you. Be the florist who they can rely on to take care of their big and small calendar dates and they’ll keep coming back for more!