There’s no doubt that today’s retail environment is more complicated than ever before. Understanding the latest trends in technology can be overwhelming. Why can’t we just sell flowers?
Change is a part of any business, though, and to be successful we need to not only keep up with technology but utilize it to our advantage. You can only ignore or claim that “this is not for me” for so long. We have to address some sad facts about our industry:
- Local floral sales are diminishing
- Local flower shops are not retaining customers
- National companies continue to grow and dominate the local markets
- Florists, in general, resist change
Many of the last generation’s florists never had to spend a dime on marketing. Word of mouth was your best asset, and if you took care of your flowers and your customers they would take care of you.
Technology has completely changed the game and word of mouth is no longer enough to keep your company fresh in the minds of consumers. If you resist embracing technology and social media you are exposing your customers to competitors who are working hard to lure them away. Once they’re gone, they might not come back.
What are some of the things that are luring our customers away?
- Our customers are being lured away from us with deceptive advertising. We need to support services that support local, ethical practices. The point is, you do have a voice, and collectively we have the power to govern change within the industry, and to determine what we will tolerate.
- Our customers are being lured away by aggressive advertising. Look at ProFlowers, who display a big, beautiful bouquet that will be drop shipped for $29.95. How do we beat this? One way is by emphasizing “Hand Delivered” in all of your advertisements.
- Our customers are being lured away to companies that make it easy to shop with them. Do you send reminder postcards for birthdays and anniversaries? Do you have an updated and a well-trained staff of customer service specialists? Do you promote Floralapp to make your products available exclusively to your customers through their mobile devices?
How do you stand out among the rest?
- Your website – Your website is just as valuable as your physical storefront. Give it the same amount of focus and energy as keeping your storefront clean, updated and attractive. Make it easy to navigate and simple for your customers to quickly find what they want.
- A mobile version of your website – This is different from an app! More and more consumers are moving away from home computers and are conducting online commerce through their phones and tablets. If you don’t make it easy to shop, they will find someone else who will.
- Social Networking – This is yet another industry standard these days, and really it is quite simple to navigate and manage and the rewards are great. If it’s interesting to you and good for your business then share it. A simple picture of a designer creating a bouquet is interesting to more people than you can imagine. People really are interested in what you do behind the scenes!
- Mobile Apps – Apps today are the equivalent to 800 numbers in the 70s or retail websites in the 90s. When your customer trusts your brand, they download your app and you have them engaged exclusively.
Regardless of the size of your business, you can’t afford to sit back and rely on word-of-mouth advertising any longer. You competition is utilizing these tools and it gives them the edge over you.
We’re here to help. Give us a call today and let Beneva Solutions help increase your online presence and social media reach.