The Beneva Solution’s team wishes you all a successful and smooth Valentine’s Day!
We’re here to help you if you need anything.
Remember: We’re not just a marketing solutions company we’re a flower shop too!
After all the anticipation and careful planning, Valentine’s Day is finally here. Here are our top “crunch time” secrets that will keep the orders coming in and the flowers going out.
Top “Crunch Time” Secrets:
Streamline Your Orders:
Our number one secret to managing the high volume of Valentine’s Day is to think “mass production” or “assembly line.” This can be achieved by narrowing down your products online in addition to providing a limited menu for walk-in customers. With limited product options, your designers can prepare multiple containers at a time and your sales staff can confidently offer items that are in stock.
Encourage Designer’s Choice:
In our shop we always suggest the “designer’s choice” option as much as possible during any holiday rush. This gives shops more flexibility and the customer can be confident that they are getting the best value possible.
Out of Town Orders:
We also suggest requiring all out of town orders to be no less than $45 plus delivery. Every flower shop in America is slammed right now, so many aren’t willing to take orders at a lower value. This secret will cut down time spent on phone outs and allow your sales staff to focus on the next order.
Consider a Valentine’s Day Delivery Surcharge:
Lastly, add a surcharge to every Valentine’s delivery from now through the holiday. This will encourage budget-minded customers to pick up their orders or opt for an earlier delivery date. If you would like more information on surcharges read: How To Potentially Double Your Valentine’s Day Sales.
We hope these secrets will help you have a successful Valentine’s Day and if you need any help, we’re here for you.
Over the last few months gas prices in America have continued to fall, allowing flower shops to financially breathe even if it is just slightly. According to Yahoo Finance these gas prices are here to stay. Whether you believe this to be true or not, we’ve heard a soft murmur from shops that they are considering a lower delivery charge to be more competitive with the .coms and order gatherers. One shop in Colorado is choosing to use the gas price cut to recoup funds from years prior.
We’re wondering why shops don’t use this extra cash to…
• Reconsider their delivery time cut-offs
• Extend delivery areas
• Increase marketing budgets
As a service driven industry we think cutting prices won’t build customer loyalty. Exceeding expectations and providing a memorable service will be what aids shops in retaining and expanding their customer base.
Is your shop good or great because of your employees or your process? The jury can go both ways, but Valentine’s Day is not the day to have the debate. Having both a process and the right individuals is the only way to limit the stress of this emotionally charged holiday. In today’s blog post we are going to discuss a few secrets.
First, ask the question, “who would be an ideal driver?” A postal delivery driver, police officers, fire fighter, or a food delivery driver are good options in our opinion. Reach out to local businesses and organizations and ask if they would be willing to post something in their lunchroom. Everyone is looking for a little extra cash and we find these leads result in repeat help. Drivers or any other temporary employee that is currently unemployed is less likely to help for the next holiday and could even get full-time employment elsewhere prior to Valentine’s Day causing you to scramble.
TIP: Hiring more than 3 weeks out will result in a higher percentage of no shows for the 12-14th.
Design Staff Assistance:
Having individuals specifically tasked with assisting your design staff by processing flowers, filling vases with water or carrying finished arrangements into the coolers is imperative to running a successful design center during Valentine’s Day. Many shops even set up an assembly line to streamline the overall process. When hiring this staff you don’t need someone who is widely versed in flowers. What you need are able individuals willing to hustle. One shop we know hires local high school and college students. We suggest calling your local schools and asking to post a listing on their job boards.
REMEMBER: You will be only as good as your process.
Most of us feel like we have this one figured out. Yes a customer or sales service background is preferred and a positive demeanor helps, but what we have found is “ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!” This is simple in theory, but those individuals who may not have the “proper background,” but have the “Yes I Can” attitude to match your “YES WE CAN” culture typically end up being the best employees. This can usually be detected by their body language during the interview.
TRY THIS: During the interview ask candidates about their previous boss. If they throw them under the bus then they aren’t what you are looking for.
We want to hear from you! What is your best temporary staffing secret?
Can you believe it is a less than a month from Valentine’s Day? Doesn’t it feel like we just finished the holidays? Either way, now is not the time to coast, it is the time to rev up your engines and make your marketing efforts work for you. During this time of year, we hear ALL TOO OFTEN that shops aren’t promoting for Valentine’s Day or that they have more than enough business and every time we can’t help but ask… “WHY?”
We are so quick to complain about the order gatherers taking our business, but how can we blame them if we aren’t willing to provide the service our customers need? Just because we can’t take a customer’s order doesn’t mean that they are going to skip sending flowers to their Valentine. They’re just going to go to the next name on their Google search. This time of year the pond is stocked full with potential new customer relationships and it is our responsibility to cast our lines and catch those fish before someone else does. Choosing not to do so does not just lower your revenue for Valentine’s Day it lowers it for the whole year because if that customer has a good experience they are going to go back to your competitor.
The average customer buys flowers 4 times a year? Assuming their average order is $60 that is $240 per year or $720 over a lifetime customer average (3 years). If you gained just 100 customers this Valentine’s Day that would equate to $72,000 dollars in 3 years!
Enough with the pep talk… we want to see you succeed, but what about you? How do you plan to prepare for the influx of new customers?
The New Year is in full swing and many of us are wondering what we can do differently this year. Inspired by this thought, the Beneva Solution’s team has chosen this month’s Featured Florist, Petra Janssen of Wascana Flower Shoppe. She was chosen by our team because her branding efforts extend much farther than just a consistent logo.
Here is a brief Q & A between our SCOOP director, Shelby Isaacson and Wascana Flower Shoppe’s, Petra Janssen.
Question #1: Can you tell us a bit about the history of your shop and why are you focusing on building your brand now?
Wascana Flower Shoppe opened its doors in March 1981, in a small strip mall location. I was 21, young and naïve, and not afraid of hard work. I started by myself with just one part-time helper.
I believe my passion for the industry has brought me to where I am today. Now, I have a staff of 26 full and part-time employees, and my stand –alone flower shoppe is 5,000 square feet of space including a drive-thru service.
Our front room cooler features 40 floral designs ready for cash and carry purchases. We host events prior to the holidays to draw consumers into the store. Our wedding, event, and graduation work is posted weekly on our websites and blogs.
We have lost three major flower shops in the past calendar year. We wanted to keep consumer confidence in our industry, so in response, we have stepped up our marketing and image to communicate that we want consumers to continue using local flower shops. When they think of flowers, we wanted our logo and name “Wascana Flower Shoppe” to pop into their heads. Our delivery fleet of PT Cruisers are branded in a bright yellow and are on the road every day, also serving as portable billboards. Customers call and specifically request our yellow cars to deliver the flowers they order. Our number one priority is to keep driving people to continue using local flower shops.
When we launched our new website, we wanted an actual realistic portrait of our shop – providing our customers the same exciting experience they would get from us online as they would if they were in the store. It is our primary marketing tool.
The website focuses on our own designs. We prominently feature our award-winning bridal and event work on the website. We include features on our unique gift, décor, and other various products we have in the store as well. We also give consumers some opportunities to become more educated about flower types, plant care, and the different meanings of flowers.
Question #3: How do you use social media to brand your business? Which social media site is the most valuable to you and why?
Social media is our next focus point in marketing. We use facebook, Instagram and Twitter as our social media platforms. We promote our events, classes and weekly specials via our daily posts. We also post the links to our blog entries on social media. People follow our social media posts so closely, the likes and engagement from our followers is outstanding. We will post an image of a random arrangement and people will instantly comment and send the image to their partner. Before you know it, that partner is in the store buying the arrangement.
This Christmas, we also made and posted an in-store video through the sales room as well as the design room. People were amazed as to what other items our store carried beyond just flower arrangements. Social media is a vital piece of our marketing tool kit for raising customer awareness, communicating in an engaging way with our customers, and maintaining our brand identity of being local, friendly, accessible as well as professional.
Question #4: What inspired you to open a drive-thru service?
We are always looking for that new remarkable service or product that can set ourselves apart from the competition and to entice new customers into the store. The drive-thru was a dream of mine. Here in Saskatchewan, our extreme weather conditions dictate whether you get out of your car or just head home. The drive-thru eliminates you having to make that choice. During graduation times, the limos pull up one after the other to pick up the corsages! Friday specials through the drive-thru often block traffic. Men love the convenience of the drive-thru.
Question #5: What advice do you have for shops looking to re-brand themselves?
Take the time to understand your market, your customers, and most importantly, the type of personality you want your business to have and how that personality presents itself within the community you operate in. Focus on what you do best! Listen to what your customers are asking you for.
Our industry is losing ground and those of us that believe in it need to bring it back to life! I love what we do and we need to portray that to the consumer. Be passionate about our products and show our customers what we really are about – dance on tables and celebrate flowers!
If you have a florist you would like to nominate for next month’s Featured Florist please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Images by Nicole Gerhardt Photography)
Avas Flowers has taken their map images down and are in the process of changing the wording on their home page. Due to our combined effort they no will longer portray themselves as local florists.
Individual shop owners pulled together and acquired the support of the wire services to create a unified voice of reason and informed Google of Ava’s Flowers misrepresentation. Coming together was not an easy task because our industry is a tough one for everyone involved. Wire services need orders from florists and we need their technology. While, there is no immediate indication that gathering will stop, deceptive gathering can and it looks like the more we all stick together, it will.
Where do we go from here?
We don’t need people ganging up on each other and demanding change of others. We should all continue to change what we can control, which is our individual businesses. I am in Tulsa working with another retail florist this week, who has chosen to strengthen their business’ infrastructure and other shops are following. From POS systems, to websites and mobile, there are lots of opportunities for us all and the key, in my opinion, is not couponing and gimmicks, it is social engagement.
This holiday season, it would be great to work in conjunction with our wire services while we focus on engaging customers. People are looking to shop local but, they can’t shop with you, if they can’t find you.
Thank you all for stepping up as professionals. Coming together to create this one common voice with a consistent message proves that WE have the power to make the much needed changes in our industry.
1. Size: Did you know that most of us absorb over 3,000 visual marketing messages a day? No wonder successful floral websites display large, high quality images that are quick to grab a browser’s attention. Consider these two examples. Which row of designs are you more attracted to?
2. Mobile: Did you know that the average American spends 162 minutes a day on their smartphone? As florists, we want our customers to become engrossed in our offerings and purchase. Mobile websites allow this to happen because our customers are provided a user interface that is responsive and easier to manipulate than a standard website.
3. Apps: Did you know 86% of the time spent on mobile phones is through an app? Apps use mobile features unlike a website, such as “Push” notifications. Notifications are similar to a mailer because they are an effective way to share specials with targeted customers. Notifications can also be location based when an app is integrated with GPS tracking. With this feature, offers can appear on a customer’s phone when they drive by a specified location.
BOTTOM LINE: As mobile use increases, florists need to adjust their online retailing efforts by looking for websites that offer a mobile version and integrate with an app.
Don’t believe us… See for yourself.
Take a look at your Google Analytics for the past six months. We are confident you will see an increase in search results by device.