August 12, 2011
Dear Florists for Change:
Much has been written about the past and current events that are changing the floral industry. I think we can all agree the Internet has forever changed the way our industry does business, exposing the flaws in the traditional wire service models and allowing “order- gathering” businesses to flourish.
Retail florists are independent. Our independence is what allows us to succeed. It is what makes it possible for one proprietor to be successful in New York City and another in a small rural town in Missouri. We are all different, yet we are all tied together by the one thing that makes our industry so unique….floral order transfer. No other business can provide same day, coast to coast delivery like the floral industry. The sending of floral orders between florists is a transactional business. Yet, the services that provide the vehicle to send these orders do not charge per transaction. The largest order- gathering sender pays the same monthly fees to the wire service as the small shop pays. What other transactional businesses….banks, Fed Ex, credit card processing, etc. operate this way?
As more consumers turn to the internet, the number of florist-to-florist orders will continue to decline. Florists must position themselves to capture their fair share of these orders that are now being placed online, directly into the area they are to be delivered. Granted, order gatherers and false advertisers are making this difficult. But Google is not going to remove order gatherers from their results, and even if the wire services didn’t allow order gatherers to send, they would just direct ship as many are already doing. The point being, order gatherers are not going away. We must learn to compete.
Florists must also make some tough decisions regarding where they will spend their money. Many florists have already made the most “telling” decision to drop all traditional wire services. Nothing speaks louder than this action.
Our future as an industry lies in real local florists. As independent business people, we must make it a priority to claim our local business, whether it walks in off the street, calls on the phone, or places an order on our website. Florists who succeed will be innovative and must be willing to break away from old mindsets and ways of doing business.
Flower Shop Network, Inc. (flowershopnetwork.com) supports Florists for Change. Since 1999, our company mission has been to help real local florists promote themselves online and offer alternative solutions to traditional ways of doing business. As Florists for Change moves forward, we stand ready with open minds to explore new ways of doing business to ensure our industry survives.
Flower Shop Network, Inc.