How to setup a subscription flower business - growing a floristry business online
Looking for an easy way to sustainably grow your floristry business online?
Quick Answer: Subscriptions! It's no secret that interest in the subscription business model has increased dramatically over the past 5 years and it's been labelled as a "disruptive industry" by the likes of Forbes.
What is less known however is that interest in the search term "subscription flowers" has increased by 400% since 2013 (with the search term "monthly flowers subscription" seeing a 350% interest growth).
This isn't surprising as the subscription business model is entirely built around making life easier for your customers. With time being such a precious commodity in modern society, having the ability to offer your customers' a service that is both convenient and time-saving will be a guaranteed winner - so long as you get the fundamentals right!
Here's our quick guide on the fundamentals needed to setup a subscription flower business…
We've taken a quick look into the industry and we've summarised a few key points you'll need to consider when switching your local floristry business to a subscription based flower delivery business model:
Despatch and delivery
This is the operational heart of any subscription flower business - fulfilment needs to be quick, storage spaced used by packaging needs to be kept to a minimum and the postal service you use needs to give value to the customer - the last thing you want is your customer having to travel 10 miles to the local depot to pick up their failed flower delivery (which by the time they get there are probably ruined). Letterbox friendly packaging for flowers is the way forward, as any other form of packaging will require the customer to be present to receive the package. Also there's the unboxing experience - does the packaging deliver a frustration free opening experience? Does it protect and support what's inside, ensuring a consistent and presentable experience? Being a florist yourself, you'll know that presentation is especially important!
Offer something unique
There are already a number of big players in the subscription flowers service - so how do you stand out from the crowd?
You can offer added extras like:
- Timed delivery slots to further boost convenience.
- Free gifts like small scented tea light candles, small packet of chocolates OR you can partner up with other businesses to offer discount vouchers on related products and services.
- Add on a custom gift wrapping or tagging service.
- include a care guide and free flower feed to help keep your customers' blooms fresher for longer.
- Offer ethical credentials such as locally sourced flowers (low carbon footprint), eco-friendly packaging (FSC® certified and 100% recyclable), organically grown blooms, replanting services or charitable donations with every purchase.
- Include free seed packets so your customers can enjoy flowers in their garden as well as indoors.
The ways in which you can differentiate yourself from the crowd are endless and are only limited by your imagination!
Pricing and Value
Offer your customers' an incentive to save money by switching from a single flower box delivery to the subscription service. The service should also ideally be a monthly recurring service which your customers will need to opt out of. Will you offer a single price that includes all delivery costs or will you give the customer the opportunity to downsize and save? The one-size-fits-all approach is a limitation you may want to avoid in a subscription flowers business as everyone prefers to have a choice. However if there's too many options to choose from you could end up confusing or frustrating them - remember that a subscription business model is all about convenience, that applies to the website ordering experience as much as the delivery. When pricing be sure to factor in all incurred costs and give yourself plenty of overhead when starting out - take a look at the competition and how they price their service - if you can't compete on price you'll need to figure out how you'll compete on added value (see above).
Given the above information and the boom in subscription flower delivery sector - can you really afford not change to a subscription business model? If you already have a floristry business that sells online locally and you want to scale it up and benefit from a more consistent revenue stream, then providing a subscription service is a no-brainer!
We've responded to the growth in this sector with our Printed Flowers Letterbox Mailer and our recently upgraded unprinted Lil flowers letterbox size mailers - now you can easily send long-stem flowers by a standard mail service (no need to send signed for), ensuring that delivery is not delayed. This box has been created to fit through the vast majority of UK letterboxes (the UK standard size is 254mm/10” wide x 38mm/1.5” high). Suitable for fresh, dried or artificial flowers - this sturdy postal box enhances the customer unboxing experience with the pretty floral design printed in a subtle dusky pink on the inside.
No more missed parcel notes leading to disappointed and frustrated customers. Our flower mailers are convenient, neat and easy for your customers and offers postal efficiency for your business.