Is a Rose really just, a Rose?

February 13, 2011

Valentine’s Day is a holiday about relationships: those with significant others, and those with your local florist.  Local florists are not more expensive, but in most cases, they’re just honest. What has happened through the years with the evolution of technology, national marketers have become more creative with advertising and using images to increase expectation, and unfortunately, they under-deliver the realty of your purchase. In this case, a company from New York City named Bloom Avenue started marketing in Sarasota and other cities across the country, promoting a Plum Passion bouquet of red roses. How important was this 5″ vase after all? Is this really what you expected for $74.95 to be delivered to your Valentine? These roses were selling for $59.95 plus a $14.95 service fee in a 5″ vase.

Our rose, the private label ROUGE is pictured here in an 11″ glass vase including baby’s breath and assorted greenery side by side and would have only cost a difference of $9.95… the same amount for customers ordering in advance.  Looking at the picture, what do you consider the best value for your Valentine on Valentine’s Day? The only thing worse than this would be to get short stem roses shipped in a box. See video here. Be careful of deals that sound too good to be true.

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How well do you REALLY know your customer?

February 7, 2011

To serve your customer, you need to know your customer

This holiday more than most we need to concentrate on understanding our customers. Are they buying the Pro Flowers deals? Do they trust your brand? Are they skipping the process all together because of budgets? We can only assume unless we survey. I keep stressing the survey and using the comment cards with Zoomerang because it gives us the knowledge we need to understand our customers’ shopping habits and the changing patterns as well. If we don’t use comment cards and surveys, how will be REALLY know what it is our customer is looking for. The worst way to find out that your customer has slipped away is to recognize a wire in with the recipient name you know or the signature that is clearly that person who you THOUGHT was your customer. At that point, it’s almost too late. What could you have done?

1) Run a Zoomerang survey. Be sure you have a plan to follow up by calling those who filled it out.

2) Promote. Anyone who assumes they have enough business that they don’t need to market needs to call me. We need to talk. WHO is the question that is calling. Are you getting the last minute desperate shoppers after your customer has already been swept away without you knowing? If your Valentine’s Day numbers are even or good, that should not be enough. Retention is the key. Are YOUR customer’s calling? If you did not market to them, then why did you assume they would call you?

3) Be unique. as rose is not just a rose. there are so many ways to show off your product or at least make a special value driven offer. this may even be a service, like guaranteed morning delivery on the 14th or a gift with purchase of a gift card for a future purchase.

Valentine’s Day is generally the highest avg ticket holiday of the year. Don’t over discount since you only have 1 day to delivery. You should max out fairly quick. Free delivery? With the cost of fuel these days, I would offer priority delivery but not FREE. Hustle up and be prompt.

Do you want more wire out orders? Promote your floralapp™ and here is why….

As I traveled last week in California, I was blown away by how many people I talked to at random about our floralapp™. Yes, many people think it is very cool when you tell them you have your own app. I happened to be at Best Buy twice and the airport along with a restaurant. In every case, I started a conversation with strangers and I told them to register for FREE and they would be enrolled on our 42″ TV giveaway, they did it on the spot. Keyword, BENEVA! They loved it and did it on the spot! They talked about Valentine’s Day and the need to send flowers. NEVER did they ask where I was located. I proceeded to tell them anything on the app can be delivered anywhere in the USA the same day. That was all they needed. Short and sweet. It made NO difference to them where my store was located. We have something here. You have the app. Don’t wait till everyone else is doing it to realize this is the future of retailing.

Training.

In closing, whatever it is that you are doing or program you are running, train your staff. It sound so simple and yet so overlooked. They can’t read your mind and to assume they already know all the deals could be a mistake. Take the time to achieve the results you desire.