SAF Growth Solutions 2011

May 17, 2011

I am looking forward to the SAF Growth Solutions in Dallas, Texas on June 22nd – 23rd at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport Marriott South. This year I will be speaking on how common sense and customer service go hand in hand. Customer service is more important now than ever!

I look forward to sharing my thoughts and hearing yours.

It would be great to meet florists who comment and/or just read this posting.

There will be a very moving video on customer service along with a Q & A. Be sure to join us in Dallas on June 22nd – 23rd. Click the link below to learn more about the convention.

Art Conforti



Mother’s Day 2011, 1/3 of Google Searches came from Mobile Devices

May 17, 2011

Wade Anderson of Woodlane Flowers in Minnesota shared with me a very interesting article this morning cornering that a third of Google US searches for ‘flowers’ came from mobile devices on Mother’s Day.

The following is from the article:

“33% of Google search queries on that day for the term ‘flowers’ came from mobile devices, with mobile search queries for ‘flowers’ having more than doubled year-on-year for the entire week leading up to the event.”

“Desktop searches for ‘flowers’ increased from Monday to Friday before declining at the weekend, while mobile queries increased steadily all week. However, Google searches for ‘mother’s day gifts’ were relatively consistent across mobile and desktop, which suggests that flowers tended to be a last-minute purchase.”

“Jason Spero, Director of Google Mobile Ads, said “The data is clear – people are using their mobile devices to find, shop and buy. But users are ahead of businesses right now.  Businesses are not always ready to engage them on mobile. By working with Digitas to combine our insights and experiences, we hope to help marketers embrace mobile and provide their customers with a positive experience on this critical platform.”

Amazing but not surprising the migration from laptops to smartphones. The phones are getting bigger and the users are increasing at record numbers.

If you can’t have an app, a mobile version of your website is the least you should have these days. The app expedites the experience and with reminders and push notification, I have no doubt this is where the future of online retailing is going.

How much did you sell these for on your website?

May 11, 2011

I have had enough of discounting this past Mother’s Day haven’t you? Do you plan on becoming an order fulfillment center in the next few years? You do have a choice, but you need to re think your business now so you can look forward to being in business tomorrow.

 The following article was shared to me  by Keith Riewe of Bice’s Florist. Please take a second to read it here.

 I really thought this was dead on and made great sense. This past Mother’s Day was filled with discounting and undercutting. Can we really afford to give away anything more that we already to compete? Is it really the transaction we are after or the customer. If it is the customer, then the only choice we have if to build brand loyalty. It is not as hard as you may think for a local florist.

 I will be speaking about customer service and brand loyalty (they really go hand in hand and cost nothing but effort to execute) with local retail florists. I did a test with a product this Mother’s Day I will share with you and explain the process in detail.

 Don’t sell yourself short. Always remember, almost anyone can sell flowers today, customers can shop where they want to shop, what makes them want and need you? Your answer is the first step you will take towards building your local brand.

floralapp™ is the leader in mobile retailing this Mother’s Day

May 5, 2011

Beneva Flowers and floralapp™ had the privilege of being mentioned in Internet Retailer’s lead article today about florists and mobile ordering. Internet Retailer is one of the industry leaders in reporting e-commerce business news.

Read the article here: Florists prep mobile channel for moms’ big weekend

Beneva is proud to be mentioned by such a well respected publication and having floralapp™ being compared to 1-800 Flowers mobile website. floralapp™ continues to be the industry leader for floral mobile apps and continues to show the superiority of a mobile app compared to a mobile version of a website.

With all this excitement of floralapp this Mother’s Day it’s interesting to see who is actually using the app. For those of you who think only the younger, business generation is getting in on the action take a look at a recent customer who came into Beneva Flowers today and downloaded the floralapp™ on her iPad.

floralapp™ is the floral mobile solution for ALL AGES!

How are you handling the Mother’s Day rush?

May 5, 2011

What’s going on out there?

It seems this is the question today. While I cannot speak for everyone I can speak for Beneva Flowers. Sunday started off strong as our Mother’s Day Brochure had been inserted in our local newspaper. Thanks to the strong response of the insert there was a real buzz to the air on Monday. In fact we could hardly keep up with the influx of orders. Thankfully we had limited our floral offerings online for Mother’s Day and had prepared properly for the orders. Our Mother’s Day Brochure is more than a marketing piece, it is a great inventory tool. By buying and designing to formulas, you can immediately affect your bottom line. Being prepared and limiting your choices allows you to get the most out of your staff.

Increasing Expenses

Most of us are experiencing increasing expenses from gas prices to overtime for employees. To combat these increases we need to identify the expenses we can control. For example would you consider an employee an asset or an expense. An uninformed employee is an expense. Training an employee is the first step in turning an employee from expense to an asset. A trained and educated employee becomes an instant asset. It is your job as an owner to determine who is what. Odds are you already know the answer, you just need to make the right business decision.

Busy today?

You should be. Florist that marketed this holiday had 3 day head start going into today. Even while the last minute Mother’s Day shoppers are making purchases, many will start with or visit the florist who marketed early.

Why should a customer shop with you?

This is the first question you should ask yourself when you open your shop in the morning. When working with florists one of the biggest mistakes I notice is the overall attitude that when the phone rings, “just take the order”. Unless you are taking a wire in order you should always have your customer service staff be patient and treat every customer with care. When the employee who is taking the order is rushed your customer will feel rushed. This type of behavior is no longer expected or acceptable to our consumers. Customer’s want to be informer d of their purchase. A well trained employee can treat the customer with the kind of care they are accustomed to and secure that transaction.

Customer Retention

Transactions should not be difficult to come by this Mother’s Day. Giving your customers an experience that they will never forget and engaging them into your business should be the real goal behind the transaction.

At Beneva Flowers it is expected that every employee signs up walk in customers to our reward program while introducing out floralapp™ for ordering flowers on the go and every receipt is circled with the employee name, encouraging the customer to complete our online survey (where customers receive a $5 coupon for complete.). We want to be their florist forever and we let them know it.