Online floral delivery platform SnapBlooms says it has a unique business model which is disrupting the industry.
Chain Store Age recently spoke with Murali K. Nehthi, founder and CEO of SnapBlooms, about the specific challenges facing the online floral delivery segment, why he thinks his company is empowering both florists and consumers, and preparations for the all-important upcoming holiday season.
Flower retailing is generally becoming a more popular digital commerce niche. In time for the June 2021 wedding season, Albertsons Cos. began offering an online flower portal, and tech-focused e-tailer Newegg also recently launched a new online floral storefront.
What made you decide to launch SnapBlooms?
As a company with a long trajectory of providing software and web solutions for retail florists, SnapBlooms was the logical next step for our company to empower our customers with digital marketing services. This support can help grow their small businesses, get in front of consumers on google and other search engines, and be able to compete in their local markets with big brands.
This effort to bring customers directly to local retail florists, in turn, helps solve endemic negative flower buying experiences in the industry. Once the florists are assured of greater margins, they automatically bring more quality and help enhance this experience.
What differentiates SnapBlooms from other existing flower delivery platforms?
Our major unique selling point is that we generate orders and customers for local retail florists, while other flower delivery platforms act like order gatherers and take up to 50% on each order. SnapBlooms is a platform that allows consumers to buy directly from local florists and cut out the middlemen to get more value for their money.
What unique challenges do flower delivery platforms face?
There are two challenges very unique for the floral industry: Floral consumers are generally not fully aware of how to order gatherers operate. They tend to assume big brands have physical locations all over the US and are the ones delivering the flowers.
In reality, these large companies outsource the actual flower design and delivery, keeping a huge cut for commission. This in turn leads to quality issues and consumers rarely get value for their money since this operation is all too common in the floral industry.
In addition, the flower industry is probably one of the few industries where the buyer, in many cases, doesn’t actually consume the end product. This brings its own challenges, problems, and opportunities. For example, it leads to quality issues and customer service focused on providing timely updates, delivery confirmations, digital pictures, digital signatures etc. So there are many great opportunities to wow your customer and help to build a loyal customer base.
How are you preparing for the upcoming holiday season?
On every floral holiday season, our creative team and digital marketing team prepare well ahead of time to bring new season-specific floral creations along with a thorough analysis of historical trends to bring an estimate of possible holiday volume. This helps our florists prepare for the expected volume and also minimize waste.
While floral holidays provide a huge opportunity for florists, it is also common for florists to order too little or order too much in floral supplies leading to dumping or losing business by running out of supplies too soon.
Therefore, we are sending reminders to all of our local florists to make sure they order supplies beforehand. We are helping them by checking last year’s orders to make sure they are prepared with enough floral material like containers, foam, ribbons, extra items like gift cards or add-ons. This will help to avoid extra shipping charges later in the season.
Also, we start pre-bookings campaigns with promotions and deals to our customers if they decide to pre-book. This will help them focus on the holiday and they can run operations smoothly without having worries about Floral delays.
During the holiday season, web traffic will definitely increase so we are making sure that our website is up to par. We are doing A/B and load testing to give customers a hassle-free web experience. We’ve already uploaded a couple of holiday pages and they will be live soon with all upcoming holidays or occasions.
In addition, Snapblooms offer coupons and discounts, and will run a holiday marketing campaign.