Flowers are more than just beautiful decorations. For centuries, bright bouquets have been featured on countless occasions to express congratulations, condolences, care, and all kinds of love.
While events like weddings and baby showers dipped in popularity during the pandemic, a new floral industry trend emerged at full force. Almost overnight, COVID-19 increased the demand for all kinds of delivered goods and services. Modern consumers crave instant access to food, alcohol, groceries, pet care, and more — all at the push of a button. Though many florists are already familiar with the world of delivery, flowers are now included in the ever-growing list of items people want to order via delivery apps.
The current environment presents a prime opportunity for retailers to capture new business and strengthen their existing customer base. Even more encouraging is the fact that online flower delivery was already on the rise before the pandemic, as online flower merchants grew an average of 5.1% per year between 2016 and 2021.
Here, we'll do a deep dive into the factors contributing to the growth of flower delivery — providing useful insight into floral industry trends so you can see exactly where the vertical is headed. You'll learn how pivoting your business to focus on intuitive, efficient delivery options can boost your bottom line, ensure customer happiness, and keep business blooming.
Four floral industry trends to watch
For many industries, everything has been in a state of flux since the onset of the pandemic. This rings true for the flower industry, especially as countless weddings and large gatherings have been canceled or postponed. That said, the core sentiment behind purchasing flowers is unshakable, and many people are still turning to gorgeous arrangements to express love, care, and thoughtfulness. Let's take a look at recent trends that are shaping how and why people purchase flowers:
1. Flowers help brighten a dark world
You already know that flowers make any room feel brighter and more joyful. What you might not know is that studies from Harvard, Rutgers, and the University of North Florida have all shown that living in the presence of flowers can reduce stress. In an era where bad news can feel omnipresent, consumers have been eager to reap the stress-busting benefits of flowers — and the industry is booming as a result. In fact, according to the Floral Gifting Market Report, the industry is expected to grow by an impressive 5% between 2020 and 2025.
The ability to send flowers to friends and family has proven invaluable, especially as tough times have stretched on seemingly endlessly. Because of COVID-19, many people haven't been able to hug their loved ones, celebrate special moments, or offer comfort in person during times of grief. Thankfully, the pandemic hasn't affected the ability to have flowers delivered.
In an interview with Business Insider, Katie Butler, Senior Vice President of the Society of American Florists, said that many people have been sending flowers to make up for "missed moments" they ordinarily would have spent with loved ones during the pandemic. Not only has the pandemic given people even more reasons to send flowers, but it's also given people an even greater incentive to order them online.
2. Tune in to millennial-centric marketing
Many floral businesses are gearing their products and marketing efforts towards millennials — and for good reason. In a report from the American Floral Endowment, millennials are said to be an important target demographic due to a few reasons: their increasing purchasing power, the fact that their views on buying flowers differ from past generations, and their resistance to traditional advertising and marketing tactics.
Compared with previous generations, millennials are more experience-oriented and crave gifts that feel unique and personal.To help capture this audience, florists are employing new, creative strategies. The report found that lack of convenience is a primary purchasing barrier for this demographic, which signals the need for more modern and user-friendly delivery methods. Similarly, the report found that millennials often rely on mobile apps to make purchases and discover content, so finding a delivery service partner with a reliable, trusted app interface is crucial.
The American Floral Endowment's study recommends the following best practices to attract millennial customers:
Unique advertising approaches. Authenticity is a major concern for millennial consumers, and the report recommends florists "keep it real" in their advertising campaigns to promote a sense of trust. Focus on shared values such as environmental concerns to connect with this socially conscious generation.
Promotions, sales, and value-added options. Everyone loves incentives, millennials included. Offering promotions such as BOGO deals, online coupons, and discounts based on past purchases are all great ways to attract millennial buyers. Value-added options like personalization or free upgrades are also smart strategies.
Loyalty programs. When it comes to encouraging repeat purchases, loyalty programs are powerful tools. According to the study, millennials prefer loyalty programs that are modern and easy to use. The study also recommends linking rewards to an email address or phone number rather than requiring physical proof like a punch card.
Subscription boxes. Millennials are interested in subscription boxes, which is great news for florists — adding up to consistent business. These services should be easy to sign up for, simple to cancel, available for varying periods of time, and offer services geared toward different needs and lifestyles.
3. Honoring time-tested holiday traditions
While the pandemic has given plenty of people new reasons to send flowers, holidays will likely always be the biggest door-buster days for the flower industry. It's no surprise that Valentine's Day is the single biggest day for floral purchases in the US. The Society of American Florists reported that a whopping 28% of American adults purchased flowers or plants as Valentine's Day gifts in 2019.
While the big day may not be on the immediate horizon, it's never too early to start setting your business up for success. Considering that over a quarter of the population buys flowers for one specific event, creative sales and marketing opportunities clearly abound. This is especially true for floral businesses that go the extra mile to make ordering same-day flowers easy with third-party delivery partners like DoorDash.
4. Blossoming support for local florists
Unfortunately, a number of small businesses have had to close their doors due to COVID-19. The good news? American consumers are paying more attention to where they spend their money as a result. The desire to support local small businesses has been reignited for many buyers, with studies showing that 82% of people would spend more to support small businesses after the pandemic.
With DoorDash, flower shops are able to sell flowers under their own business name—helping small shops grow brand recognition. Each business gets their own page on the DoorDash App where they can highlight and promote their own unique offerings, making it easier to grow a loyal customer following over time.
How to capitalize on these flower industry trends
So, how can you use these insights to help your flower business blossom?
In today's environment, finding the right delivery model strategy is key. The best part is, there's no one-size-fits-all approach since DoorDash allows you to structure your delivery business in a way that makes sense for you and your team. Here's how:
Set your own delivery model. Some businesses only need a helping hand for specific delivery zones or times of day, while others need all their delivery orders taken care of. Explore DoorDash Self-Delivery with Flexible Fulfillment options.
Speed things up. When you send a bouquet of flowers off with a Dasher, you can rest assured that the flowers will arrive quickly (and look as gorgeous as they did when they left your shop). DoorDash offers an average delivery time of 35 minutes or less.
Track your orders. DoorDash's state-of-the-art logistics platform enables businesses to track the entire order, so both you and your customers can keep an eye on the process.
Make marketing a priority. The beauty of flowers is that they do a lot of their own marketing — a stunning arrangement practically sells itself! However, it's still important to get eyes on those bouquets in the first place with a strategic marketing plan. In order to take advantage of the growing market, you need to actively spread the word about your unique arrangements and delivery offerings. Explore social media marketing, learn promotion tips from other small businesses, and opt into DoorDash promotions to attract and retain new customers.
Help your flower delivery business bloom
Now that you know what's happening in the floral industry, it's time to align with current trends and seize this exciting opportunity to grow your business. By signing up for DoorDash, you'll have all the benefits of an on-demand, third-party platform while retaining the flexibility and creative control of your business.
Ready for your floral business to bloom? Get started on DoorDash and watch your sales grow.