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Fishing for Customers

I also posted this in the forum where it is easier to comment.


Fishing for customers

After reading lots and lots of debate about whether wire services like FTD and Teleflora are good for the industry or not it occurred to me that it compares well to fishing. Basically it comes down to who has the customers/fishes attention or not.  In the past, let’s say 10 + years ago, the fish were in a very big pond and were very hard to find. If you were local then the fish more or less found you because they saw your sign and knew that is where you get flowers. Your customer were limited to those you could identify and service but if you needed to send some flowers for one of these customers you needed a service like FTD to make it happen. This all worked fairly well for everyone for a long time, the wire services had the connecting wires and the infrastructure to make it work. What they really had were a growing list of customers all over the county.

Then the Internet comes along and the game changes. Now anyone with some flower sourcing knowledge, a few bucks and a friend who knows how to build a webpage, can be national wholesaler.

Armed with a toolbox full of new technology the fishermen can bait their hooks and start fishing for customers. Remember how fishing was traditionally done? You get in your boat with all your gear, including a few baloney sandwiches and head out to some place where you hope there are fish to catch. You see some boats in one area and assume that there must be fish there. You pull up, bait your hooks and wella you are fishing, not necessarily catching but fishing.

Fast forward again and now fishing is a whole new game.  You have your GPS to bring you to the exact location where you caught fish before, drop down your GoPro camera and see what’s available.  No fish? Move on.

Order Gatherers are doing the same thing using technology to fish for the customers then having UPS or FedEx be there GPS to get the product to the customer that they caught.  Scammer on the Internet use a similar method of fishing called “phishing” and it works in similar ways. They bait their hooks with pretty girls in suggestive circumstances or unbelievable situations that tempt you to click on. (admit it we all have done it!) Og’s bait their hooks with beautiful arrangements and great intro prices.

So it is all about the customer and how to attract, find and service them. The wire services used to have the advantage because they had the networks but now the Internet order gatherers have their own wires and smaller pack sizes to get an order to the right home or business. In all of this the local florist fights for their piece of the pie. They are being asked by more and more OG’s to fill their orders and  more and more are saying no thanks.

Remember to wear your sunscreen Miami is Hot!


Williee Armellini

1 Comment

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    Great post Willee – fishing by most is a patient game of one on one with a pole, bait, (boat/gps if lucky), a few beers, and in the end a good story telling session (mostly tall tales of days past) either way. What the internet brings to fishing is a very big net, a mechanical means to service the masses, and a real story evolving with customer feedback, trends, and analytics supporting better use of the big net each and every time you go back out. My opinion is the florists are still buying bait from the wire services, each has a story of a better bait or lure to get fish. Or is it time for the florists to finally get together globally and start working in a single cooperative, with the widest net they can cast? Ask the travel agents. I am sure if they would have partnered with Expedia initially, they would still be around as the ticket servicer and tour partners in the local markets.

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