Florist shops throughout the U.S. have broadly adopted social media, as about half utilize Facebook and/ or Twitter in their communication with potential customers. The level of adoption varies by U.S. region, by size of business, and by age of florist shop owner, with highest rates of adoption shown in the New England and the Lower South Atlantic regions, among the largest – sized operations (annual sales over $1 million), and among the youngest shop owners (under age 35). Although florist adoption of social media is broad, other modes of florist communication show greater levels of adoption, such as a web site, and an 800 – number service.
Response modeling via structural equation modeling (SEM) reveals the impact of florist adoption of four modes of communication, including social media, e-mail promotions, web site, and “open house” events, on florist business success (sales growth,profitability, and florist self-rating). SEM results vary by florist market segment. For the florist market overall, SEM results show that all four modes of communication have a small, but statistically significant positive impact on business success. However, for smaller-sized shops with annual sales of $250,000 or less (about half of all florist shops),florist adoption of social media has no significant impact on business success , whereasthe other modes do. For larger-sized shops (annual sales over $500,000), social media and open house events are both significant drivers to business success, but the impact of open house events on business success is about 50% larger than the impact of social media. For the youngest-aged shop owners, e-mail promotions and social media are both significant drivers to business success, but e-mail dominates, as its impact on business success is more than 50% larger than the impact of social media.
Collectively, given the florist industry’s broad adoption of social media, it has yet to fully deliver on its promise to florists, especially among smaller-sized shops. Currently, social media may be considered “over-hyped” in the florist industry, as other modes of florist communication (both traditional and technological) are larger drivers to business success for key florist market segments. This report provides florist shops with valid market information and analysis for florists to benchmark their own communication strategies and improve efficiency. P&P intends to track these florist communication trends, including adoption of social media, and update the SEM response models with future P&P florist survey data.