For years we have thought, and some florists still do, that FTD and 1-800-Flowers, Teleflora and Pro Flowers are the local florist’s competition. In reality, the only ones they compete with are each other. They appear in a space no local florist occupies. Why do they battle for orders? So florists can survive. I’m not the first to say that when the summer hits, many florists look at one thing and one thing only, where the most orders are coming from. If it is BloomNet, then they DROP someone else. Wire services NEED florists, especially Teleflora. The only reason I mention Teleflora is because they keep every order in the system and NEVER direct ship, that’s it. When Teleflora takes an order, a florist somewhere benefits.
There is now a new battle forming; a battle of retail transactions. The dominate Walmart (who has caused many small businesses to go under with their one-stop best price shopping model) for once has a competitor who can afford to challenge them. While Walmart does most of its business from local retail locations, Amazon is setting up shop in Walmart’s backyard with a local, warehouse operation providing lower overhead and SAME DAY DELIVERY!
It will begin with groceries and quickly evolve into flowers. In some cities this is already happening. This location you see may be in Walmart, but Amazon is virtual. It is on a website, a tablet and a phone near your customer. It will be point, click and your product arrives.
Just remember, this battle is between Amazon, Walmart and local grocery stores that may deliver along the way, our industry will be only be affected if we let it.
Now, I hope you can see why I have always said that the wire services were battling among each other; this too will be the case of Amazon versus Walmart.
We need to roll up our sleeves and change our approach to our business by focusing on SERVICE first. Then, clean up our websites and make them easy to use. If you aren’t already, make sure to implement app and mobile technology and last, get EVERYONE to “check in” at your shop on Yelp when they visit.
We must ENGAGE our customers NOW. There is no more time to waste. With great service and customers who are engaged, your business won’t get sucked into the battle.
Protect and service your customer before someone else does.