Valentines day is always a joyous occasion where couples celebrate their undying commitment to consumerism and clever marketing. An incredibly but unsurprising 91% of Americans plan to spend money on their significant others with nearly half of them spending money on flowers. Altogether romance businesses will enjoy having an extra $2.1 billion in their pockets.
If you’re planning to spend money on flowers online, you’re in good company. Thousands of customers place orders online for bouquets. But Farbod Shoraka is hoping you won’t. Shoraka is the co-founder of BloomNation, a Santa Monica start-up with an unusual business model.
This clever websites connects customers to their local florists. “We’re almost completely upside-down compared to those other services,” Shoraka told AdWeek. “BloomNation is the first national network that connects customers directly to florists. We create the same experience as walking into a flower shop.”
To understand the significance of this business model, it helps to know how the web revolutionised flower sales. Consumers are often only faced with a stock image of their bouquet – one which may or may not resemble the one that shows up to their lovers doorstep! With florists competing with big flower giants (which often rely on middlemen) they are beginning to wither.
“Local florists are a dying breed,” said Lance Williams, who runs the Playa Del Rey Florist in West Los Angeles. “It’s a highly competitive industry with lower and lower margins. Staying in business is now a sign of success!”
BloomNation wants to remedy these gripes by being a portal for web shoppers to find an independent florist themselves. Florists benefit from the increased traffic to their stores and webpages. But it’s not just the florists who benefit. Customers are less likely to be disappointed as photos are taken of bouquets before it’s delivered to ensure the customer gets what they want.