Recently, we discussed how to protect your floristry business from the summer sales slump by marketing bulk wedding flowers. Of course, buying wholesale flowers that are popular for weddings (for instance, roses in a variety of colors, elegant and romantic callas, and exotic orchids) and marketing them to brides looking for wedding flowers online is a great way to tap into the wedding flower market. But have you considered other, less traditional ways to diversify your flower business? Brides are an ideal audience for florists, it just takes some smart marketing tactics to discover how to capitalize on the online wedding flower market.
The following 7 tactics are suggestions to help get you started developing a business strategy focused on the less traditional side of the wedding flower industry:
- Flowers are not just for the wedding party anymore: Increasingly, brides and grooms give fresh-cut flowers to their guests to take home as wedding favors. Environmentally conscious brides don’t want to just throw away center-pieces and bouquets after the reception. And sending guests home with flowers is a lovely constant reminder of the happy couple. Also, imagine how extra special out-of-town guests will feel when they are treated to a gorgeous tropical bouquet waiting for them in their hotel room or guestroom. Could you market your flower and plant varieties to fit this recent trend?
- Think outside of the bouquet: Many brides today are looking for interesting twists on tradition (think mismatched bridesmaid dresses or matching dresses in slightly different styles). Modern brides and grooms want their weddings to reflect their unique personalities, rather than being cookie-cutter classic. Can you offer non-traditional accents (for example, feathers, shoe sole decals, or monogrammed mason jars), or non-traditional flowers, like kale, in addition to traditional wedding flowers, like white roses, that would help couples add some personality and clever finishing touches to their celebration?
- Stay up on the trends: As a floral expert, brides will naturally look to you to make suggestions for what flowers and novelties are on trend this season. You can easily position yourself as a floral trend expert if you pay attention to the market. Surf popular wedding blogs, websites, and monitor message boards for brides. One trend this season is woodland-inspired bouquets using flowers like hydrangeas and succulents. As you’re looking, be open to whatever jumps out at you. No idea is too crazy, until you test it out.
- Adjust your product descriptions: Consider all of your current products and how they might be marketed for weddings. Be sure to convey each item’s wedding potential in your titles, tags, descriptions, and photographs. Include the keywords “wedding,” “engagement,” and “bridal” in as many of your product titles and descriptions of your online products. Rather than relying on brides and grooms to see the potential, help shoppers imagine each of your items as part of their special day by featuring photos of items in wedding settings.
- Make yourself into a trusted resource: Encourage brides working with you to communicate their visions, likes, dislikes, and expectations. But also remind them that if they are flexible and comfortable giving you the freedom to design their wedding arrangements according to what you know will look amazing, they will be even happier with the results. If you can convince your clients to relax and remember why they hired you, they will be extra thrilled with the results. And extra thrilled clients means more referrals for you.
- Sell floral supplies that often accompany flowers: It might not seem like selling clippers, foam, floral tape, vessels, votives, and other flower accessories could really make much of a difference in your sales, but don’t underestimate the power of the impulse buy. Brides who come into your shop looking for wedding flowers are often open to suggestions. Fillers and other decor items like branches and greenery that can be incorporated into floral designs are great options for florists looking to diversify and branch out into other parts of the wedding business. And brides who find your shop because you are one of the few florists offering floral supplies, might also end up buying their wedding flowers from you too.
- Partner with others in the wedding industry: Wedding planners are a great resource for florists looking to expand their businesses. A good wedding planner who can recommend your flowers to her brides can be an excellent referral partner. Since many wedding planners don’t have storefronts, you can offer to keep the wedding planner’s information in your shop for brides who enter your storefront. It’s a win win!
As a floral expert, you understand the tremendous potential for increased sales in the online wedding flower market. But it is easy to get tunnel-vision and overlook other opportunities to sell flower-related products and accessories that might not be obviously related to the wedding market. Given the trend toward weddings reflecting the unique personalities of the bride and groom, the opportunities to expand your business are virtually endless.
If you are looking for other experts with whom to discuss business strategy ideas, become an “FMI Fan” on our Facebook page. There you will find other florists who are more than happy to share ideas and resources. And of course, our flower experts at FMI Farms are always happy to talk with you and offer their expert advice about buying wedding flowers online.
How do you tap into the online wedding flower market to help your business grow?