35% of Americans buy flowers on Valentine’s Day, making it the top holiday for florists, bringing about $2billion to the floral market in 2017, according the Society of American Florists. In fact, the average person spends about $136.57 each Valentine’s Day according to the National Retail Federation. Florists want to make sure they prepare to capitalize on as much of that spending as they can. Floral retailers and wholesalers spend countless hours making sure their business is set-up to encourage sales and handle the demand, since they rely on this holiday’s revenue to propel them through the year.
As more and more individuals are ordering flowers online with low prices and convenience as the lure, preparing your web presence for this holiday is vital. Revenue for online florists has been growing an average of 2.5% annually since 2011, and revenue for walk-in flower shops has dropped by 1.2% each year during that same period, according to ConsumerReports.org.
To ensure your Valentine’s Day sales aren’t taken from wire service companies like FTD, Pro Flowers and 1-800-FLOWERS, you’ll want to make sure your eCommerce experience is set-up to help you take advantage of this important holiday. The eCommerce and order management platform that your website and online ordering experience is built on should be built to help you succeed instead of causing you new problems and headaches each time a major holiday approaches.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, floral retailers and wholesalers should make sure their eCommerce platform is able to help you do these 3 things to prepare:
1. Optimize your Website for Valentine’s Day Searches
A good eCommerce platform should make it easy for you to update content to encourage sales during important holidays or seasons throughout the year. A good content management system that is either built into or integrated with your eCommerce platform will make it easy for you to make pricing updates, swap out seasonal banners and introduce new content to drive traffic to your site from search engines.
This January, consider launching some new “how-to” content to help your shoppers prepare for Valentine’s Day, i.e. “How to surprise your loved one this Valentine’s Day” or “How to pick out the perfect Valentine’s Day bouquet”. “How to” statements are highly searched terms on search engines, so creating content that is likely to pop-up in your customers’ search as they prepare for this holiday will encourage them to buy their flowers from you. If your eCommerce platform doesn’t make it easy for you to launch new, searchable content like this, it may be time to rethink your platform.
2. Kick-Off Holiday-Specific Email Communications Early
Since you’re wanting to drive online sales, it’s important to communicate with your customers online as the holiday approaches. Email campaigns are an easy way to get your message in front of your customers consistently.
For our customers, maintaining a reliable list of email addresses on their customers is sometimes the biggest challenge when it comes successful email marketing to support their eCommerce sales goals. One way we’ve helped them improve their email campaigns is through better data gathering techniques that come with a strong eCommerce platform. Integrating with your POS system, for example, allows you to pull accurate and up-to-date customer information to feed your email marketing campaigns.
This Valentine’s Day, try communicating about a few deals or specials only available the week of Valentine’s Day to your email list. If your company’s digital ecosystem doesn’t make it easy to gather email addresses to drive marketing campaigns that propel eCommerce sales, it might be time to start thinking about digital transformation.
3. Don’t Lose Sleep Over the Upcoming Increase in Traffic
As you prepare for big holidays like Valentine’s Day, a website crash is every company’s worst nightmare. If you find you are consistently losing sleep as major holidays approach, you may want to consider a platform change. Your eCommerce platform provider should take necessary precautions to help you prepare for major holidays so that you feel confident.
Sooner rather than later, ask your eCommerce platform provider about their average uptime over time and what sort of testing and load balancing they do to make sure customers like you are prepared for major sales days. If you don’t feel confident in their answers, it may be time to switch to a modern platform with a more sophisticated back-end and infrastructure to support your growth year over year.
As you get ready for Valentine’s Day in 2018, take some time to make sure your eCommerce platform is ready to handle your growth and success. A headless platform like OrderCloud will allow you to create the exact experience you need, both from an administrative and management standpoint, as well as a customer experience standpoint. With 18 years of experience and 99.9% uptime, companies across countless industries including floral count on OrderCloud as they prepare for major holidays, like Valentine’s Day.