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In the Bloom with Maria: Adding experiences to your shop may help boost holiday business

In the bloom with MariaMany florists have figured out the key to bringing in younger customers to their stores is to offer more experiences. As Hortica Retail Sales Specialist Maria Shepherd discovered, those experiences range from do-it-yourself arrangements and flower design workshops to hosting vendor events like art exhibits.

In the article, “To Stay Top-of-Mind with Customers, Retailers Look to Experiences,” published July 2019 in the Society of American Florists newsletter segment Industry News, author Mary Westbrook looks at ways retailers focus on getting customers to do something, rather than buy something. She believes by getting customers to invest in experiences, they’ll buy more flowers more often.

Westbrook interviewed experts who say retailers need to think bigger. Consultant Dustin Garis argues the floral industry is especially well-suited to capitalize on focusing on experiences over products—if individual business owners start thinking on a larger scale about the case they’re making to customers.

He believes there’s a chance to reposition flowers from something to buy for an occasion to an everyday experience people crave. That’s why florists need to think more broadly about the experience of giving and receiving flowers and how they can craft, accelerate, or redefine the experience.

Shop owners Jodi McShan, of McShan Florist in Dallas, and Sally Kobylinski, of In Bloom Florist in Orlando, Florida, say they look for Christmastime events to draw in new customers by offering something different from competitors who only sell flowers.

They feature in-store workshops, turning the shop into a venue for speakers, host pop-ups, and play a lead role in organizing customers and neighboring businesses to support charitable causes.

No matter what avenue you take, experts believe some facets of human nature haven’t changed, and that’s good news for the industry. By focusing on a social aspect, you’ll help people experience what’s important to them: a memorable life and meaningful connections.

By helping people create those things, and showing them the role flowers can play in making them happen, you’ll help customers remember your business.

If you’re planning your own Christmas open house event, check with your landlord for any lease issues, city hall for any necessary permits, and your insurance agent about any possible liability issues.

Talk with your Hortica representative about this or any other concerns you might have about your policies and coverages. They’ll be happy to sit down with you and make sure you have the protection you need.

Related links:

Learn more about protecting your business by checking out the Hortica Resources section.

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