Yes, that crazy time of year in the florist's calendar is fast approaching — Valentine's Day. So today I want to debunk four Valentine's Day myths that many florists believe. Let's jump right in.
VDAY Myth #1: Being cheap is how you get orders
Being cheap as a way to get customers is a BIG myth in floristry but is particularly not true for Valentine's Day.
Yes, you will always get customers who want to spend the least amount possible but that’s what the grocery stores are for. Trader Joes, Woolies or the local gas station will hook them up nicely. They are not your customers.
Let's face it, the vast majority of Valentine's Day customers are men, many of whom are happy to spend more than they normally (or ever) would on flowers. These customers want to show how much they love their partner and spending money is a way for them to do that.
These are your customers.
So, don’t hesitate to include some really expensive options in your online catalogue or on display in your shop. Perhaps include a gift hamper filled with an amazing candle, champagne, chocolates AND flowers.
This is called price anchoring — presenting some highly priced options puts all your other products into context and they'll be seen as more accessible. Whatever your average order value is on your website, I will challenge you to make it 50% higher just for VDAY.
With this Valentine's Day myth busted, now is the time to test the limits on your pricing.
Hot Tip: remove your cheapest product options during this time. Customers will buy from what you put in front of them and Valentine's Day customers are on a mission to spend some money and demonstrate their love. This way you'll fill your limited flowering and delivery slots with higher value orders.
VDAY Myth #2: Other flowers are just as good as red roses
Love it or hate it, our customers have been conditioned over a long period of time to believe that Red Roses = Valentine's Day. If it's not a red rose, then my special someone will be disappointed.
Absurd, I know, but remember who Valentine's Day customers are: guys. In all likelihood they know nothing about flowers and may not even particularly like flowers. They're buying them because they should, and they don't want to get it wrong.
On my first Valentine's Day I resisted this truth and tried to sell other, prettier, better value flowers. After all, wouldn't every girlfriend/wife/special someone much prefer a bouquet with beautiful textures and shapes in a stunning crimson palette? No thanks, the customer would say. But do you have red roses?
Now I’m all for expanding your offering beyond just foliage, baby's breath and red roses but, in my experience, red roses are what sell. And if you’re in it to win the sales target game, I would suggest red roses are the feature of your offering.
However, this Valentine's Day myth aside, it's your business so only you can decide what’s right for it. So, if you want to go against the grain and boycott the red rose phenomenon, you’ll need to do two things:
- Educate your customers on what you offer + why
- Position it in a way that is helpful to them
- Why aren’t you offering red roses?
- What is better than red roses?
- Why is it better?
VDAY Myth #3: People will pre-order
Every year for five years I told myself that maybe this year would be different. Everyone will finally realise early that VDAY is on 14 February, as always.
Nope. Valentine's Day myth #3 — most customers will not order in advance. When I look back at our sales data for those five years, 50-60% of our total Valentine's Day sales came on the 13th and 14th.
Now, this can be disconcerting because us florists have been preparing and planning this event for weeks. So when it's 12 February and sales are slow, your brain is gong to freak out. You'll worry there's no way you'll use your stock and make your target.
However, this is exactly when you need to draw upon your persistence and keep going. Keep selling, keep promoting and keep pushing until the very last moment. Be absolutely relentless about marketing and sales until you're sick of hearing yourself talk about it.
VDAY Myth #4: Selling out is a bad thing
I used to think the point of Valentine's Day was to serve every customer who wanted flowers and to make as much money as possible. I would sacrifice my health, my body and my brain in the pursuit of money and the belief that I had a responsibility to help every last-minute shopper.
And then one year just before Christmas, I went to the butcher to buy a ham and was told "sorry, sold out of ham". And that got me thinking — why don't I make my goal to sell out? Busting Valentine's Day myth #4 — selling out is a good thing.
So, by my third Valentine's Day, my goal was was to make my sales target and then be on the sofa with a container of Ben + Jerry’s and a bottle of bubbly as early as possible. Sorry, sold out of flowers.
Selling out IS success. It doesn’t matter if your goal is $2,000 or $200,000, make selling out your objective.
And, when you do sell out, celebrate it – with your staff, your family and your customers.
Summing it up
Valentine's Day is an experience that's really more about flexing your production know-how, marketing and sales expertise. In my experience, it’s not the most creative opportunity from a design perspective – Mother’s Day provides way more flexibility as customers just want "something nice". Not so much on VDAY.
The creative opportunity comes from how you approach marketing and sales. So, use this Valentine's Day as a chance to level-up your sales and production management skills and try a bunch of new things.
More help with your flower business
And finally, learning about business and marketing doesn't mean you need a university degree or fancy-pants corporate experience. I do have these things and am happy to share everything you need to know.
If you want to learn more about my 1:1 Business Masterclass and see if it's right for you, sign-up for a free 20 minute Mini-Session with me.
P.S. I've done a podcast on this topic which you may like. Find it on Spotify here or listen on the player below.