Local Florist vs. Online Florist

Who should you buy from?

Is it better to buy from a local florist or online florist? If you've ever asked yourself what's the difference or what's the advantage, then the answers depends or your perspective as a shopper as much as it does your understanding of how your flowers are delivered.

Online florists have grown in popularity in recent years as more and more people have become accustomed to buying products online. Thus many of the local community florists have felt the pressure, with reduce revenue because of the growing trend of buying flowers online. Many local florists are now joining national floral wire services to help stem the losses from the growing competition.

In general a national floral wire service is a company that transfers orders to florists throughout the world. The transaction generally takes place online as the virtual florists collects the money and pays the local florists for fulfilling the order. A wire service will take a percentage of the value of the order for sending the business to the local florist.

The backend ordering process can be a bit more nuanced but often when you order flowers online from a national floral wire service like FTD.com, or Teleflora.com the order is being fulfilled by a local florist who has a direct relationship with the wire service. For instance Teleflora has over 16,000 florists in their network throughout the U.S. and Canada, and an additional 20,000 outside North America.

Are there disadvantages to buying online vs. a local florist?

Some may argue that there are disadvantages to buying flowers online. One disadvantage is due to the fact that many local community florists who are not a part of any floral network will not survive because of the online trends. They may see their once thriving shop traffic drastically reduced because of the changing consumer trends to go online.

From a consumer perspective the online florist for the most part advertise some great looking floral bouquets. Those online floral presentations don't always turn out to be so dazzling and great looking. The CBS Early Show discovered as much when they ordered from a couple of online florist around Valentine's Day. Check out the video: Comparing Some Major Online Florists.

Another concept to the floral industry that has even some online florist competing for market share relates to consumers who buy flowers that are shipped a box. Some might consider this somewhat unconventional when it comes to flowers, but one of the largest online floral retailers uses this method as there standard practice and are quite successful doing so. Would a local community florist do this - probably not? But it's a choice consumers make every day.

Are there positives to buying online vs. a local florist?

The most dominant factor as I have written earlier is that online shopping is the trend now because of the convenience and speed of the process. For something that once took some effort to do can now be done online in a matter of minutes from the comfort of your home or office. This is paramount in our world today where almost everything can be accessed instantly online.

Our choices and understanding of the floral products we buy and receive are much greater today with online flower shops because of the amount of product information we are able to find to make better choices. As well, online florists are able to present to us an enormous array of options - something very few local community shops can do.

Another benefit to online florists may be in the consumers' ability to compare the various flower shops available online by doing a general search online for florists. You have the option to choose who you'd like to do business with and whether one company has enough of a reputation that you'd take a chance and spend your money with them.

Today consumers can develop a solid understanding of the brands we buy from and how they can enhance our lifestyle and provide the goods and services we need. Brand loyalty today is critical for online florist so many of them care a great deal in attracting your business and keeping it.

The Decision is yours!

Ultimately the decision comes down to who you trust to deliver the goods and services you need. Would you rather walk into a local florist shop or go online? The choice is yours to make. For the most part what you get when you go online is the advantage of being engaged with a brand and the many options they offer as well as the convenience and speed of virtual shopping.

When it comes to the local floral shop you are probably more or less missing out on the interaction with local business in your community. It's a dynamic a lot of local florists have that an online shop will never have - a more human personal connection with the community.