As some real local florists look to make delivery increasingly profitable other lower quality floral providers are exploring the appeal of free delivery.
The flower business is tough, and getting the pricing right is even tougher. Pricing delivery is probably the toughest part of all.
At one point many florists offered free delivery. As time went on and delivery became more expensive to provide they started charging, but it was still subsidized – what the florist charged for flower delivery did not reflect the true cost of providing delivery.
Many florists took it further, until delivery became a break even proposition – what they charged for flower delivery covered the cost. Emboldened, florists have been encouraged to charge still more and delivery fees a profit center.
Profit is good. Again – being a real local florist is very hard, and squeezing out a profit is even harder. Delivery costs and pricing is something that needs to be considered carefully.
But a lot of this discussion is based on the idea that only real local florists can offer same-day delivery (drop shippers and most other online retail can’t do it) and that, somehow, people have absolutely no problem paying for flower delivery.
That is a very dangerous assumption because research overwhelmingly shows that people hate delivery charges. In one study consulting firm Econsultancy found that 74% shoppers abandoned baskets due to high shipping costs.
Amazon Prime was created because so many people abandoned their carts once they saw shipping fees. The Prime model increased sales because shoppers were no longer confronted with delivery fees.
The consultancy report went on to say:
Given this figure, it is essential to monitor your shipping charges vis-à-vis your competition, and check whether your rates are reasonable or not.
This is important because resentment of delivery fees can be so strong, and free delivery so appealing, that free delivery can be exploited by non-traditional (and low quality) floral providers like the one shown in the photograph.