Addressing A Big Problem With Online Flower Buying


Clay Atchison of McAdams Floral, an innovator in the retail floral industry, is trying to address one of the biggest problems with buying flowers online.

Clay is a successful florist and widely respected as one of the most innovative operators in the flower business. He owns McAdams Floral in Victoria TX, is the founder of, and is considered one of the foremost experts on the sympathy side of the flower business.

With recent changes to his website Clay is trying to address a serious problem with the way flowers are presented to online shoppers.

Florists generally want to make arrangements that look good from all sides. Think of a centerpiece arrangement on a table – it should look good from all sides, and this is accomplished by distributing the flowers equally on all sides.

This changes as soon as a picture needs to be taken – like pictures that will appear on a flower shop website. The camera only sees one angle, and the florist has to make a choice.

If they prepare the arrangement as they would normally, so it looks good from all sides, it looks underwhelming from any one side. Imagine a dozen roses… if it looks good from all angles, you can only every see maybe eight roses at a time from any one of those angles. The others will be on the back, and not visible.

In a photograph this really isn’t a great representation of what the customer is getting. The description says twelve roses, but the photo shows only eight.

Often the solution is to prepare “one-sided” arrangements for photography. Such arrangements have a very definite front (where all the flowers are visible) and back (where almost no flowers are visible).

This kind of photography looks great on a flower shop website, but often leads to one kind of disappointment or another because the florist has to make a choice.

If they choose to prepare the flowers just like photograph the customer gets a one-sided floral arrangement. It looks like the picture, but only from one angle. From all others it will look much less spectacular, especially from the back, and the customer may be disappointed. This is especially true with centrepieces that really need to look good from all angles.

The other option is to prepare it so that it looks equally good from all sides. The problem here is that any one side will be less impressive than the image the customer fell in love with, and they are likely to be disappointed.

Clay is trying to address this by explaining it to the customer, and letting them choose what they want.

This arrangement was created and photographed as a one-sided design to view all flowers. If you would like any version in an all-around centerpiece style, please select the appropriate style:

By making the customer aware of the situation they are less likely to be disappointed. It is a smart solution to a difficult problem.


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