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Study: Adults don’t plan to buy flowers

Eight out of 10 adults surveyed don’t plan to buy flowers in the next 12 months. That’s the unsettling finding of a study funded by the American Floral Endowment and released at the recent annual convention of the Society of American Florists in Phoenix.

The study found that non-flower purchasers are not averse to buying flowers. However, they need help removing barriers to purchase — price, concerns about longevity of cut flowers and lack of education regarding appropriateness and meaning of flowers. Almost all these non-purchasers have given flowers in the past, just not in the past 12 months, suggesting they need the motivation to purchase flowers again.

The study authors recommended three key ways to encourage flower purchases: price, vase life and education.

For price, they noted these consumers are very price-sensitive in general, and have a perception flowers are expensive. Providing things such as lower prices, coupons, Internet codes and discounts is appealing to them — more than half said these measures would make them consider buying flowers. They spend an average of $35 for each gift they give, so offering flower bouquets in that price range may increase the likelihood they buy flowers.

For vase life concerns, the top reason cited for not buying flowers, the study authors recommend demonstrations of how long flowers last if properly cared for, education for customers on proper care and vase life guarantees.

Customer education was also recommended to position flowers as the perfect gift for all occasions. “Love is the strongest emotion felt when receiving flowers,” according to the study report, which said even adults with an aversion to sending flowers enjoy getting flowers and feeling the love.” Give recipients reasons and incentives to return the love to others by sending flowers, the authors concluded.  

The study was a 21-minute Internet survey, conducted from June 13-24, 2013, among 1,509 respondents drawn from Internet panel sources. Sample was drawn to be nationally balanced and reasonably representative of the non-flower purchasing population. Eligible respondents were U.S. residents age 18 to 60 with a total annual household income of at least $15,000 who had not purchased cut flowers in the past 12 months.