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How the floral industry can overcome millennials’ barriers to purchasing flowers

In order to better understand millennials’ preferences for and barriers to purchasing flowers, the American Floral Endowment and the Floral Marketing Research Fund released a study that helps all segments of the industry understand millennials’ purchasing behaviors. An online survey was conducted with 3,011 U.S. millennial consumers aged between 18 to 40 years old, according to a news release.

Price is a major purchasing barrier for 75 percent of millennial consumers, with women agreeing with this statement more so than men.

MILLENNIALAn important means of overcoming millennials’ barriers to purchasing flowers is to improve their overall experiences with floral products through education, relevance, customization and promotions.Price is more likely to be a major barrier when purchasing flowers at local florists compared to grocery stores, and less likely to be a concern when purchasing products for holidays or special occasions.

Millennials have several other reasons that reduce their likelihood of purchasing floral products:

• Perceptions of floral products being expensive or their longevity being too short.

• Respondents don’t always think about floral products when shopping.

• Floral products do not survive well in respondents’ homes due to air conditioning, pets, etc.

• Approximately 14 percent of respondents view floral products as wasteful and 12 percent do not know how to care for them.

• Products are inconvenient to purchase; there are quality concerns, allergies, not enough variety, or they do not know where to buy, etc.

An important means of overcoming these barriers and cultivating millennials’ purchases is to improve their overall experiences with floral products. Reduce the expensive perception through value-added properties, such as customization options, add-ons, personalized delivery, or free gifts with purchase.

And limited longevity can be promoted as a benefit — it provides customers the opportunity to bring nature indoors and refresh their home accents frequently.

Other ideas include:

• Sales promotions. Discount prices were preferred by most millennials in the survey through in-store coupons, “buy two, get one” or BOGO deals, online coupons, a loyalty-based program, and receiving an upgrade.

• Ease of care and maintenance. The No. 1 way is to provide clear instruction on plant and flower labels and signs, followed by free flower food with purchase, a beginner’s flower pack with everything prepared, an auto-feeding device, care reminders using mobile apps, a step-by-step video, follow-up services to check on flower status, and a Quick Response code linked to online instructions.

• Improving relevance of floral products. The primary way is by having more benefits associated with flowers, including environmental and health benefits.

Also, by making the purchasing and sending experience more fun, enjoyable and/or adventurous by giving millennials more reasons to send floral products, making the products more visible and conveniently located, offering a variety of diverse products, and higher visibility in the media.

• Improving engagement with floral products. Millennials indicated they want to have fun activities, arrange their own bouquets, design their own packaging, have a casual space in the store, and that more visibility at important events and on social media would improve their engagement.

In addition, in order to get millennials to think about buying flowers more often, use advertisements to educate them that floral products are great gifts that can be used for many occasions. Tout different ideas and ways that flowers can be used, send occasional reminders to purchase flowers for themselves and others, and motivate millennials to buy floral products “just because.”

To download the free report, “Marketing Tactics to Increase Millennial Floral Purchases,” go to www.FMRF.org.