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Are you sick of order gatherers?


Current situation

Some of the things we could do better as an industry is to take back control, market ourselves and improve our margins. We are constantly competing with order gatherers, relay companies, supermarkets, DYI's, fruit markets, etc . There is an ever increasing competition from "experience gifts" e-tailers taking a large share of the Valentine's Day and Mother's Day occasions. Individually, we cannot compete with the marketing budgets of e-tailers and ad-word campaigns of order gatherers. For far too long we have been dominated by relay companies and order gatherers. Google search for a florist in any given Australian suburb or town inevitably returns 60-70% websites associated with an order gatherer, or a relay site. Individually, florist shop owners do not have the time, energy, knowhow, or funds to fight against them on-line. We are being fragmented, divided and conquered.

Due to a lack of alternatives we submit to order gatherers as we accept their orders and we allow relay companies to run our websites. As a result we have given them control of the industry, we have given them our customers and most importantly, we have given them our margins. We all know that an on-line order placed through an order gatherer, or relay site, arrives at the store with between 25% and 50% commission taken out. So, when an order placed on-line by a first time flower purchaser arrives looking like it has been made up by a one-handed, blind monkey, what is the effect? Well, following the initial embarrassment, then anger, the purchaser tries to get a refund with varying degrees of satisfaction. Having had such a negative experience they will probably never buy flowers again, instead opting for jewellery, or a fancy dinner, or a bridge climb, or jet ski experience, or chocolates. You see everyone wants a piece of the pie; whether its the local cafe or a multinational airline, they all know that flowers are the obvious present to express love and admiration, hope and congratulations as well as pain and sympathy. They all promote themselves against us. Who promotes us? Who stands up for us? Who looks after us, florists? Who unites us to make us stronger? Nobody. We are encouraged to compete against each other at various shows, cups, challenges as well as online for ad-word clicks.. Who helps us to fight the growing strength and reach of order gatherers? Who helps us to drive traffic through our doors and to our websites? Who sends us orders with full 100% value? Nobody. This is about to change.

Hope

We can unite and we can start fighting back. This needs to be done for the sake of your shops and our industry. We need to act now, before supermarkets really get their act together. Once they start building in-store florists we are going to hurt even more. We need to promote ourselves as an industry, just like the banana, or mushroom, or the beef industries. We need to develop other occasions into flower giving opportunities such as Women's Day, Teacher's Day, Secretaries' Day, Grandparents' Day, Easter, Halloween, Graduations etc. We need to promote these in store, on individual webpages, social media as well as traditional media. How can we do this when order gatherers and relay companies control the industry?

Proposal

If you can't beat them, copy them. Order gatherers are a reality and they are here to stay. We can't get rid of them, so why not act like them and take some of their market share away? We are launching a new website which will send every order directly to member florists with 100% flower value. There will be no hidden commissions reducing our margins. Member florists will be able to send orders to each other with 100% flower value, or the sending florist can choose to keep 10%, or 20%. You will be able to have your own website, where you always keep 100% of the flower value, you will control the senders information, you will be able to use our product image library, or replace it with your own, and you will not have to wait 30 days for payment. The only charge will be an $11.00 transmission fee per order paid by the consumer at the checkout. A percentage of this fee will go towards a marketing industry fund. The more florists join and support the website, the more money we can raise to support our industry. Yes, there is a membership fee and yes, there is a charge for the website. However, both are much less than you are paying at the moment, much less.

If you are still interested in taking control, saving money and promoting the industry then please reply back to us and we will send you membership information.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Charles Lukasik

Australian Florist Network

contact@australianfloristnetwork.com.au

www.australianfloristnetwork.com.au


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