Top Ten Tips for Boosting Floral Impulse Purchases

TIP 1: Use color to create original, eye-catching displays.

There’s an obvious trend toward more color in what people want to buy, therefore flowers need to be displayed properly for better eye and sales appeal. For instance, all mums could be arranged in a pie shape with contrasting color “slices”. Floral personnel can create appealing displays by grouping items according to color and variety. Mixing several colors of the same item in a display looks sloppy. Putting all the yellows together, followed by all the whites and all the pinks, creates a colorful, orderly display.

Shiny black display counters and shelves are especially effective for highlighting colorful arrangements. You can place the arrangements on them directly, or drape them with inexpensive fabric in a contrasting color. At Valentine’s Day, tables can set up with contrasting displays of white, pink, red and lavender.

TIP 2: Use themes to create interest in unusual products and renew interest in everyday items.

The recent interest in the environment and the push to switch to practices that are environmentally sound create the perfect opportunity to push green plants, which are often overlooked in favor of showy floral arrangements. The ’90s are going to be a very ecology-minded time, with movements like “Earth Day” and “Save the Planet”. Green plants produce oxygen and tie in with that theme. Setting up some type of ecology table that extols the benefits of plants could be very influential in getting people to buy more plants.

Displays that bring in the flavor of the Southwest are also very popular. An Indian print blanket across a table is a good, easy way to display cactus in clay pots. Themes such as “Rodeo Days” that can be carried on in other departments of the store also stimulate impulse floral purchases. Arrangements of the same colors as those used in store displays allow the consumer to take home the spirit of the celebration.

TIP 3: Keep undecorated plants available to attract consumers who are buying for themselves.

If an item is too gifty-looking, people may be reluctant to buy it for themselves or may overlook it for home use. Giving them the choice of buying something less dressy can stimulate people who don’t normally buy flowers for themselves.

Undecorated plants also are popular with people who like to create their own designs or prefer to use a favorite container from home. Displaying the undecorated plant with several upgraded plants gives the customer an idea of what can be done. Keeping a variety of picks and ribbons on hand creates further impulse sales as consumerscome back for supplies and ideas. Displays of undecorated and decorated items also are a good way to show buyers how much more value they get with the decorated item.

TIP 4: Create displays that emphasize special products or services.

Brides-to-be may not be thinking about floral arrangements for their wedding when they head into the supermarket, but bridal flower displays quickly change that. Mannequins dressed in bridal attire have been very successful in attracting brides who hadn’t thought of having the store do their flowers.

Mannequins can be placed at the end of an aisle with arches and wedding bells above it, and white linen and sprays of flowers behind it. Champagne and wedding cakes are also used in displays to promote wedding floral services.

TIP 5: Change stock and displays often so consumers are drawn into the department each week.

Creating a floral department that looks new and different to consumers every week is crucial to capturing the impulse buy, especially when much of the stock remains the same from one week to the next. Repositioning display tables on the floor and spot-lighting different items every few days gives the department the fresh appearance that encourages the impulse purchase.

Good variety is important-you can’t have the same things all the time. If a customer buys a mum this week, they may not want to see another one for six months, but they might buy a fresh bouquet. One way to increase variety in the department is buying large quantities of an item and selling it at a slightly reduced margin. The favorable bulk price offsets the margin cut and minimizes the loss if the item doesn’t sell as well as expected.

TIP 6: Be flexible enough to change an item or arrangement that isn’t selling.

Taking the time to completely redesign an arrangement may not be possible, but changing just one or two elements in a design may give it that eye-catching quality that grabs the impulse buyer. It takes only a few minutes to pull out a couple of flowers and put in some others to create something somebody wants to buy. If you put it out and don’t see a response in two to three days, it’s not attracting the consumers. That means you have to do something else with it.

TIP 7: Have a person on hand to provide information and assistance at all times.

Lack of knowledge about how to care for a plant or floral arrangement frequently stops would-be buyers from making a purchase. When someone is available to offer advice, shoppers are more likely to take something home.

Customers often need information, and a lot of it, before they will decide to make a purchase. Having someone there all the time makes sales happen. The person can promote other tie-in items, too, like plant polish and fertilizer.

TIP 8: Create a friendly, comfortable atmosphere with accessible displays that encourage browsing.

When the floral department seems to be very carefully organized, consumers may hesitate to enter the area unless they have already planned a purchase. A casual layout of displays with plenty of space to move around in invites more potential buyers.

Displays that one can see and browse around, push a cart through and not worry about knocking something over-these departments encourage impulse buying. The customer has to be comfortable in the area, or they won’t stay long enough to make a selection. Spraying an aerosol floral fragrance through the department several times a day can draw in passing customers. It creates an interest in the area and makes them stop and look around.

TIP 9: Offer only quality plants and floral arrangements.

Regardless of whether floral items are sold by the individual stem or as part of ornate arrangements, top quality plants in excellent condition attract the greatest attention. Getting and holding that initial glance is the first step in setting up the impulse buy. Creative, exciting displays can draw consumers, but if the product isn’t acceptable, they won’t make the purchase.

Quality is really the number one thing, above all else. Arrangements must look clean, fresh and full to be attractive to the consumer. If consumers hadn’t already planned floral purchases when they came into the store, they aren’t likely to select something that isn’t top quality. For this reason, supermarkets often move floral items before they reach the stage of questionable quality.

You’ve got to have quality. There is just no such thing as a “reduced quality plant”. There are only good and bad plants. If something isn’t selling, move it at cost as a “Tuesday special” while it’s still good. Poor quality products have no place in the floral department.

TIP 10: Situate the department so that customers know where it is and can see it from most areas of the store.

You have to position the floral department so that everyone knows it’s there. You don’t want to hide it behind the produce department, but get it right out front. If the customer can see it when they come in and can see it later from other areas of the store, they are more likely to stop and take a look.

Although the highly visible location may not be possible in many stores, placing tables with flowers and plants near checkout stands also stimulates the impulse purchase. If consumers don’t immediately see something that appeals to their taste, they may be stimulated to visit the floral department.

For people who might not make the trip into floral, placing floral items outside the department really pulls them in. When they’re at the check stand, they’re waiting and looking at our plants. Having the display in an area where the most traffic will pass through is the single most important thing. If they don’t see it, they won’t buy it.

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