More or less all florists, whether brick and mortar, or online, are a part of a wire service. A wire service allows a local florist to send and receive orders from across the country and worldwide. The florists receive a commission from the sale. A customer expresses to the florist they would like to “wire flowers”, meaning they need to get flowers to another town, state, or country. Then, the flower shop would then send the order to another member florist and both florists would receive a commission percentage for the order. This has allowed for the growth of the florist industry, expanding the floral business from local only to worldwide.
The florists’ wire services have had to evolve to keep up with the fast-tracked and accelerated use and competition of the internet. To survive, they have had to adapt; a modern-day version of Darwin’s’, “Survival of the Fittest”. Wire services have had to provide florists with more services and programs than ever before. Instead of viewing wire services as a business competing with online floral programs to deliver flowers, they have integrated the online presence with services they currently offer to their member florists. In fact, one of the major benefits of belonging to the larger wire services is that they provide their member florists with an online presence and have made it extremely easy even for the computer illiterate florist. Some of the added bonuses now offered by traditional wire services include the following:
· Florists have an internet presence that gives them 24 hour a day exposure.
· They may offer a service that allows florist to re-sell to previous customers on birthdays or to notify them of featured sales, allowing the florist to stay in touch with the customer.
· Wire services may offer a 24 hour answering service, thereby taking orders for a shop all day and night.
· The online presence they offer gives the florist another source for flower orders from all over the globe.
When receiving and filling incoming wire orders, use it as an opportunity to market your store and to sell yourself. Trust me, the quality of the flowers ordered from New York and sent all the way to a shop in California gets back to the buyer. You want to fill the order to value, plus give a little extra. If you have a sixty dollar order, put sixty-five dollars into it. Being as much of a florists’ inventory is perishable, the incoming wire orders also give us a chance to use up the perishable inventory. The added extra will pay off in word of mouth advertising, which is invaluable. Never think the person who ordered the flowers “will never know”!!
A couple of more reasons to belong to a wire service or two are some of them offer floral design certifications and floral competitions, which will enhance your credibility as a solid member of the floral industry. In addition to that, to be affiliated with a national or worldwide chain adds trustworthiness to your store as well. FTD and Teleflora are household names, thus having your flower shop associated with them can be immensely rewarding.
Wire services are just one method a florist can make money. It would be a good practice not to rely heavily upon them for income. It is just a service florist provide to their customers who want to send flowers long-distance. When receiving orders, the receiving florist has to cover the cost of the flower, labor and delivery, upfront. They also forgo about twenty to thirty percent of the amount of the wire order to the wire service and the florist on the other end. Any wire services used, should not make up more than ten to twenty percent of the total income of the business. Remember, wiring flowers is a service to your customer; a convenience for your customer. But for the added bonuses listed above, it is wise to have at least one or two wire services to boost the profitability of your flower business.