Today you can buy almost anything online: from things for everyday life, to the more unusual items meant for special occasions. Can you imagine any important life events without flowers? Or, giving your living space that feeling of home without an indoor plant? Despite the fact flowers are so popular in our lives, the online floral niche hasn’t been saturated yet. And with a well-organized business you have the opportunity to succeed. In this article, we’ll cover how to start a flower shop online that delivers the best customer experience, and how much would it cost to develop it. But first, let’s consider the benefits when you start a flower shop online.

Dismantling the Myths about Online Flower Stores

There are several well-established myths in the world of online selling that could discourage the development of an online flower business. However, let’s not forget they are, indeed, myths:

  • 1) Flowers are not sold through the Internet. Some people may feel that flowers need to be seen, touched, and smelled before deciding on their purchase. But, not everyone has the time nor desire to make their way to a flower shop in order to choose and evaluate the perfect arrangement. Or, it may be that they want to find something truly unique that is not otherwise available in local stores. In fact, 24% of Americans who bought flowers made the purchase online in 2017.
  • 2) Creating a simple website is more than enough to sell flowers online. It isn’t that easy… It is important to develop a custom website because template websites look generic, unprofessional, and can’t cope with the number of sales you’ll desire.
  • 3) Competition on the Internet is too high and this niche is fully occupied. People think there are abundant online stores and the market is so oversaturated that it’s nearly impossible for newcomers to enter it. Further, they think they cannot compete with market giants. But, small online businesses do have their own advantages, like the possibility to target a niche, and make use of local SEO.

Online flower shopping and delivery are becoming popular: 18% of internet users worldwide have purchased flowers and gift sets online. So, maybe you’ll be that one who opens the next flower e-store?

What Matters Most for Customers When They Buy Flowers from Online Stores?

People normally buy flowers for special occasions – A bouquet to thank a favorite teacher after graduation, another one to present Mom on Mother’s Day, or a beautiful arrangement for your significant other. According to an SAF study, when making a purchase at an online flower store, customers pay attention to the following factors:

The Best Online Flower Order and Delivery Stores:

Product tester and service review company, TopTenReviews, researched flower delivery services, by ordering flowers online from 10 vendors and analysing them by the quality of service, flower quality, and range of flowers and products offered by e-stores. Want to know what they found?

  • 1.

    1-800-Flowers.com

    The wide assortment of flowers and non-floral gifts for any occasion and holiday, customer support, and assistance provided by professional advisor distinguish this website from other services. The company cares about the quality of products and services: 1-800-Flowers.com provides a 100%-satisfaction guarantee. Further, they introduced a quality assurance program containing different types of surveys (mail, telephone, in-store), blind test orders, and information-gathering about customer service.
  • 2.

    FTD.

    Touted as the best online flower delivery service, the company has the most extensive network of partners, delivering flowers to 150 countries. Florists’ Telegraph Delivery has a long established history as it the first flowers-by-wire service when it was launched in 1910. FTD has maintained an excellent reputation for flowers, an impressive range of gifts, and many other reliable services. An interesting side note: A subscription for Free Shipping differentiates this web company from the others.
  • 3.

    Organic Bouquet.

    This online flower delivery company puts serious focus on fresh and appealing flowers, while also advocating for Mother Earth, and social justice issues. Organic Bouquet promotes eco-friendly production and cooperates with Carbonfund.org to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases generated from their shipments. Moreover, Organic Bouquet donates to non-profit organizations that provide education for women and girls in underdeveloped countries, promotes safe working conditions for farmers, as well as focuses on a few other causes to add to their corporate social responsibility chest.

What Makes These Online Stores the Best on the E-commerce Market?

  • Here is a list of what the best online flower stores are offering:

    • Bouquets
    • Fresh flowers
    • Houseplants
    • Seeds, seedlings
    • Plant care products: fertilizers, pest mitigators
    • Tools for florists (scissors, paper, ribbons and other decor)
    • Vases, souvenirs, postcards, and greeting cards
  • 1. Floral Selection.


    The best floral e-stores offer flowers for every occasion: weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and even funerals. Additionally, people may wish to send a gift to an employer, or business partner, but may feel flowers express too much of a romantic sentiment. A great alternative is a simple green plant, or something unique and exotic like bonsai or rare cacti. Naturally, the classic floral arrangement is indeed a bouquet of red roses but offering a range of flowers and other plants simply allows you to reach more customers.
  • 2. Ordering & Delivery


    Another important part of the online flower business is competent delivery service and high-quality work. The possibility of sending flowers “over-the-wire” has been around for over a century, taking 3-4 days for delivery. Today, there a lot of ways to order, and those first-rated flower e-stores provide both phone and online services, as well as providing customer care support. To give customers more security, these companies provide tracking information for orders by phone and online, so customers can check the status of their delivery as it moves from the store to the intended recipient.
  • 3. Non-floral Gifts


    In case your customers want to add a big bar of chocolate or a nice teddy bear to their flower order, it is important to provide them the opportunity! Companies that hold leading positions in the world of online flower shops offer their customers a wide range of non-floral gifts, from colorful balloons and sweets to rare fruits and fine jewelry.
  • 4. Customer Service


    It is important to keep your customers happy. To achieve this, successful online floral shops provide many options for customers service:
    • Live Chat
    • Email & Phone
    • Mobile Apps
    • FAQs
    • Care Instructions & Guides
    • Electronic Reminder Service
    • Chatbots
    • Customer Loyalty Program & Discounts
  • 5. Eco-friendly & Charitable.


    The best online flower stores sell eco-friendly plants and flowers. To give proof of these trading practices, many online shops show they have Veriflora designation, which confirms that the company only sells products cultivated under sustainability standards. Another sign is Fair Trade certification, which confirms that a company’s production meets various standards for treating the environment and its employees operate with a certain level of care for the plants. The most successful online flower shops also donate part of their revenue to support nonprofits that do things like work to combat child labor, illiteracy, and the use of harmful chemicals such as pesticides.

How to Start a Flower Shop Online. The Best Technologies to Use

You have two options for building your flower e-shop:

  • 1) Create a hand-coded website
  • 2) Use a content management system (CMS)

The first option usually means finding developers who will create the website from scratch. And, frankly, it’s a good choice when your intention is to create something like Amazon – a web store aimed at handling hundreds of thousands of goods. However, if you want reliable results within an optimal time frame, consider the second option – using a CMS.

The next stage is finding a CMS that best fits your needs. Wordpress (WooCommerce), Shopify, and Prestashop are used often, but the most popular CMS for e-commerce is Magento (Take a peek at Karenflowershop.com, Realflowers.co.uk, or Flowers-delivery.net, all online stores that were built using Magento). It should be noted that developing an online flower store requires an in-depth knowledge of technologies, and this is where we come in!

The Magento Online Flower Store Tech Stack

Components

MAGENTO

Components

HTTP Server

MAGENTO

Apache, Nginx

Components

Programming language

MAGENTO

PHP

Components

Database Management System

MAGENTO

MySQL

Components

HTTP accelerator

MAGENTO

Varnish

Components

DMS

MAGENTO

Redis or Memcached

Components

Search platform

MAGENTO

Solr

Components

markup language

MAGENTO

HTML

Components

Style Sheet Language

MAGENTO

CSS

Components

Library

MAGENTO

JQuery

Components

Module Loader

MAGENTO

RequireJS / Knockout.js

Components

Framework

MAGENTO

Zend Framework
Symfony

Components

Dependency Manager for PHP

MAGENTO

Composer

Components

Coding Standards

MAGENTO

The PHP Standard Recommendation (PSR) – 0 / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4



Third-party Services for Your Flower Store

To get a better organized web shop, you can use third-party integrations, such as:

Type of extension

Why do you need it

Examples

Type of extension

Accounting & Finance

Why do you need it

To help with efficient management of the point-of-sale system (POS) and accounting system

Examples

QuickBooks Online, Web POS

Type of extension

Customer Support

Why do you need it

To provide customers with qualified support service, which can directly affect your sales and increase user retention

Examples

Help Desk Ultimate, Product Updates Notifications, Advanced Newsletter, Universal Chat

Type of extension

Marketing

Why do you need it

All online stores need marketing to become popular. This includes marketing through email, social media, blog articles, etc.

Examples

Neklo Instagram Widget, Zoho, Hubspot, SendGrid Email Delivery

Type of extension

Payments & Security

Why do you need it

People feel more comfortable when making purchases in a web store that offers various payment methods. Payment extensions should provide secure checkout, fraud protection, account updater, mobile payments.

Examples

MageWorx Multi Fees, MultiSafepay, Authorize.net CIM-Certified, Braintree Payments

Type of extension

Reporting & Analytics

Why do you need it

Allows measurement of web store performance and provides visual insight of your sales funnel

Examples

Magento Business Intelligence, Google Analytics, XTENTO Tracking Number Import

Type of extension

Sales

Why do you need it

Helps enhance the buyer experience, increase credibility, and improve the conversion rate for your online store

Examples

Amasty (Generate and Import Coupons, Customers Also Viewed), Iksanika Price Countdown

Type of extension

Shipping & Fulfillment

Why do you need it

For flower e-commerce businesses, shipping and fulfillment are the last stages of the customer journey. This step includes calculation of shipping costs, IP auto determination, adjustment of shipping rates via flexible rules, etc.

Examples

Amasty (Shipping Rules, Order Archive), SendCloud

Type of extension

Social Networking Integration

Why do you need it

Login via social media increases conversion rates – social networks are efficient marketing channels. Further, 86% of users are agitated by having to create new accounts on web stores.

Examples

Social Media Bundle, Sociable



How Much Does It Cost to Build an Online Flower Store?

How to start your own flower shop without seed capital? Even a small amount of money can lend itself to the creation of a profitable business.

You can build a high-quality website that will become the foundation of your online business by either cooperating with professional developers, or using ready-made solutions (i.e. templates for websites.)

With ready-made layouts, all you need to do is fill up the finished website with products and descriptions. However, these come with several disadvantages. First, your design won’t be completely unique. Another issues is that it might not be properly designed according to UI/UX norms. Additionally, you run the risk of having a lack of required functionality.

Custom web development allows you to build an online store tailored to your needs. The time required for e-commerce web development can vary from 162 hours to 549 and more, if your website requires more specific functionality.

What kind of custom implementations can we use for an online flower store? Based on our experience at Whidegroup, these two are the most in-demand among e-commerce website owners:

  • 1) Custom order tracking system. This function is a good option for companies who deliver flowers by themselves (it’s always a good choice because you can train your staff to find an approach to every customer in the best manner). It allows you to maintain and display the status of the order from the initial order preparation, to the order’s shipment, and on to the final delivery. Developing this module tends to take between 30 to 45 hours.
  • 2) Automatic calculation of the nearest possible delivery date and time.. The system can calculate delivery date and time depending on the postal code and the time the client made an order. To enable this function, we include an option in the admin panel where website owners can fill in the range of postal codes to which they can deliver in one, two, or more days. This function typically requires 50-60 hours to be developed.

Flower Shop Website Design. What Matters in Terms of Design and UX?

There are a lot of stages in the development of e-commerce stores that your users won’t face, like analytics or backend. But when it comes to design – this is what directly influences your website conversion rates.

Your ultimate goal isn’t to merely create an online store, but rather to have users regularly buy from your website. This is where our designers come in. They can create positive UX that encourages people to make new purchases from your e-store. The most important aspects of UX are:

  • Utility. Your website needs to help customers choose the products and services they need.
  • Accessibility. Your web design should be understandable for various types of customers.
  • Usability. You need to create a clear and easy customer journey, without useless clicks, wasted time on loading inconvenient menu, or heavy pages with thousands of bouquets to scroll through, etc.
  • Desirability. Your design needs to create an emotional connection with users so they want to return to your flower store again and again.

Now, let’s imagine how the ideal online flower store should look. With a light, minimalistic touch, the photos and videos displayed generate a special mood for your customers, clearly communicating the purpose of your website. The homepage sets the theme, displays the brand logo, motto, and some information about your company or its history. All the important elements, such as quick access to a mega menu, a search bar, the shopping cart, and a wishlist, should be placed in the header, while the footer is home to social network links as well as links to other website service pages.

You also want to consider one of the most common mistakes that many online flower store owners make, which is incorporating too many graphics on the website. A vast number of bright images, logos, and complicated pictures overload the website with unnecessary information. It will make people distracted and overwhelmed, focusing their attention not on the beautiful bouquets you offer, but on the wasted illustrations and advertisements. You want your buyers to be concentrated only on the items available on your website. Along this line, don’t use small pictures – rather, the photos should be large enough so that your customers’ eyes are drawn to them before anything else.

Best Templates for Online Flower Stores

Design is the first thing that clients see upon entering your website. Poor design will negate all your efforts. It’s important to choose the right color schemes, typography, and design elements, etc. If you’re unsure what style or design you want, peruse some of these online flower store themes for inspiration:

  • 1. Flower Store WooCommerce Theme ByHands

    is a tidy and responsive template used for an online flower shop. Pay attention to such features of online flower shop as its full integration with Twitter Bootstrap 3, as well as integration with Font Awesome and Google Web Fonts, its understandable interface, and clean code. These themes are also well-documented, alleviating any potential difficulties or confusion with the installation process, settings, or FAQs.
  • 2. Flower Shop Magento 2.1.7 Theme FloraFest

    has light and clear backgrounds that beautifully highlight the color variations of the floral arrangements. FloraFest allows the use of Slider for presenting important information (ex. custom slides promoting sales, or for introducing new products). With Ajax Search you can get search results while you’re typing, and Special Price Countdown sets a timer for every individual product to show customers how much time they have to make a purchase.
  • 3. WooCommerce Theme Flower Shop

    is an excellent choice because it is fully responsive and editable, it is also SEO- and multilingual ready to create custom post types, has simple two-step installation, a filterable portfolio, custom widgets for comments, social sharing and much more. The product section has tabs to place as many items as needed on the homepage.

Build an Online Flower Shop on WooCommerce or Magento

Thinking about creating your flower e-store or revamping an existing one? It is not necessary to invest a lot of money in your business in order to make an online flower marketplace. Though, it is undoubtedly important to offer a wide range of services (such as same-day delivery, availability of non-floral gifts, and extensive customer support). You’ll also want to implement design that works and build the website with modern technologies like Magento or Wordpress (WooCommerce). If you want to learn more about the best e-commerce options, follow the link.

The Best Online Flower Shops of 2017, and How to Develop Your Own
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