Just like your physical shop, your online storefront needs to be organized to present the right product at the right time for your customers. When merchandised correctly, the ratio of customers visiting your site to the ones who actually make a purchase improves and your revenue increases. This is known as “improving conversion”.
This is where you use BloomNation to really shine. Add designs that are creative, relevant, expressive, and more importantly—you. Develop and show off your personal style with arrangements that prove why floral design is a profession, not a hobby. Raise the bar further by adding meaningful cross-sell items such as locally-crafted cards or candles.
One of, if not the, most important step in merchandising your online store is starting with great product photography. Whether you are hiring a photographer, using your own professional camera, or just starting out with your mobile phone, try to keep the following in mind when taking pictures of your designs and cross-sell items:
- Make things bright: Make sure your arrangements are well lit. Photos that are too dark can make even the most cutting edge design look old and dated.
- Keep it simple: Flowers have a lot of texture and color to show off. Don’t make them compete with a lot of props or a busy background. Always photograph your products against a simple, neutral background.
- Stay consistent: Once you find a background and system you like, keep it consistent. When your customers visit your online storefront, you want them to get a sense of your brand and style, just as they would if walking in the door to your design room.
Read our more in-depth guide on successful product photography techniques and standards. In some cases, not meeting these standards will result in the removal of your product from the BloomNation Marketplace.
Along with photography, pricing is the most important factor in your customers’ decision-making process. Using data from across our community we’ve come up with a few best practices to make sure the customers who visit your online shop actually purchase:
- Play the field: Generally speaking, florists who are most successful on BloomNation have an average of 28 unique floral designs for sale at any given time, with about a quarter of those products priced below $65.00, and a quarter priced over $100.
- Hook them with lower prices: The best-selling arrangements, by far, are $65.00 and under. Even if your average price point is a little higher, having a few lower priced items will bring more customers to your page, where you’re more likely to be able to show off your higher priced items.
- Use the up sell feature: Offer the ability to upgrade your arrangements whenever it makes sense. Edit the upsell descriptions so your customer knows what to expect!
- Avoid sticker shock: Keep your delivery fees low and work your costs into your arrangements more seamlessly. You don’t want to lose a sale that’s almost complete because your delivery fees cost almost as much as the arrangement itself!
Use the Merchandise Center to make sure you have a good mix of arrangements that fall into different categories of style and occasion. Found under “My Website” on your Dashboard, this tool gives you a breakdown of your catalog, alongside what we’ve seen is the most effective number and mix of products for increasing sales and keeping customers.
- Offer something for everyone: Have a good assortment of sizes and shapes. Do you have something to offer every type of customer with a focus on smaller desk-sized arrangements
- Use Your tags: Be thoughtful when tagging products for different occasions and style. Your customers will use those tags to filter and search for what they want.
- Be diverse: Choice paralysis is the technical term for when you give your customers too much of the same this to choose from, so they just decide to leave and not choose at all. Your products should each be substantially different. As a tip, it’s always a good idea to maintain a few different plant-based and succulent designs for people looking for a gift that lasts a little longer.
- Don’t forget about cross sell items: Allow your customers to make their gift even more robust by offering add-ons, or cross-sell items that they can add to their purchase before checking out. Try to offer products that set your business apart, such as locally-crafted cards, candles, or baked goods. These types of items sell a lot higher and speak to your customer who is most likely looking for something local and unique (like you!).
The way you arrange the products in your catalog determines the first impression your customers will get of your business as a whole. Our merchandising team, using data from thousands of customer's behavior around the US, offers the following suggestions when sorting your products in the Catalog tab of your Dashboard:
- Stick with what works: If your best sellers average around $65, make sure the first 25 products in your catalog are within $30-40 of that price.
- Give them what they want: Make sure your 3 best sellers are listed within the first 6 products. You can see which products you sell most often by going to the Merchandising Center on your Dashboard.
- Think of your catalog as a collection: Stay on brand by designing a cohesive collection of products that will catch a customer’s eye. One way to test your success: look at your storefront and ask yourself it looks like it’s from one company.
- Tell a color story: Keep your catalog easy on the eye by generally grouping arrangements by color and moving from dark to light.
- Keep it fresh: Don’t let your repeat customer get tired of ordering the same thing again and again. Add new designs and take older, under-performing ones down, periodically.
- Stay with the times: Change your catalog seasonally so that you’re only offering flowers that are available and in-season. Double check your catalog to make sure the color palette looks seasonally appropriate as well. Disable designs with materials that are unavailable and request a stock catalog update with each new season (if you use one).
- Watch the trends: You don’t have to abandon your style entirely every time an internet celebrity decides anemones are the new big thing, but do try to keep an eye on what’s popular and work it into your own aesthetic (where it makes sense).