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How can we make millennials purchase flowers again?

In the first of a series of articles detailing the results of a new study from AFE and the Floral Marketing Research Fund (FMRF), called “Marketing Tactics to Increase Millennial Floral Purchases,” major purchasing barriers for millennials and specific ways to overcome those barriers are featured.

Understanding millennials’ purchasing behaviors can help you develop strategies to minimize barriers and increase profits.

What are the Purchasing Barriers?

Millennial consumers have several main reasons that reduce their likelihood of purchasing floral products. Most millennials surveyed do not purchase floral products due to perceptions of them being expensive, as well as their perceived short life span.

Another purchasing barrier is that many millennial consumers believe floral products do not survive well in their homes due to air conditioning, pets and other factors. Approximately 12% of survey respondents admit they do not know how to care for flowers properly, as well.

Price is the major barrier for about 75% of millennial consumers. Although most men and women both agree that cost is a major purchasing barrier, more women agree with this than men.

These results may reflect different product uses. For example, women may purchase floral products for themselves as well as gifts for others; however, a larger portion of men may only purchase floral products as gifts.

Overcoming the Barriers

To overcome these major purchasing barriers, floral businesses must improve millennials’ overall experiences with floral products. The following are specific ways to overcome the barriers:

Sales Promotions: Respondents indicated that they would purchase more floral products if they received price-related promotions (discounts, coupons, etc.). Specifically, discount prices are preferred the most by millennials.

They also prefer in-store coupons and “buy two, get one” or BOGO deals. About 27% of respondents indicated they prefer online coupons, 23% prefer a loyalty-based program, and 21% prefer receiving a free upgrade.

Ease of Care and Maintenance: Practices can be implemented to educate and improve millennial consumers’ care of floral products, and thus increase flowers’ longevity. The top way to do so is provide clear instructions on plant/flower labels and signs. Other ways include providing free flower food with purchases, a beginner’s flower pack with everything pre-prepared, and an auto-feeding device, which automatically releases nutrients to the flowers.

By providing proper care instructions, millennial customers have better experiences, which results in positive feelings toward the business, their products and potentially results in return visits and purchases.

Improving Relevance of Floral Products: Millennial consumers indicated that the primary way to improve floral products’ relevance is having more benefits associated with flowers, including environmental and health benefits. Another way to improve relevance is to make the purchasing experience more fun and enjoyable.

Giving millennials more reasons to send floral products and making the products more visible and conveniently located increased relevance, as well. The floral industry can also offer a variety of diverse products and demonstrate how flowers are an important part of modern lifestyles. If floral products became trendier and more visible in the media, millennials would also perceive them as more relevant.

Improving Engagement with Floral Products: The report reveals that millennial consumers perceive floral products as experience-oriented. Therefore, improved engagement could increase millennials’ enjoyment of floral products and ultimately result in more purchases. Millennial consumers indicated that the primary way to improve their engagement was for floral shops to have fun activities for them in store.

They also specified that arranging their own bouquets, designing their own packaging and attending in-store events would improve their engagement. Floral shops partnering with other businesses or being visible at important events (e.g. promotions, sponsorships, flower trucks) and on social media improved their engagement, too.

Millennials are key players in the floral industry’s future as they are finishing college, entering the job market, and have more purchasing power than in previous years.

Most millennial consumers have positive attitudes toward floral products, but they have perceptions of flowers being too costly and having short longevity. As such, offering financial incentives can be effective to attract millennial consumers, and there are many other opportunities to improve floral products’ shelf life, ease of care, relevance and engagement.

This study was conducted by Dr. Chengyan Yue of the University of Minnesota and sponsored by Asocolflores. More than 3,000 U.S. millennials between the ages of 18 and 40 years old were surveyed on their preferences and barriers for purchasing flowers.

You can download the FREE report at

Publication date: 3/31/2017



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It's a challenge marketing to millennials. Especially when it comes to luxury/non-essential items like flowers. They are a bit more utilitarian. Plants are a little easier to market to them. It gives us all something to work on.

Flower Shop, Battle Creek, USA - 10/17/2017 1:15:53 AM

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