How to sell more flowers or plants? A question that is always on growers', wholesalers', and florists' mind. During a conference at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Morel possible retail ideas from the fashion world were discussed by Hélène Lafourcade of Good 2 Know, a French agency in global merchandising. “Business is not dead, but boring business is to disappear”, is her motto.
Hélène Lafourcade during the conference of Morel's 100th anniversary.
“Customers do not buy products, but they buy emotion, as Steve Jobs once said. This is something we have to do in the shops. Story telling is a great way to develop emotions and increase sales. It also creates word of mouth which makes them return to the shop. Customers remember the emotion where they bought it. This is about the physical store, but there is also competition on the internet. Having a store, you have to compete with the internet and attract them with added value.”
“Do you think the name of the variety can communicate such a sort of emotion? Make use of it. It is important in story-telling to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. A name needs to evoke enough to bring people in the store. If people do not understand the name, it doesn't work.”
Here you feel that you are in the factory where they create the coffee.
Fashion and museums
Hélène has 25 years of experience in fashion marketing. She says that the floriculture sector can learn a lot from the fashion industry. “At one point fashion became art. Andy Warhol was right, saying that ‘all department stores will become museums and museums will become department stores.’ The Louis Vuitton flagship store in Paris for example, where consumers can immerse themselves in the world of the brand. Or Samsung 837 in New York. They don’t even sell products, they just sell the story. There, consumers get coffee, see and try out the products. A bit like a museum. Why can we not do this with flowers? In the stores of the future it is all about having fun and thinking about the brand that is giving the experience.”
The issue of reaching the millennials was also discussed. Essential is to get to know their interests and preferences. What plants do they like? How do they like it to be presented? “New generations like to mix physical and digital in their buying behavior. They mix internet shopping and buying in physical stores. Ask yourself: have I met the end consumer’s needs? Get as much arguments to get them back.” Hélène emphasized that social media, mainly Instagram, have become vital for both approaching costumers and to really know their needs.”
In both stores, just a few products are on display The complete assortment can be found on the internet. At made.com, they also use augmented reality to show the furniture in the customers' room.