“We started an online platform in 2017 with which florists can source their flowers faster and fresher than local wholesalers traditionally can,” says Wilfred de Wit, Founder and CEO of iBuyFlowers. De Wit’s company is an online B2B flower wholesaler connecting over 50 international growers with US floral professionals. “While 2020 was a challenging year for us as well due to the cancellation of events, we have been growing immensely again.” In this article, De Wit explains what makes his company so successful that sometimes even other wholesalers are asking for their help.
Wilfred de Wit
“There has to be a faster way”
De Wit explains that he has always been working in the floriculture industry, which has inspired the idea for the B2B company. “I had my own Ecuadorian nursery, and because of my experience I knew exactly how long it took for flowers to arrive to the customer. I figured there had to be a way to shorten the traditional logistical chain. That is why I started the online platform, where we have over 50 growers in our system and our flowers ship directly from farms around the world to the doorstep of the customer’s location through our business partner FedEx. Because we are providing this direct connection, we are able to send flowers faster than people are used to.”
Advantages for growers and florists
According to De Wit, there are benefits for both the grower and the florist receiving the flowers. “The growers we partner with know that they get paid quickly and can be certain that they are getting their money from us. We are also able to pay them a bit more than other wholesalers do, which is of course beneficial for the grower. The 1500+ companies who receive our flowers are about 50% florists and 50% wedding and event planners. Because we can provide the flowers faster, they will receive flowers that are of better quality. In addition, it is helpful for event planners that they can go online and six months in advance and see the extended available number of varieties and prices right there on the website.”
A younger generation of florists
In 2021, iBuyFlowers’ overall sales have been growing 133% compared to last year, and a couple of weeks ago they saw a weekly sales growth of 220%. De Wit explains that part of the reason of their increasing demand is the younger generation of florists that has been stepping in these past years, and who are doing much more online than the older generations did. “And because of the relationship we build with our growers, we are sometimes able to deliver flowers that other wholesalers can’t. The other week, for example, there was a big $200,000 wedding happening here in the US. Yet the wholesaler informed his client that they weren’t able to provide the flowers 5 days before the wedding. We stepped in and were able to deliver all of the flowers, except for one box. With the current demand for flowers, that certainty is what our customers are looking for.”
Interested US floral professionals can go to www.ibuyflowers.com for more information, and to create a free online account.
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Wilfred de Wit