Chris Beals, CEO of Komet Sales:

"Drive sales with frictionless ecommerce experiences"

In the drive to create seamless ecommerce experiences, the smallest details matter.

How many clicks does it take to check out? One too many and the cart could be abandoned.

Are retailers properly providing up-sell opportunities and presenting items in a way that accommodates how consumers shop? The right visual merchandising techniques could lead to significant increases in average sales.

Do business-to-business (B2B) sites nurture online sales by strengthening customer relationships? Without opportunities to automate new relationships and drive customers online, sales opportunities might be missed.

These are just a few of the myriad questions floral industry executives should be considering as they seek to drive online sales in both the business-to-consumer and B2B markets, says Chris Beals, who recently became CEO of Komet Sales. Those who fail to think of the minutia risk having barriers that hinder capturing and converting online buyers, he says.

Chris Beals, CEO of Komet Sales

Beals, a seasoned ecommerce executive and the former CEO of leading online cannabis marketplace Weedmaps, will lead two sessions on building strong websites that drive sales at SAF Phoenix 2023, the Society of American Florists’ annual convention, Sept. 6-9. “Frictionless E-Commerce: Secrets of High-Performing Websites” is tailored for retailers, and “B2B Hacks to Drive Online Sales,” is designed for floral suppliers. Beals will pull from his experience at Weedmaps, where he discovered best practices for maximizing efficiencies, reducing friction, motivating sales teams and increasing customer loyalty.

Positioning Inventory
Just as in the cannabis industry, floral customers are often resistant to high priced items, Beals says. This dynamic calls for using the optimization techniques to ensure those higher priced items are purchased which he’ll share with attendees in Phoenix.

He also notes that both industries are faced with a significant number of stock keeping units (SKUs) due to having one product comprised of many individual items and inventory variability. This problem manifests in the floral industry when a florist runs out of a specific flower that is needed for a stock recipe. Beals will share his solutions for that perennial problem.

Better Shopping Cart Experiences
While Beals has a long list of ways to boost ecommerce among retail florists, one of the most important is reducing the friction customers encounter as they add to their cart and checkout. Read: preventing shopping cart abandonment and easing the ability for customers to increase the quantity of items or add additional items.

“How do you make it as drop dead simple to amend, edit or upgrade your cart?” Beals says.

Then, he says, it’s important to get the customer to the final purchase button as quickly as possible without requiring too many clicks.

Building Online Relationships
On the B2B side, Beals says suppliers can leverage their online buying platform to complement the salesperson’s effort to build customer relationships.

By embedding ecommerce into everything and using scaled marketing strategies, the “funnel” can be widened to including self-onboarding of new customers, he says.

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