As the old Chinese proverb goes, “There’s only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.”
As we hop out of Easter, we have another great opportunity for a mother lode of sales and profits before the Fall season-Mother’s Day 2021. With effective ordering, merchandising, and salesmanship through this year’s pandemic, each business will be able to hold court as the “prettiest child” among some of the best marketers in the country.
The good news is that public demand for plants and flowers is at an all-time high! But without a doubt, we have new challenges that are hitting us from all sides: product availability, higher costs, labor shortages, and building new touch-free strategies that make customers feel safe and secure. The additional challenge before us every year is re-energizing our store with fresh and unique Mother’s Day products so a customer who purchased Easter flowers for mom will be enticed six weeks later to purchase another floral gift for her.
Here are some ideas that will help create an upward trajectory for Mother’s Day 2021:
- Spring Clean!
There’s nothing worse than a flower shop that looks like a mashup of old Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Administrative Professionals Day, and Easter products weeks after the holidays are over. For every old product that’s still sitting in a store after its selling prime, valuable space is lost for new, seasonally relevant products that will drive sales and profits for Mother’s Day. Yes, there’s a financial loss when throwing away distressed merchandise; however, there’s a double loss of missed revenue and reduced profit dollars when unsellable products dominate a store’s primary space. If a product is dead, distressed, seasonally irrelevant, and cannot be converted to the season……let it go!
- Convert and Refresh!
A quick change-up of merchandise that’s still in good condition will refresh and uplift the store between holiday shipments. New pot covers, wraps, ribbons, balloons, and picks will make everything new again, and customers who previously would have walked by these items without a second glance will now look at them with new eyes.
- Early Shipping:
Ship holiday hard goods and enhancements early, so they’re available for the big conversion process the week following the previous holiday. The sooner all remaining sellable products are converted, the sooner those upgrade profits will be lifting that ever-so-important bottom line. Don’t forget to dig out any Mother’s Day back stock from previous years to keep inventory moving.
- Bigger Financial Opportunity:
Many people think Valentine’s Day offers the most sales potential, but that’s not the case- not by a wide margin. Only 54.9 percent of people celebrate Valentine’s Day while a whopping 84.2 percent celebrate Mother’s Day, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reports. But do Valentine shoppers spend more? Absolutely not! Valentine shoppers spend an average of $142 while Mother’s Day purchasers spend an average of $173, the NRF reveals. Mother’s Day in the United States is worth $21.2 billion, versus the value of Valentine’s Day sales at $18.9 billion.
- Plan Aggressively!
So, Mother’s Day must be approached even more aggressively than Valentine’s Day with a well-planned ordering budget. With Valentine’s Day 2021 having fallen on a Sunday, this is a perfect year to double down on Mother’s Day selling to regain sales that might have been lost due to a weekend holiday. How many $173 Mother’s Day gifts are in your store? Think about it! That’s the “average” Mother’s Day expenditure!
- The “Other” Mothers:
When ordering accessories and enhancements, be sure to include picks, cardettes, and balloons with sentiments for “other mothers” such as stepmothers, wives, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, godmothers, and friends. These gift choices will encourage multiple purchasing which is at an all-time high during the Mother’s Day holiday. Displays with an assortment of price-points will encourage multiple purchasing, called “bundling”, and will also increase average spend per customer.
- Expanded Gift Offerings:
Did you know that the NRF says 33.4 percent of the population will visit a department store rather than a florist for a Mother’s Day gift? The special gift services we provide in our stores mean the difference between a florist-purchase gift versus any other gift purchased in a department store. Do you custom-design? Shout it out! Do you gift wrap? Shout it out! Do you deliver? Shout it out!
- Tout Your Skills!
Expand signage and other promotional efforts at each customer “touch-point” within the store, displayed at least four weeks in advance for optimal effectiveness: front doors, outdoor displays, bag stuffers, service desk, website, employee badges, and many other areas. Be sure to list all of the special services that are offered in your store in addition to the beautiful products you sell.
- Greeting Cards?
The NRF reports that 80.0 percent of the population purchases greeting cards for Mother’s Day, making them the single most popular gift for the holiday. Flowers come in second in popularity at 67.2 percent. The fourth most popular Mother’s Day purchase is gift cards (a special outing is in third place). Do your greeting cards need to be refreshed?….. how about candy?….. how about gift cards?
- Expand Tough-Free Selling:
Create a social media plan with your marketing department to make sure customers are engaged, interactive, and ultimately inspired to purchase Mother’s Day gifts from your store. Customers will be looking for your touch-free plan to keep them safe. Try using your front sidewalk or parking lot to create drive-through ordering and pick-up. How about calling it your Mother’s Day Drive-BUY!
Interested in other best practices to support and market YOUR floral business?
- Check out this Floral Connect Free Webinar – Kick-Start Your Business! NEW Ideas to Rethink, Reinvigorate, React and Reinvent in 2021! moderated by Cindy Hanauer along with Erin Caird, Director of Sales and Marketing at Por La Mar Nursery, and Glenna Hecht, President and Founder of Humanistic Consulting.
- See Cindy’s other articles on preparing for the holidays:
By Cindy Hanauer, Trustee Emeritus; American Floral Endowment