Florist Business

Why are local florists falling behind the multi-nationals technologically?

Why are local florists falling behind the multi-nationals technologically?

Why are local florists falling behind the multi-nationals technologically?

Sep 7, 2022

In a world that allows you to order anything you want with the click of a button, it's no surprise that the florists have had to make some changes in the way they do business to keep up with the expectations of customer. However, many local florists are struggling to keep up with the multinational companies that possess the ability to quickly adopting new technologies, or, at least a much quicker rate than they're available to local florists. We'll take a look at what the changes are, why multinational companies are able to keep up with the demand and more importantly, what you and your business can do to keep up with the ever-changing digital environment.

Floristry as an industry is changing

Simply put, local retail florists have not been able to keep up with the technical advancements multi-national florist brands have been pioneering for the last 10 years. Whether it be in how customers are communicated with, or how ordered are created, or even next-level innovations that we are only on the curve of, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Large Language Models (LLMs)

One example of the biggest examples of disparity is e-commerce investment. Over the last few years, online-only florists have have a rapid surge in popularity - which is hugely in part to the technology they're using to help scale-up their businesses. The vast majority of websites local florists are using, either have no e-commerce ability at all, or are using systems that don't allow the degree of flexibility and customisation available to multi-nationals. E-commerce capabilities available to these giants, result in local florists losing out because a significant number of them don't have an online presence, with many who do, relying on their competitors to handle it for them, usually giving their competitors a fixed amount of their revenue, which they can then spend on furthering their marketshare in your area, reducing the amount of direct sales you can make.

Additionally, customers are looking for more than just flowers when they order – they want unique arrangements and personalised service, with step-by-step updates of their updates. Multi-nationals are able to offer this because they have the resources to invest in cutting-edge technology and hire top talent to help revolutionise and streamline their operations. Local florists need to adapt their approach, and be smart about important decisions if they want to stop large companies from taking over the market share in their local area.

The rise of the multi-nationals

The rise of the multi-nationals has been a boon for the floral industry. These companies have invested heavily in technology, which has allowed them to streamline their operations and offer a wider range of products and services at margins local florists cannot compete with.

There are several reasons for this. Firstly, local florists tend to be small businesses, with limited resources. They simply can't afford to invest in the same kind of cutting-edge technology as their larger counterparts. Secondly, local florists are often family-run businesses, which can make it difficult to change the way they operate although companies such as Digital Florists are aiming to make it as simple as possible to move to a new, modern system to run their business. Local Florists may be reluctant to embrace new technologies, because they either have rightly placed fears that, either, it will upend their business model and disrupt their traditional way of doing things, they've had negative experiences using/moving to new software in the past, or, they just don't think there's much benefit to digitising their business.

Finally, multi nationals have the advantage of economies of scale. They can spread the cost of new technology investments across their entire operations, whereas local florists if they wanted to build systems to the same extent as the multi-national florists, would typically have to bear the entire cost themselves unless they were willing to sacrifice significantly on quality. This has historically made it very difficult for local businesses to keep up with the latest innovations, such as delivery notifications, step-by-step order flows, route planning, etc.

The decline of the local florist

The primary reason for the decline of local florists is the rise of online floral retailers and supermarkets that are increasingly releasing products which rival local florists in terms of quality. These companies have been able to undercut the prices of local florists by selling directly to consumers and bypassing the traditional wholesale market. In addition, they have invested heavily in marketing and advertising, which has helped them to build a national (or international) brand presence. As a result, local florists have seen their market share dwindle in recent years.

Another factor that has that is likely to hit local florists harder, is the upcoming cost of living crisis, and the potential for a recession. During economic downturns, people are typically less willing to spend money on luxury items like flowers, which is why improving business productivity and streamlining boring admin processes, are more important now than ever.

What can local florists do to catch up?

In order to keep up with the changing floristry industry, local florists need to be willing to change with it. This means being willing to embrace new technologies, processes, and ways of doing business. It also means being open to new ideas and concepts, even if they are outside of the traditional floral industry.

One way that local florists can catch up is by investing in technology. This includes things like point-of-sale systems that can help streamline the ordering process, delivery apps for their drivers, or technology to help with the full cycle of the wedding process, from quotation to the big day. Florists should also consider investing in social media marketing, as this is a great way to reach out to potential customers and build a following.

Another way that local florists can stay competitive is by offering unique services that supermarkets and online florists cannot match. This could include things like custom arrangements, personalised delivery services, or even event planning. By offering something that the competition does not, or cannot do well at scale, local florists can set themselves apart and attract more business.


If you want our assistance with improving the technology within your store, register your interest today, and we will reach out to help you understand what Digital Florists offers, and, whether we think it can improve your businesses operations.

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Our aim is to provide a modern, adaptive software to florists that is regularly improving. Florists have been stuck with feedback not being acted upon by vendors for too long. By offering a freshly designed, easy-to-use software solution that can modernise your business, not keep it in the past, we hope that friendly competition focused on product development will help innovation among the other software products — improving the quality of software for all florists, for the better even if you choose another solution.

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