How To Sell Flowers Online – Start a Floral Business in India
How to start an online flower/florist business in India?
Flowers are one of the most sought gifts for all occasions! They are also used for decoration during numerous festivals and celebrations. Hope this article will act as a comprehensive guide to start a floral business and sell flowers online.
Online florists are mostly searched for the purpose of sending flower and gift bouquets to the loved ones on special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays and most importantly on Valentine ’s Day!
Nevertheless, it needs careful planning, advertising and execution for starting and running an online flower business in India.
To sell flower online you need to have a platform where you can display your products. There are a lot of pre-built eCommerce stores that help you sell in the virtual world. If you are planning to hire a web developer/ designer to build a virtual store for you, I recommend you take a step back and re-evaluate your decision. It’s good to have a custom platform designed to meet your desire, but as a startup, you need to consider the cots involved. Don’t you think its ideal to start with a platform that serves everything you need to sell online?
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How To Start A Floral Business From Home
Do you have a fondness for flowers? Hell ya, Who does not have, isn’t it. Every one love flowers. That’s the best reason why people buy flowers in bulk and decorate their special occasions with it. In India, people prefer to garnish their wedding, parties, engagement, etc with authentic flowers. The floral business is at its peak in India. Flowers like Lisianthus, Gloriosa, Tulips, Kadupul, etc are sold in the market at a high price.
To start a floral business from home you need to first identify the demand for the products that you are planning to sell. A clear vision to target a specific segment of the market will be an ideal strategy to start with. Let’s consider it like this, you are planning to sell the most exotic flowers in the world. In a demand-driven luxury market, the price won’t be a problem. People are ready to write a heavy check (if and only if you have the right product). Coming back to the point target market. It’s vapid to target the whole market if you are planning to sell flowers that are at a premium price. Once you are through with the market and the segment you are planning to target, then it becomes easier to position your business establishment.
Planning to start a home based floral business
- Select a domain that suits your business (make sure that the domain is short and it resonates with the business)
- Decide whether you are planning to start with a combination of brick and mortar business model of a purely home based business
- Learn and understand the floral industry
- Find the right eCommerce platform to setup an online flower store
- If your idea is to start a home based business, start looking for a list of dropshippers who are ready to ship products when the demand arises. Read this article to learn how dropshipping works.
- Make sure that you have a dedicated place to store your delicate inventory (flowers are quite delicate)
- Find the right partner to source these delicate goods and a logistics partner to deliver it to the end customer once the order is placed.
So now you have an idea of how to start a home based floral business.
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Things that you would need
Like any other store, there are some basic aspects that need to be taken care of before starting an online flower business in India. First is the license to operate a flower store in India. Consult with the local CA to know about the licenses and permissions required to operate such a store. You will need a physical store/warehouse from where you will be operating the online flower business.
Basically you would require shop license to run the establishment and TIN number to pay the taxes.
Other necessary licenses will also need to be in place before initiation of the shop. Next is to identify the places from where flowers and other related gifts can be obtained at a minimal price.
What Kind of Floral Business should I Start With
It purely depends on what you have in your mind, who you are planning to target. If your objective is to penetrate a foreign market with a local product then you need to have strong strategy that supports your end goal. Lets break it down to few question;
- What would be the demand for the expatriate product in the foreign land.
- How am I going to create awareness among the target audience.
- What variety of a floral ecstasy is enjoyed in the market.
There exists a lot more complex questions that you need to ask yourself. Since I have established a strong foot reflecting the need to have a customer persona, I believe it’s time to introduce the importance of having a customer centric strategy. A customer centric strategy helps you to put the customer first. To think, interact, and understand what the audience wants, more that what you think is ideal for the customer. Once you have the information/ knowledge then it becomes easy for you to design and optimise the strategies. Elevating the effectiveness and the impact.
It could be as simple as this. Consider that a majority of your target audience preferred tulips to garnish their special occasions. Then make sure that you design your website in a way that the tulips are emphasised on the pages.
Start with a Local Market
It’s best if you start with a small market and then come-up with a plan to expand. As a newbie you may not be familiar with the market pulse and the how if operates. A trail and error n the local market place will give you a glimpse of what seems to work best in that market and frame few outstanding strategies to conquer the segment with your delicate flowers.
If you are planning to sell flowers from home, then I recommend you get active within the local community. Most people fails to ignore the importance of providing an omni-channel presence. Give people an opportunity to know about your business model.
Few strategies to promote your online floral shop;
Reach out to Local Restaurants
Most restaurants give utmost importunate to the ambience they provide. What better way than to decorate the place with lively flowers. Make sure you give them a good discount and force them to place the flowers in a bowl with your brand embroiled on it. You get a sale and a brand promotion.
Be active in the local market. Book a slot to display your delicate products. Their is a high probability that you will get some good leads/ sales and most of the people will be attracted to your store. To the least they will be interested to take a look at what you offer. Considering what you offer will trigger curiosity among people.
Participate in Local Flower Shows
Like I said be active in local flower shows. Don’t let go an opportunity to promote your products among the audience.
Delivery: the most important step!
Once these are in place, you will need to meticulously plan the execution of the orders that would be generated. You will first need to identify the radius of the operation (places that you will deliver the flowers) and then work upon the methods of fulfilling these deliveries.
Rather than employing delivery boys and investing on vehicles needed for delivery, it is more feasible to employ the services of logistic companies such as Delhivery, Gojavas, Peppertap, Aramex, etc. Ofcourse,
If you want to set up the brand from day one and have sufficient funding to do so, you can have your own delivery fleet.
The eCommerce portal
Online stores need a robust online portal through which the orders will be obtained. Such a store should have an attractive theme while being simple to use. On the backend, it should be much easier for you to update the stock and make necessary changes in the product listings without any hassles.
eCommerce portals such as Shopnix offers such easy-to-operate online stores which can be set-up in minutes.
It is advisable to look at some of the online portals which are already in this space to get an idea about how this concept works. Some of the major players include floraindia (which offers same day and midnight delivery), ferns N petals (which offers delivery within 4 hours) and indianonlineflorists.com.
Although there are several players already in this field, there will always be a demand for a online flower store which delivers quality flowers, beautifully arranged and always on time! So if you have the passion for it, go ahead and explore!