Floriexpo brings together mass-market floral buyers to explore their options with everything from fresh cut flowers to potted plants to containers and more. These buyers have a variety of needs as they look to move their departments forward, many of which were discussed during an Exhibitor Workshop which brought together buyers from across the country.
Moderated by Cindy Hanauer, buyers mentioned that two of the most important things to them with suppliers are agility and communication. Stores are making changes and accepting things in a way they never would have before the pandemic, reinforcing why communication is so essential. Buyers need to know what it or isn’t coming their way which is why bad news can’t be delayed. They also mentioned that the workforce and cost challenges that suppliers are struggling with are the same ones buyers are working through, highlighting how open communication can ease such challenges.
Another topic focused on consumer behavior and the way in which certain products are marketed, with buyers mentioning that consumers make purchases on account of emotion, reinforcing messaging of flowers as a lifestyle. Price increases have impacted how this message can be positioned but buyers are focused on keeping the value and need products that can support them in those efforts. Something priced at $10.99 needs to look like $10.99 and not $6.99.
Multiple buyers mentioned the importance of variety and how they need to see products at different price points. Stores that might only be minutes away can sell similar items at wildly different prices, highlighting their need to have options with pricing and positioning. However, buyers also need to move product and are focused on the turns.
“I’d rather have a quick dime than a slow quarter,” said one of the buyers.
The interactive session featured questions from the audience and one asked what is ultimately most important to certain buyers. Is it a product that makes them unique? Or a price point? Or something with logistics? The answer is everything because of how many different needs they have and how those needs continue to change. It’s also important to not just show them what you think they want to see.
The final talking point further explored how suppliers can best meet the needs of buyers and the connections that suppliers can make to the consumers were highlighted. It resonates with buyers when they’ve seen a person has actually been in their store and that they’re looking at it from a customer perspective.
The panel with more than 100 years of collective retail experience helped attendees understand all of these topics and also explored the organic growth of the industry, the importance of eco-friendly products and how margins translate into dollars, all of which were further talked through on the exhibit floor of Floriexpo.