Victoria sits in her green and red plaid flannel pajamas, pondering where to find classic “Ball” brand canning jars to use as floral containers. Suddenly, she receives a message on her tablet. The local market is offering a special on “Ball” jars, first manufactured in 1884. What year is this? It is 2013, where the mobile device revolution and all things vintage collide.
Container suppliers predicted the vintage look would come of age in 2012, and they were right. Look for the vintage age to translate to real sales dollars, and be aware of the following trends that will affect your business in 2013.
Vintage. Consumers are looking for anything that reminds them of slower, more stable times. Clothing stores and home accessory retailers are now catering to the vintage movement. “Ball” jars, bottles, pedestal vases, milk glass, terrariums and whatever looks old and earthy will be used for flower vases. Get them on your shelves and they will sell.
Environmental consciousness. Recent studies suggest that nine out of 10 consumers consider themselves ecologically conscious. No one fits this category better than consumers of flowers. Let your customers know glassware is among the top recyclable products. Offer containers made of glass and other natural materials and you will win them over.
Buying local. Buyers surveyed in late 2012 indicated they value local products over organic ones. They now believe buying local produces a smaller carbon footprint. It’s important that much of the floral vase supply is made in the United States. Push buy local and let them know your vases are made here.
Smaller will be bigger. The fiscal cliff crisis, coupled with uncertain global economics, has everyone watching their pocketbooks. Demand for smaller containers to fill smaller price points will be high in 2013.
Where people shop. Don’t use last year’s figures to determine your vase inventory for 2013. More consumers are turning to supermarkets to meet their floral needs. According to the Society of American Florists, 53 percent of the flowers purchased for Valentine’s Day in 2012 were bought at supermarkets. In 2011 it was 46 percent. The 2013 number could reach 60 percent.
V-Day is on a sweet day. According to industry statistics, Valentine’s Day sales account for up to 25 percent of a floral shop’s business. History suggests sales are higher when Valentine’s Day lands on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. In 2013, it will occur on a Thursday. Capitalize on your biggest sales day of the year. Demand will be strong.
Import vase availability. Although a tentative agreement averted a strike among East Coast dock workers, a work stoppage could occur if a permanent deal is not sealed. In the event of a strike, if you have import vases en route, they could be delayed. Shippers are looking to re-route delayed shipments to the West Coast, which ultimately would create a bottleneck. Be prepared with a back-up plan.
The mobile device revolution. In the past year alone, smartphone users have increased 19 percent; tablet users, 61 percent. Forward-thinking marketers are growing their floral sales by communicating via these means.
Kelvin Frye is national sales manager for emerging markets at Syndicate Sales in Kokomo, IN. He can be reached at 765/457-7277 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.