The local flower shop is one retail operation which has translated well to the Internet. From the hundreds and hundreds of local florists (such as www.bloomery.com) to the huge players like FTD and 800–Flowers, websites have made it easier than ever to send flowers to friends and family. But our business to consumer website is not the only way florists are embracing the Internet.
Before you could get “whatever it is” at eBay, we florists could participate in online Dutch auctions held in Holland, Miami and California. The end result is better selection and higher quality for the floral consumer. There are several private forum sites where florists gather to exchange tips and commiserate, and www.floristblogs.com has a growing roster of prominant florists blogging for consumer benefit.
The latest installment J Schwenke’s JTV, a subscription site for online training of the latest techniques. J presents his lessons in 10–15 minute videocasts (or webisodes, or blogscasts, or whatever you want to call them). J is a very talented designer who should be kept far away from caffeine. Incidentally, J trained at the Phil Rulloda school, and you’ll find their blog at http://floristblogs.com/blogs/avant_gardens/default.aspx.
For a long time, “vertical integration” was one of the big buzzwords surrounding Internet business. The floral industry is one where, while it’s taken time to get here, is pretty integrated from top to bottom, and left to right.