BloomNation – aka “the Etsy for flowers” – is changing the way we buy flowers online for the better (the way better).
There are many things that make BloomNation a powerhouse in the flower industry. For one thing, they have one of the coolest start-up stories ever: The initial funding for the operation came from a poker tournament they entered – and won. For another, they’re making the experience of buying flowers online unique and personal by cutting out the middlemen who make it otherwise.
But most importantly, they’re disrupting the online flower biz by giving local florists the proper platform to showcase their talents, and giving us the opportunity to buy from them directly. Thanks to BloomNation, local florists saw up to a 250 percent increase last Mother’s Day alone.
As someone who refuses to buy flowers online (thanks to icky experiences I’ve had doing so in the past), I’m uber-excited for BloomNation to make their way to Canada (hint, hint). Here’s why:
1. They support the little guy.
BloomNation has become known as “the Etsy for flowers,” allowing you to buy flowers online from top floral designers who hand-craft unique one-of-a-kind arrangements. The platform doesn’t have fees – they take only about 10 percent of florist sales, which is inline with other online marketplaces (like Amazon). Their competitors, on the other hand, take 40 percent.
2. They’re taking what’s broken about the online flower biz – and fixing it.
Instead of stewing over their bad experiences when buying flowers online, co-founders Farbod Shoraka, David Daneshgar and Gregg Weisstein decided to do something about it. Aside from the fee-gouging, competitors don’t allow you to see what’s locally available by the florist, nor do they allow you to choose the florist that will create your bouquet. There’s a disconnect between the person wanting to buy flowers online, and the florist “assigned” to create the arrangement.
“The images you see on their site have no reflection of the florists’ creativity, availability, or talent,” says Shoraka. “When you buy flowers online, your order can be sent to a florist who has horrible reviews, bad service, and doesn’t even have the flowers in the bouquet you ordered.”
Oy to the vey, and it gets worse: “At the same end, the florist has no idea who you are, as those services don’t reveal any information about the customer to the florist. In the eyes of the florist, you’re not their customer, but just an order they have to fulfill.” There’s no incentive for them to do a good job because there’s no chance you’ll come back as a repeat customer.
Long story short, BloomNation has changed all that.
3. They’ve made the experience of buying flowers personal again.
Let’s be honest: The process of shopping online is impersonal. It’s convenient, sure, but it’s got that whole stock photography, no-face-behind-the-name thing going on. This is especially true when you try to buy flowers online… well, thankfully not anymore. When you buy an arrangement through BloomNation, you can trust that your recipient will receive exactly what’s in the picture – you know, unlike the old days where you’d have to cross your fingers and hope for the best.
Through BloomNation, florists get to strut their stuff by showing off unique designs (no cookie-cutter arrangements, no stock photos). Even their deliveries are personalized: Florists offer same-day hand delivery (in other words, no box) so the recipient doesn’t have to do any prep work for their gift.
4. They’re innovative.
Besides allowing florists full creative control over their creations, they also help foster a connection between florist and consumer. The photos are supplied by the florists themselves so you can rest assured your gift will come out the way it’s supposed to – and just to be sure, they have an exclusive feature called “BloomSnap,” which is their “snapchat for flowers,” where you get a sneak peak of your gift before it heads to your recipient.
Oh yeah, and they’re the first in the biz to accept bitcoin. You know, no biggie.
What’s next for BloomNation? “Our next venture is to continue adding top floral designers across the country and beyond,” says Shoraka. “We have so much interest from florists all over the world to open up our marketplace outside the US that we’ll eventually roll out BloomNation to multiple countries.”
My bitcoin and I will be waiting.
Do you buy flowers online? Why or why not?
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