February 17, 2014

The Out-the-Door Flower Shop

Wine not included [Photo Courtesy: proflowers.com]

Have you ever noticed that when you are buying flowers online, the prices you see when you are browsing the options are always quite different than what you actually pay when you complete the transaction? Of course we just passed Valentine's Day, but this holds true at other flower-sending occasions such as birthdays, Mother's Day, get-well soon/illnesses, funerals, Easter and more.

Once you've selected your choice you often don't get hit with the other charges until checkout. Somtimes it costs a little extra for various things, such as:

  • The flowers in a vase
  • A card with your flowers
  • The flowers to be delievered by a florist
  • The flowers to be delivered by FedEx or UPS
  • The flowers to be delivered on a Saturday or holiday
  • The flowers to be delivered by noon
  • A mystery "service fee"
  • A mystery "handling fee"
  • The flowers to be alive
  • The flowers not to have any thorns or bees

A business certainly should be entitled to try to make a profit. I'm okay with that. My issue is that I would rather know what everything's going to cost up front. Perhaps the flower companies know that many people are in a hurry when they are ordering flowers, so maybe they won't shop around too much. You know, if tomorrow's [insert your favorite holiday here], then you need to order now. Or if Great Aunt Bertha whom you've never met just died, and the funeral is 1,000 miles away, you need to order ASAP.

So here's my brilliant idea for a business venture. I'm just offering the concept; it's up to someone out there to actually make it happen. It's called The Out-the-Door Flower Shop. It's just like your typical online flower place such as FTD. But when you are browsing the various floral options, you'll see the out-the-door, final, no questions asked price for each one. When you make your choice, that same price shows up in your virtual shopping cart when it's time to check out.

If you look at FTD's service and shipping fee page, there about a zillion different variables that affect the cost, including when you order things that are "highly perishable," which sounds highly amusing. The Out-the-Door Flower Shop wouldn't need a page like this. Maybe every item would just have one flat shipping rate factored into the prices you see no matter where or when you are shipping.

Is this a sustainable business plan?


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