With the monolithic ecommerce site Amazon launching in Australia this week we ask the question: Should Australian florists be worried about losing more of their market from Amazon? Everyone knows of Amazon as the huge ecommerce giant from the States where you can buy books, music electronics and just about anything else in between. But many don't know that Amazon also sell flowers online though their website.
The flowers are generally pre-budding stems that that have been boxed and packaged for easy distribution and transport and are not the elaborate arrangements most online florists sell. The pre-boxed flower model has emerged in the UK and USA to various levels of success. There has been significant venture capital interest but not a lot of consumer interest. The boxed flowers for home use such as grower to consumer direct have had a higher take up, but not the flowers sent in boxes as gifts. There are downsides of the Amazon model, you can't do same day delivery nor can you choose the actual delivery date. But for some people sending a floral gift, the delivery date isn't always important.
The question though is should Australian Florists be concerned about Amazon and their flower delivery.
The answer I believe is both YES and NO. Yes because anytime Amazon has entered a new market they take away market share from someone else. They have incredibly deep pockets to buy into markets and have a track record of using their clout and money to steam roll competitors. If you are a new ecommerce florist selling boxed flower arrangements without worry of a delivery date or time then yes you should be very concerned. They already have half the population signed up as account members and can use that clout and marketing reach to sell Boxed Mother's Day or Valentine's Day gifts.
If you are a suburban or rural florist that sells flowers in a traditional delivery model (date chosen for a specific event) then you shouldn't be concerned yet. Consumers will still want to send amazing flowers that are presented beautifully, choosing the date of delivery.That model is simply not going to go away anytime soon. It's unlikely that Amazon is going to enter the market of choose a date floral arrangements that require floristry skill to create. Their entire model is warehousing of packages that can be picked from a shelf and sent quickly and without having to worry about chasing recipients. However, we should never underestimate Amazon and their future plans. We know they are planning on taking on the grocery market and they are getting better and more advanced for delivery times and dates.
So whilst there is no threat at this moment I strongly believe that in the future they may be another disruptive player in an already disrupted floristry market.