The difference between profitability and loss in online florist websites

Published: Tuesday 21 May 2019

The difference between profitability and loss in online florist websites

There is a fine line between making money and making a profit in any business. Chasing revenue online may be a gentle salve for the mind but revenue does not equal profit.

This is also extremely important advice for florists especially florists selling online.

Not marketing for your delivery locations

One of the biggest mistakes I see new florists make is not properly targeting their marketing to their delivery locations.

It makes no sense if you have to relay a $100 order to another florist if it costs you more to relay than you actually make.

How much does a $100 bouquet actually cost to sell and deliver?

To understand this equation let’s break down the actual cost of say a $100 bouquet of flowers.

Actual Flower Cost:


Time: call it 15 minutes let’s say $15 (this includes tax, benefits and other employment costs)




Credit Card Fees 3%:


Advertising / SEO Costs:



Total Cost:


Which means your margin is 12% or $12

Believe it or not this is a realistic breakdown of the cost of an order although the margin is probably lower than normal.

So if you take out the costs of the flowers, delivery and making your actual costs are $23 for the sale.

So you have $77 dollars to get another florist to make and deliver the order JUST TO BREAK EVEN!

And that’s before tax too!

Relay Orders

So say you relay the order for $70 that means you are making $7 profit or 7% of the total value of the order.

This doesn’t include the cost of your website though so in this scenario you could be losing money every time someone buys from you if you have to pay someone else to make the flowers.

That also doesn’t include the obvious fact that the final florist may not even be able to make the bouquet for the amount you are willing to pay which risks an unhappy customer.

Concentrate on marketing your florist website to areas that you can physically deliver to and stop chasing revenue for the sake of revenue.

Cut your product range down to increase profitability

Another huge mistake that new online florists make is having to wide a range of product available for sale online and in store.

It’s estimated that up to 40% of stock purchased by florists gets thrown out before it’s being sold.  That’s 40% of your hard earned money just sailing out the window!

You may as well get a handful of cash and flush it straight down the toilet.

One of the many reasons (and there are many) that there is so much spoilage in the floristry industry is because florists will try to offer all flowers to all people.

This just simply doesn’t work, and it especially doesn’t work for online florists. 

There is no reason you need hundreds of products on your website with a huge variety of different flowers.

Limit your product catalogue to products that are made up of flowers that last and can be used to make multiple different types of products.

The less flower types you have to buy the less spoilage the more profit you will make. You may not always be able to satisfy that picky customer who is looking for the totally unique arrangement.  But you won’t be throwing out hundreds of dollars of unsold stock every week just to make that one special order!

Do you really need 100 products on your website or can you get away from 40 – 50. And don’t forget your add-on gifts should be products you can easily get at your local supermarket or bottle shop so you only need to buy what you need when you need it!

Keep Track of what people actually want to buy not just what you want to sell

One really important thing you need to do is understand what does and doesn’t sell for your market.

If a certain flower never really sells online, remove it, it serves no purpose other than you having to keep it in stock on the off chance someone will buy it online.

Do you want to get an idea of what is selling without looking at your own sales? Look to your competitors websites and see what they promote.

But keep in mind the great general public who actually buy your products are generally not florists.  What appeals to you may not even register with the public.

Appeal to your customers not just your own style for profit!

Go Florist Choice with seasonal Flowers

By and far the biggest trend in floristry at the moment are the amazing diversity of florist choice bouquets and arrangements offered online.

The customer sees a group of photos of types of arrangements and then choose how much they want to spend and any extra details like colours of preferences.

You then make the arrangement with seasonal (lower cost) flowers.

Don’t forget though floristry customers are a visual bunch and want to see what they are sending as a gift. 

Offer the customer to send them a quick photo of the arrangement before sending it out.

Offering florist choices reduces waste and increases your profits!


It makes more sense to chase profitable work that makes a clear profit than chase revenue.

Curate your online products well and take attention of what does and does not sell online. 

Then change your products so the popular ones that sell better are higher up on the page.

Drew Wentzel

Drew Wentzel

Drew Wentzel is the principal of enflexion with over 25 years of experience in developing web services and software, Drew has helped design and develop usable and functionality rich Internet applications and built online presences for a wide variety of industries including retail, government, hospitality, lifestyle, corporate and technology companies.

Tags: Christmas

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