Flyline Welcomes Newest Client Rockcastle Florist

Rockcastle Florist Hires Flyline

Rockcastle Florist has hired Flyline Search Marketing to manage the Marketing program for their firm. They recently signed a multi-year service agreement that will position their firm to enjoy a long term working relationship with Flyline. Our organization will be providing a comprehensive, turn-key marketing program that includes strategy development, lead generation, social media marketing, blogging, public relations, web development, content management and consulting services.

Rockcastle Florist is a second generation, family owned and operated floral design firm. The company is currently being run by Keith and Wendy Rockcastle. They operate two floral design centers in the Finger Lakes New York area. One flower shop is located in Rochester, NY and the other is positioned in Canandaigua, NY. The Rockcastle organization has been in business since 1951.

Rockcastle Florist joins an elite group of florist who utilize the services of Flyline Search Marketing. That group includes nationally acclaimed floral design firms, such as; Carithers Flowers in Atlanta Georgia, Allen’s Flowers in San Diego California, Veldkamp’s Flowers in Denver Colorado, Flowerama in Columbus Ohio and Pugh’s Flowers in Memphis Tennessee. These and other flower shops throughout the country entrust the marketing programs to the Flyline team. What makes us different is the partnering approach we take in serving our clients and the results we deliver. All of these flower shop clients have opted for multi-year service agreements with Flyline Search Marketing.

Florists Growing Revenues at a Record Pace

Flower Shops We Support Are Flourishing

Are you in the flower business? If so, you are no doubt aware that the number of independent flower shops operating in the United States has been dropping over the past 5 years. The United States Department of Labor projects a 7 percent overall employment growth rate for all occupations, between the years of 2014 to 2024. At the same time, Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects that employment in the floral business will drop by 3 percent, over the same period of time.

If you are in the floral industry these numbers probably don’t give you much confidence about your future. Let me share some thoughts with you. At least some of what I have to say may ease your concerns. The numbers say there will be less florists ten years from now than there are today. The data also says there will be fewer jobs in the floral industry. What those stats don’t speak to is demand and supply. If you look at the supply data, you will quickly see that growers are planning to increase supply over the next ten years. Why would they do that you ask? Well, the answer is demand. People love fresh cut flowers and beautiful green and flowering plants. As population in the U.S. continues to increase, the need for fresh cut flowers, wedding flowers and event flowers grows as well.

What Is Causing So Many Flower Shops To Close

If you ask the question around the industry, “What is causing so many flower shops to close?” you will get a bunch of different answers. We have our own opinions on what is causing the decline. Here is what we would describe as the problems.

  1. Flower Shop Reliance On Wire Networks
  2. Order Gatherers Keeping Larger Percentage of Sale
  3. Rapidly Changing Shopping Patterns
  4. More Competition for Fresh Cut Flower Sales

Lets take these bullet points and review them in more detail. Why would we list flower shop reliance on wire networks as a problem. Many small and medium sized flower shops have historically relied on the wire networks for orders. At the height of the wire network effectiveness, a florist could set up shop, hire employees, purchase product, then turn on the order wire and wait for a steady stream of profitable orders to flow across the wire networks. In today’s world, that strategy just does not produce the same result. Take a look at the shops who are closing their doors. Many relied heavily on the wire networks for order volume.

What has changed that makes wire network reliance such a huge problem in todays world? We believe that the order gatherers are keeping a larger percentage of each wire order and passing through a smaller amount of revenue to the flower shop who actually fills the order. What is most likely driving that is the fact that the cost of order acquisition has increased for the order aggregators. In addition to the cost of acquisition, many of the order aggregators are also facing increased pressures by their owners and share holders to increase profitability. Well, how to you increase profitability? The most obvious ways are to increase the number of orders you gather, or increase the percentage of each order that you keep.

What Do We Mean By “Rapidly Changing Shopping Patterns”

The Internet is changing many aspects of our lives. One very clear change is how people are choosing to shop. In the past, if you wanted to purchase something, you generally went down to the store that carried the item you wanted and made a purchase. In today’s world, you can simply order right from the Internet, in the safety and comfort of your own home. The data is clear, online sales are growing at an incredible rate. Check out this data. comScore reported last year that retail spending in the U.S., conducted on desktop computers for the first 30 days of the November-December 2015 holiday season, had reached $27.9 billion. That was a 6% increase versus the same time period the previous year.

Folks, that was just online shopping, done by people using desktop computers. When you look at online sales from all devices, you really begin to see just how dramatically the Internet is changing shopping patterns. 2015 statistics reflected that more than 191 million Americans owned smartphones. That number has continued to increase. People using smartphones are searching the Internet at staggering rates. In fact, searches from smartphone and tablet devices have now exceeded the total number of searches being conducted on desktop and laptop computers. These smartphone shoppers aren’t just researching, they are buying!

Lastly, competition in the fresh cut flower business has increased, even though the number of independent flower shops in the U.S. has declined. The competition for florists is coming from grocery stores, Costco, Sam’s Club and other wholesale and natural foods stores. Seems like everyone who sells groceries wants to offer fresh cut flowers, vases, balloons and plants. That clearly wasn’t something that traditional florists had to worry about in the past.

Florists We Support Are Flourishing

Seven years ago, we met a man named Charles Carithers. He was the owner of Carithers Flowers in Atlanta, Georgia. We had just opened our doors for business a few months prior to meeting him. In January of 2009, we sat down with Charles and developed a PPC program that was designed to create a steady order stream for Carithers. The idea was to move away from the reliance on wire orders and to replace those orders with sales that we had generated on our own. That program delivered in a big way! From there, we studied the other issues facing Carithers. We went on to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy for Carithers that allowed us to build brand recognition, customer loyalty, wedding and event sales and more. In essence, we focused on a global strategy that would allow Carithers to grow, while the rest of the floral industry scrambled to find solutions to declining order volume, increased competition, lower value wire orders and overall declines in gross revenues.

Over the past seven years, we have added even more florists as clients. In fact, we have taken on a number of very notable flower shops, including; Veldkamp’s Flowers in Denver, Allen’s Flowers in San Diego and the Ozment Family, who own and operate four Flowerama shops in and around Columbus Ohio. As we took on each new client, we extensively studied the demographic differences of their market, versue markets we already compete in. We also identified the unique elements of the competitive environment each florist was operating in. Armed with this new competitive knowledge, we tactically adjusted elements of our strategy, then deployed the comprehensive program for each shop owner. The end result of all these learnings and tactical adjustments is a program that produces eye popping results.

Shops we serve are achieving historical highs in both sales and revenues. Florists we support are no longer just making a living, they are thriving. The best part of the whole process for us has been the development of long term, strategic relationships with the florists and families we support. For us, the relationship we enjoy with our clients and watching their families grow and flourish is worth all the hours we put in on our end.

2016 Mother’s Day Flower Sales

Year over Year Sales Growth Objectives Achieved

Flyline Search Marketing® provides comprehensive marketing services for florists all over the United States. We serve a very distinguished group of flower shop owners. That group includes firms like; Carithers Flowers in Atlanta Georgia, Allen’s Flowers in San Diego California, Veldkamp’s Flowers in Denver Colorado, Allen’s Flower Market in Long Beach California, Flowerama of Columbus Ohio and Flowers and Company in Houston Texas.

These are not your average independent flowers. They are some of the floral industries most successful, lead by some of the industries brightest minds. These florists are also some of the most creative flower shop owners in the flower business today. We consider it to be a huge honor that these florists have strategically partnered with us. They brought us in to handle their online advertising, lead generation, social media marketing, brand management, content development and public relations duties. Our mission is to help our florists win today and build for the future.

Even though each of these flower shops is unique, there is one consistent theme that each of the owners is focused on. That theme is growth! All of the shops owners we support are experiencing growth rates that exceed industry averages and all have either achieved a dominate position within the cities they market to, or are on the path to doing so.

This year, Mother’s Day fell on the 8th of May. In 2015, Mother’s Day fell on the 10th of May. That lead most florists in our group, and many around the country, to project lower estimated sales for the period May 1st through May 8th 2016, versus May 1st thru May 10th of last year. Well, the final sales numbers are now in. Flower shops we support actually generated more sales transactions and higher revenues this year than last, during that time frame. When you think about it, that was no little task. Especially considering each of our florists all enjoyed solid Mother’s Day sales campaigns in 2015.

CMS design over white background vector illustrationHow did we do it you ask? We did it by utilizing a comprehensive approach to marketing these flower shops. That program is designed to generate sales 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. We do make very specific tactical adjustments for the holidays, but, work to maintain our focus on growth all year long. We would be remiss if we also didn’t mention that the shop owners we support are some of the smartest, hardest working folks in the industry. All of them work relentlessly during the holidays to exceed the expectations of the clients they serve. I have never met a more dedicate or harder working group of business owners. These folks are some of the best and brightest in the floral industry.

I love being around the group of shop owners that we support. They are innovators and are always willing to try new ideas, strategies and tactics. Especially if they believe that the new idea, strategy or tactic will make for a better customer experience for the people buying flowers, as well as for the people they want us to deliver them to. Charles Carithers is always telling me that he truly believes that for his business to succeed, we must focus on innovation and marketing. I think Mr. Carithers is an extremely bright man! The fact that his sales, revenues and customer satisfaction results are continually some of the best in the country, I might not be alone in that thought.

Lets talk specifics about Mother’s Day sales and performance for a moment. In Atlanta, we generated more sales and revenue from May 1 – May 8 of 2016, than we were able to achieve from May 1 – May 10 of 2015. How much more you ask? Can’t provide the exact numbers, but, I will say this. Our online sales transaction totals during that time frame were 9.2% higher in 2016 than 2015. More importantly, our online revenues were 13.2% higher. In San Diego, online sales were up by 11.8% and online revenue was up by 13.5%. I think you get the point. Over an eight day span, we generated significantly more sales and revenues this Mother’s Day, than we did over the 10 day span in 2015.

Again, the flower shop owners in these markets are relentless in their efforts to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction possible. They are not just focused on selling more product. They are focused on delivering a great customer experience, while striving to connect with an ever increasing client base. We are thankful that they choose to include us as part of their team. We and they see the relationship as a great fit. Our team matches their intensity and operates with the same tenacity and relentless approach. We don’t sleep much during holidays like Mother’s Day, but, we tend to think the challenge of achieving something special for one of our clients, trumps (no pun intended) getting some beauty sleep.

Depositphotos_31562021_xs (2)Our team focuses on all aspects of the buying process. We run advertising targeted to desktops, laptop and mobile smartphone devices. Why you ask? The reason is simple. Shopping patterns are changing dramatically. In-store shopping is dropping and shopping from mobile phones is rapidly increasing. Google advises that from “2011 to 2013, smartphone adoption in the U.S. grew from 36% to 61%. They also advise that tablet ownership has also increased. Tablet ownership is typically associated with high disposable income. As a result, shoppers are now using these smartphones and tablet devices to conduct their research and to connect with businesses offering products and services that match their interests and hobbies.

Lets look at some actual Mother’s Day phone data from San Diego. We utilize a number of tools that allow us to capture phone calls, phone sales and revenues attributed to mobile devices. Tracked and recorded calls for San Diego increased from 371 (May 1 – May 10 2015) up to 492 (May 1 – May 8 2016). More than 30% of those calls lead to actual online sales conversions. The importance of this data is simple. From one year to the next, calls grew by 32.6%, year over year. That would seem to confirm the data provided by Google about the rapid growth in smartphone usage and the need to focus a portion of your advertising program budget to reaching this segment of the market. While we shared some basic stats from San Diego, this same trend played out in other large markets like; Atlanta, Denver, Columbus Ohio, Long Beach and Houston as well.

 

 

Mother’s Day Marketing For Florists

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Carithers Flowers Luxury Collection

Secret To Marketing Flower Shops

What does Mom spell when turned upside down? It spells WOW that’s what!

The Flyline Search Marketing team is hard at work, deploying well thought out tactics and strategies, specifically designed to support Mother’s Day flower sales for the flower shops we support. We offer a comprehensive marketing program for florists that is highly effective. This program is delivering stunning results for our clients. Our customers routinely tell us that their monthly and quarterly sales and revenue growth numbers far exceed those of other flower shop owners who participate in floral industry groups they data share with.

What is our secret you ask? It’s starts with first strategically partnering with GREAT clients, such as; Carithers Flowers, Allen’s Flowers, Veldkamp’s and Flowerama. Next we deploy an incredibly well designed strategy that is unique and comprehensive in nature. Add to that, our talented and dedicated staff. Who might I add are absolutely relentless in their efforts to drive success for every florist we serve. If you do decide to work with us, that will be the best decision you ever make. Like one of our flower shop owners told a prospective client not too long ago, if they do offer to serve your firm, sign the contract as fast as you can! That is absolutely true by the way. Our goal in strategically partnering with shop owners is simple. If we invest our lives and energy in you, we just want to know that you equally value us and the contribution we make to your business and to your family. Those who have hired us will tell you that we educate our shop owners along the way and approach the relationship with a spirit of teamwork and open sharing of ideas and information. We find that approach leads to florists who are informed and empowered!

2009%20FTD%20Top%20100%20Award[1]The marketing program we deliver was created with the help of one of the brightest minds in the flower business, Mr. Charles Carithers, owner of Carithers Flowers in Atlanta, Georgia. We first met Charles in January of 2009. He brought us in to revamp his Google Adwords program and our eye popping first year results provided us with an opportunity to grow the relationship. From that point forward, Charles taught us the flower business and we shared our digital and traditional marketing expertise with him. As you can imagine, Carithers Flowers has really grown during the past 6 years. They are now arguably one of the top and largest independent flower shops in the United States. As Charles will tell you, growing your flower shop requires an unrelenting commitment to innovation and marketing. From our perspective, Charles is the best in the business at both.

 

Comprehensive Marketing For Florists!

Comprehensive Marketing For Florists!

The advertising program that we began creating for Charles back in 2009, has morphed from an extremely productive tool, into a tactical marketing weapon. This program has been field tested over the past 6 years. We have expertly refined it over the past few years, using data gathered from real life experience, from all over the country. The program has delivered results in market after market. Shop owners from the East Coast to the West Coast have seen first hand how the program drives growth in all areas of their business. Our program is designed to grow walk-in, call-in, credit card, online, wedding and event sales and more. The program has delivered results in market after market, increasing overall sales and revenues for every single client who has hired us.

Want an inside tip? Work with us to strategically grow your business 365 days a year. Our approach is focused on growing our clients sales and revenue every single day of the year! While our efforts do produce incredible results during the two biggest floral holidays of the year, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day. We prefer to maintain a keen focus on driving day to day sales results.

 

The Floral Wire Networks

The Floral Wire Networks

Holidays like Mother’s Day require a very specific game plan in order to win. Historically, most small to medium sized flower shops relied on wire-in order volume for the majority of the daily and holiday flower orders. That reliance on wire-in orders is at least a major factor in why so many small and medium sized flower shops have closed over the past 5 years. The national order gatherers spend a ton of money on advertising to secure those orders. They keep an ever increasing percentage of each order they take in order to cover their cost of order acquisition and to provide the profit margin their owners demand. That leaves the poor local florist creating and delivering many arrangements at, or sometimes below cost. Not a formula for success.

all months of the year

Working For Florists 365 Days A Year!

Our team has developed both a year around approach for our florists, as well as a holiday strategy as well. Then we customize the holiday program, based on the specific needs and operating issues that each of our shop owners is facing. The goal at holidays like Mother’s Day is not just to survive, but, to help our shop owners thrive! If you are a flower shop owner, you know what we are saying here. Many of you work ridiculous hours during Mother’s Day week and walk away at the end of the day with little to no actual profit. The flower growers and wholesalers want more money for the flowers you need to buy. Your floral design staff expects to be paid overtime for the crazy hours you are going to need them to work. You don’t have enough delivery drivers so you either temporarily bring in a bunch of untrained drivers, or you give in and pay the exorbitant fees required by third party delivery firms. Everything is working against you making a profit!

I mentioned the term “Strategic Partnering’ with our shop owners, earlier in this post. A big part of what we bring to the table is the expert consulting advice and guidance that we share with our florists. We spend hours working with each individual client. Making sure that they have defined the end result they wish to achieve and have everything in place to achieve the desired financial results. We help them set up their websites for each holiday. That means ensuring the products being offered for sale are in alignment with the flower orders being submitted to the growers by the shop owner. Graphics on the website need to be updated, social media platforms need to themed for the occasion, blog posts must be written, press releases submitted, tweets must go out, radio spots must be created and recorded. The list of details sometimes seems endless. What makes this work is our relentless approach. We focus on the details and are just relentless in our pursuit of success for each client. Everything we do, must work in concert with the flower shop, if we are going to drive financial success during a holiday such as Mother’s Day.

Check out these Mother’s Day themed radio spots that we helped put together for Carithers Flowers. These are just one example of the customized approach that I mentioned earlier in the article. We run radio spots on multiple stations in the Atlanta market to drive increased brand awareness for Carithers Flowers. These spots are primarily targeted for year round sales opportunities, versus holiday flower sales. These particular spots will stop running the week leading up to Mother’s Day. We choose to end the spots early because we don’t anticipate needing marketing support from radio to achieve the tactical holiday objectives set by Carithers Flowers.

At the end of this coming week, we will reach Mother’s Day. The vast majority of the flower shops in the country will sell more flowers this week than during any other week this year. Most will struggle to actually make a profit from all of the work.

Flower shops that Flyline Search Marketing supports will thrive this week, next week and each week after that!

 

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Flower Shops Enjoying Astonishing Growth

Flower Delivery 300Flower Shop Growth Rates Off The Charts

Data from The Society of American Florists indicates that the number of locally owned and operated flower shops in the United States continues to decline at an alarming rate. This downward trend has been going on for years. Industry leaders and flower shop owners have all shared opinions and feelings about what they feel are the root causes. In our estimation, there are likely many factors that are truly to blame. One red flag that stands out to us is, we see far too many local flower shops who don’t know how to effectively generate sales leads for their organizations. Relying too heavily on wire-in order volume could potentially be a formula for disaster, if you haven’t laid the proper ground work to win with that business model. Our advice. Learn how to generate your own sales leads.

10678508_869043607941_482773389807749643_nWhile the floral industry continues it’s shake out, flower shops supported by Flyline Search Marketing continue to grow at astonishing rates! We routinely hear back from our flower shop owners that their growth rates far exceed those of other flower shop owners in the industry floral groups they participate in. Why are they doing so well you ask? The secret lies in the great vision and leadership of folks like Charles Carithers, Brad Levy and John Veldkamp.

These florists didn’t just hire a marketing vendor to do some work. Instead, they chose to treat us with great respect and to add us to their team as a strategic partner. They placed their unwavering belief in us that we could successfully drive positive change for their businesses. Then they gave us the latitude to do our job to the best of our ability. Some think we are far too quick in taking on the heavy burden of helping a flower shop to turn their fortunes around. Heck, where we come from, we call that opportunity! Who wouldn’t want the chance to partner with some of the greatest families in the flower business. It’s a once in a lifetime chance to help these families thrive, while at the same time giving us the chance to deliver stunning results and prove that we are the best marketing team in the floral industry.

0f0d452The florists we serve are truly some of the brightest and most innovative minds in the floral industry. Most of them prefer to leave the industry spotlight to others. The vast majority of them actually seem to favor maintaining an effective degree of anonymity. These folks are simply brilliant, tactically gifted, forward thinkers who are the some of the most successful people in their industry. Oh the truth be told, not everyone we have served falls into this category, although the vast majority have truly embraced the value of a strategic partnership with our firm. At the end of the day, we can honestly say that we put every ounce of energy we have into our service. To those who continue to put their faith in us, we are honored, thankful and truly blessed for the chance to serve you and your family. Thank you for allowing us to contribute to your success.

FloristsWhat Flyline Search Marketing ultimately brings to the table is an incredibly well thought out strategy, a comprehensive marketing approach, industry leading PPC platform designs, relentless drive, a competitive spirit and and dogged determination to drive success for those we serve. It’s not money that motivates us. It is the chance to be a part of something special. We relish the challenge of helping a flower shop owner go from good to great! We will always place a higher value on our clients success than we will ever place on our own. Those who place their faith and trust in us are rewarded. We are fiercely loyal and never rest until the families we serve have achieved their goals. For those that say they don’t understand, it is not your money we desire. Instead, we seek to earn your lasting friendship, trust and respect. That is just how we are wired!

The Flyline Search Marketing team out works and out performs those we compete with. If you want to beat us, you had better plan to spend a ton of sleepless nights because while you are sleeping, we plan to be up kicking your backside. You can ask the florists we serve, our team will work whatever hours are necessary to ensure we deliver on the promise! Our program has been deployed in some of the largest and most competitive cities in the United States. It has delivered results in all of them. We are talking cities such as; Atlanta, Albuquerque, Columbus, Denver, San Diego, Long Beach and more. As new clients have partnered with us, our knowledge and ability to identify local and regional demographic differences has steadily gotten stronger. In addition, the new marketing opportunities have allowed us to continually refine our approach and platform designs.  Our advertising program was capable of delivering a seven digit annual revenue result five years ago. Today it has morphed into a strategic weapon, designed to deliver astonishing results for florists who partner with us. The truth is in the sales results. Flower shop owners we support have significantly grown their brand strength and now hold commanding, dominant positions in the markets they choose to operate in.

Couple visionary leadership with the best marketing program in the industry, sounds like a formula for a very successful, long term business partnership. Are you interested in working with us?

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By | 2014-11-18T00:41:17+00:00 November 18th, 2014|Advertising For Florists, Flower Shop Marketing, Internet Marketing For Florists, Local Florists, Local Flower Shops|Comments Off on Flower Shops Enjoying Astonishing Growth