As spring quickly approaches, florists need to get ready for their busiest time of year. Union Fleurs, the International Flower Trade Association, reports that the peak seasons for flowers are Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and maybe more surprisingly, International Women’s Day. 

The British Florist Association agrees, stating it is estimated that 250 million stems of flowers are sold at Valentine’s globally, and that for some growers of roses that’s an increase of 15% in the same period. In an article on the flower supply chain, the BBC cited a florist who estimated that the holiday volume “is usually nearly 20 times the everyday volume.” Add Easter into the mix and it means a hectic spring for florists.

There’s also a lot of competition in the industry. The British Florist Association also reports that there are some 7,500 florists in the UK, and that’s not counting thousands more online-only retailers, like Bloom & Wild, a rapidly growing segment (pardon the pun). There are also many services that knit these together into wider delivery networks such as Interflora or FTD.

So how does a florist – whether one with a bricks and mortar store, online services, or a mix of both – stand out from the others? While we can’t speak specifically to customer tastes in floral arrangements, we can help florists differentiate from the competition. Delivery is a key factor for customers, and even more so when it comes to flowers and gifting season.

Customers who spend time, money and effort choosing the right bouquet from the right florist, want to make sure their gift arrives on time and in top condition. Florists who don’t meet or exceed delivery expectations will suffer from dissatisfied customers and lost business.  

So let’s explore 4 ways to get better at delivery as a florist.


1. Prepare Ahead of the Peak Season

Valentine’s Day is truly the apex of bouquet buying season, and The British Florist Association reports the pandemic may have made flowers even more popular. 

Of those planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day, 46% were determined to make it extra special, with 33% stating they planned to spend more than the previous year. There’s a good chance people will feel similar in 2022 as people have a newfound appreciation for celebratory holidays with their loved ones. 

The biggest issue in those peak times is the extreme pressure on supply-chains during just a few days of the year. Efficient processes and logistics are necessary to ensure speedy deliveries and to protect those precious flowers.

Getting those flowers to customers quickly is critical. According to Bedbible, for every extra day spent travelling flowers lose 15% of their value. Union Fleurs agrees. It states that cut flowers are “highly perishable products with a very short life cycle.” 

So it stands to reason that a florist who can get flowers to customers the fastest will in turn have the happiest customers, likely to recommend to friends and be a repeat customer. That means preparing for increases in demand, by planning ahead. 

One way to get ready in advance is by working with a courier to run a pilot and be ready for fast delivery before those busy times arrive. A well-planned pilot programme will allow you to work through all the important operational dependencies. Then when the holiday season hits, you’ll be prepared for same day and next day delivery and exceed customer expectations. 


2. Choose Your Vehicle Carefully During Surge Support

Even florists with their own delivery fleet may need help when demand surges. Rather than add to an existing delivery capacity, florists can look to a transportation partner to supplement their fleet. 

The online flower platform Floward has their own fleet of drivers but partners with Gophr during peak holidays for surge support. The multi-drop service handles around 500 deliveries a day, helping to meet demand at Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Gophr’s white glove service ensures first-class treatment for any parcels that require special handling, so Floward has complete confidence that the precious cargo is treated with care and arrives intact. 

Some online florists provide letterbox delivery, in which the recipient does not need to be home to receive the package. That also means the receiver of the gift has to arrange the bouquet post-delivery. That’s not very romantic, is it? 

Rather than a letterbox delivery, choose to send flower arrangements with an experienced courier who can expertly load their vehicle without damaging the bouquet. Top tip – don’t put flowers in water buckets for last mile delivery, this makes it very difficult to transport the bouquets. Instead, get the best of both worlds, by using a same day carrier that can deliver arranged flowers quickly and efficiently.


3. Cater To Those Last-Minute Shoppers 

Let’s face it. When it comes to holiday shopping, we know there are customers who will leave their shopping to the last minute. 

The partner who forgets about their loved ones gift until February 14th will want same day delivery, and will look for the florist who can deliver on that promise. Those shoppers who plan ahead may be satisfied with free next day delivery, but same day delivery will help extend the life of those bouquets. 

Whether shoppers are early or late, they love the ability to choose among delivery options. While free delivery is often important, that isn’t always the case. 

ECommerce News looked at online shopping in the EU, and found that in some countries, delivery has to be free for a majority of customers to place an order. But in the UK, only 17 percent of shoppers felt that way about free shipping. In fact, 52 percent of people in the UK stated their willingness to pay for delivery depended on the product and its availability.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day flowers delivery, customers will likely want speed over cost, and may even be willing to upgrade and pay extra for faster delivery. 

Most customers will also want the option to choose where the package is delivered, and the ability to track it’s journey.

That’s when a range of delivery options will set a florist above the competition. 


Here are some examples to look for in a delivery partner:

  • Schedule a pickup in a two hour scheduled delivery window, which allows customers to receive their goods on the same day, without waiting all day for the delivery or getting it via letterbox.
  • If the delivery is within a certain radius of the pick up point, a florist can offer almost-ASAP convenience. A last-minute local delivery lets a florist book a delivery time as short as 30 minutes if the delivery is within a specified distance from the pick-up point. 
  • Same-day delivery is possible for longer distances, too, if the booking is made and pickup can be handled early enough. Then distances as far as 100 miles can be covered.
  • Florists can extend their order cut off times by scheduling a courier to collect and deliver the item within the same day. 


Another bonus is when customers can communicate directly with the couriers. A tracking link means any questions can go directly to the courier, without the florist having to track down the parcels and act as customer service.




4. Offer a Special Service

While these spring holidays may be peak season for florists, there are signs the demand for flowers may be increasing year-round. 

In the United Kingdom, ornamental plants and flowers were worth £1.4 billion in 2020, and the current market size of the florist industry in the UK is over £403 million.

The Financial Times reports that researchers expect that over the next five years, flowers will become more of a day-to-day treat and less of an event-driven purchase.

And IBISWorld states that in the UK, the consumer confidence index is forecasted to recover over 2021-22. That means an opportunity for growth in the florist industry in the UK as rising consumer confidence tends to lead to consumers spending more on discretionary products, such as cut flowers. 

That could be an opportunity for florists to expand by establishing a special service. How about offering businesses the opportunity to deliver gifts to remote workers, or setting up a subscription service, in which customers get flowers on a regular basis. 

Florists can offer such a special service at a low cost by using a delivery partner that offers a multi-drop service. In this way, a number of delivery bookings are consolidated into one booking. 

Here’s how it works.

Rather than 10 couriers picking up 10 packages, a single courier picks up all the packages at an allotted time and delivers them all using the most efficient route. That makes the delivery cheaper and more eco-friendly, and is still fully trackable and customisable.


Delivering the Goods

The flower delivery industry is a complex, competitive one, with online flower stores adding to the mix of bricks and mortar florists in the United Kingdom. When the peak holiday times arrive, florists need to be ready to meet the needs of an influx of customers over just a few days.

By using a reliable delivery partner to handle their deliveries or to supplement an existing fleet, florists can rise to the occasion and satisfy customers with same day delivery, other shipping options, and the guarantee of fresh bouquets at the doorstep on those important occasions.  

Gophr is an ideal choice among couriers in the UK for flower stores and online florists. If you’re looking for some last minute flower delivery support, please get in touch at