Consumers love floral gifts! You offer great product and impeccable service, but what does that mean to consumers? What really motivates them to buy from you? A study by the Society of American Florists answers these questions and more.

The SAF Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors About Floral Purchasing Study examines public beliefs and perceptions of floral products, purchasing patterns, venue preferences, and key motivations and barriers to buying floral gifts. The study consisted of two phases:

  • Qualitative: Four focus groups of floral consumers, segmented by gender, ages 25–54.
  • Quantitative: A nationwide telephone survey of 800 consumers, ages 25–55, who purchased floral gifts at least twice within the last year.

A Truly Memorable Gift

  • 92% of women remember the last time they received flowers.
  • 97% of survey respondents remember the last time they gave a floral gift.

A Positive Emotional Boost

  • 88% of survey respondents say a gift of flowers changes their mood for the better.
  • 83% say they like to receive flowers unexpectedly.
  • 86% say receiving flowers makes them feel special.
  • 99% say that a person who gives flowers is thoughtful.
  • 89% believe the giver is sophisticated.

What Consumers Buy

Within the last year, survey respondents reported that they bought the following floral gifts:

  • 99% flowering plant
  • 88% floral arrangement
  • 80% loose or bunched flowers
  • 16% outdoor bedding or garden plant
  • 14% mix of green and flowering plants in a basket or dish garden

Demographic Details

  • Men spend more on floral gifts. More men than women buy roses and floral arrangements valued at more than $30.
  • Women buy a wider range of floral gifts at lower cost. More women than men buy inexpensive loose or bunched flowers, floral arrangements, flowering plants and dish gardens.
  • Young consumers, those under the age of 35, choose inexpensive bunched or loose flowers as gifts. Young consumers have less disposable income, are unfamiliar with flower types and need more guidance in selecting floral gifts.

Florists Most Frequented Venue

  • Local florists are the venue frequented most often by consumers. 91% bought floral gifts from a local florist at least once within the last year; 63% bought fresh flowers as gifts “most often” from a local florist compared to other venues.
  • Respondents reported product quality, service and value as the key benefits of purchasing from florist shops.
  • More men (87%) rely on their local florists for gifts than women (82%).
  • In general, consumers who buy from florists are affluent (with annual incomes of $50,000 or more), married and predominantly Caucasian.

Supermarkets and Nurseries Also Popular

  • 43% shop for flowers as gifts at supermarkets, citing convenience and cost savings as key reasons.
  • 59% purchase flowering plants at a nursery or garden shop, vs. 39% who shop at local florists. More women (32%) purchase flowers as gifts at a nursery than do men (21%).

Online Venues

  • Few consumers say they buy floral gifts from Internet or online floral services. Consumers who did (7% of those surveyed) were predominantly male and highly affluent with annual incomes of $100,000 or more.
  • Consumers say the benefits of online floral services include: the ease and convenience of 24/7 shopping, the ability to see a “catalog” of options and prices, and the availability of exotic or hard-to-find flowers.

Product Quality Matters Most

Consumers consider these factors important when choosing where to buy floral gifts:

  • Flower quality and freshness (#1 priority; 93%)
  • Product guarantee (88%)
  • Convenience, ease of ordering (83%)
  • Value for money (77%)
  • Delivery service (77% same-day, 75% local, 50% out of town)
  • Advice and recommendations (69%)
  • Professional design (67%, more women)
  • Broad range of products/arrangements (67%)
  • Ability to see a range of gift options/prices (60%)

Purchase Barriers: Why Consumers Don’t Buy More

  • 42% say flowers “don’t last very long.”
  • 35% say flowers are “too expensive, too much of a luxury.”
  • 45% say they “don’t always think about giving flowers.”
  • 52% of respondents who work full time say florists offer inconvenient shopping hours.

Purchase Motivators

Four key elements emerged as motivators that keep consumers coming back:

  1. Dedication: a demonstrated commitment to superior product quality, excellent value and outstanding service.
  2. Expertise: scope and depth of professional experience, perceived competence and good taste.
  3. Credibility: large, established networks or “brands” enjoy greater awareness among consumers, which in turn inspire a certain amount of trust.
  4. Convenience: ease of access — pictures of arrangements and products; expanded ordering options; same-day and long-distance delivery options — as well as one-stop shopping capabilities.

(source: Society of American Florists)