‘Online opportunities require immediate action’

    A recent study regarding the future of the floricultural industry, conducted by Rabobank, indicated: “Online plant and flower sales are really going to take off. The most important question is: who is going to be the consumer’s digital marketplace for plants and flowers?”.

    By 2027, 30% of the online sales will be coming from consumers. Even if this forecast is only going to be partially true, it will still be a dramatic change for our sector. Which comes with great opportunities. I am convinced that the digital transformation is going to be key to the exploitation of those opportunities. And that it is important to take immediate action.

    The realisation of this digital opportunity is up to both ourselves and our customers, who have already taken responsibility for the consumer marketing of online plants and bouquets. But action is needed to help our customers grow faster. Especially with regards to pooling knowledge and increasing our joint efficiency.

    That’s why we decided to merge all e-fulfillment activities within DFG and BloomPost into a new organisation: e-Flora. We expect that this will help us take advantage of the high expectations regarding online purchases by consumers, as outlined by Rabobank.

    In addition, the optimisation of the supply chain as well as our own business processes, will also contribute to our ability to capitalise on those online sales opportunities. The independent digital platform Blueroots will be playing an important role in this. The fact that this ecosystem for growers, customers and other partners will be developed completely outside our own organisation means that we, as trading companies and growers with our own customers, are able to focus on individual marketing activities across the entire sector.

    To ensure in-house access to the right expertise and know-how that’s needed to further develop the digital transformation, we’ll be adding a Chief Information Officer (CIO) to our Executive Committee in 2018, as we announced last week.

    In my previous column, I also wrote about the importance of digitalisation. However, I’d like to stress once more, that collaboration within the chain is, and will always be, our base.

    That’s why I’m calling on everyone to join forces and take concrete steps now. ‘Doing’ will be the magic word, and ‘Deeds, not words’ the motto. Let’s all work together on investing in new developments, building new business models and strengthening our chain. It’s the only way to capitalise on the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead for our sector.

    Marco van Zijverden,

    CEO Dutch Flower Group

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