Divide and conquer

It was with great interest that I read the proposal in the trades paper for floristry Vakblad voor de Bloemisterij on 6 May 2016 that FloraMondo is to be the new system for day-trading. In Canada, we see a shift to online marketing of products.

It is within everyone’s reach to offer, show, and buy online. It is even simple to pay online, and unnecessary costs can easily be avoided. It is, however, important to be aware of the actual costs; how much margin we can and want to pass on to the customer and what the customer is willing to pay for our product. Herein lies the challenge for online marketing.

Every customer has a place in the market, whether large or small: from the big-box stores, the supermarkets and chain stores, to the flower shops, and the seasonal shops. The secret of maintaining your position in the market is to calculate the right margin on every transaction. Who are your competitors and how does your company differentiate? Do you dare to ask the price that you think your product is worth?

If you do, you can even deliver to the end customer and demand a retail price. Customers are happy to accept delivery via a taxi service, so why not ask a retail margin for the exclusive delivery service of fresh products? With the current development of delivery on demand, every format is possible, and bigger is not always better.

In the Food Terminal in Toronto, you can see Asian buyers who are in the street at 4 am to purchase their goods. At the auction clock in Mississauga, we see Asian buyers who are prepared to pay a higher price for scarce products at 6 am and are hardly interested in buying more when supply is abundant. A reasonable price will be paid for a good product at wholesale, provided there are ample products available.

You will need a different approach for each sale system: a different mix of products, a different price, a different time of delivery, a different way of preparing the order. The auction clock might attract fewer customers; in Ontario, it only serves less than 10% of the market. Remote buying is slowly on the rise, as well as virtual auctioning of products that have not even been delivered to the auction yet. My slogan is still: ‘Every plant will find its place.’

Angelle van Kleef,
grower of potted plants, Ontario, Canada