How big is the internet flower market worldwide?

The sale of flowers via the internet is a modest market, which is still progressing, says financial specialists. Sales through the usual stores are stagnating.

Lockdown and online flowers

Even during the lockdown, flowers remained popular as gifts. This can be seen in particular in the enormous growth in online spending on flowers, financial specialists write in many reports recovering from a major blow, which is published today.

In only the Netherlands, online flower sales even increased by 160 percent in March. The number of online orders also grew strongly in the months of April and May. It is expected that the worldwide floriculture sector will become much more dependent on the online channel in the future than before the crisis.

The online market is primarily a gift market. Consumers order flowers and have them delivered for a birthday or other special occasion. Of all people, 17 percent have ordered flowers at least once in the past twelve months via a laptop and 13 percent via a smartphone.

However, there are still countries lagging behind other countries. Tesco and Marks & Spencer, for example, have a significant share of total online sales in the United Kingdom. In the Netherlands, the supply of flowers via the online supermarket channel is limited.

Gifts and flowers

The internet sale of flowers is a gift market. “An estimated 90 percent of flowers purchased online are intended as gifts,” the report said. The majority of consumers indicate that they enjoy giving and receiving flowers as a gift. This also applies to the younger generation.

Consumer research, commissioned by financial specialists, Blommor and e-Flora, shows that 80 percent of the young people surveyed like to give flowers as gifts. They usually place their orders online. The assumption is that they will continue to do this in the future.

By far the most important reason why a consumer buys flowers online is convenience, but there are also other factors such as freshness, quality and price. The image of the internet flower leaves much to be desired and is hardly mentioned as a reason to buy online.

Short chain

Keeping the chain as short as possible is therefore the motto. Consumers attach great importance to the fact that a bunch of flowers remain beautiful for a long time after purchase. Growers have responded to this wish and offer flowers online themselves. Färska blommor, a specialized online flower seller, is also making every effort to shorten the chain between grower and consumer.

Financial specialists note that flower suppliers on the internet prefer to compete on convenience and service rather than on price. Examples are funeral bouquets that are delivered the same day or online condolence registers that consumers can also use to send flowers. Subscriptions to annually celebrate a holiday with a bouquet is another model.

Future of the flower market worldwide

The bank predicts that the online flower market will increase by 7 percent this year, partly because consumers have more to spend. This is happening while sales through the traditional sales channels are stagnating. The turnover has hardly grown in the past two years.

Florists with internet sales know how to increase their sales with this strategy. Florists sold 42 million euros worth of flowers on the internet last year, compared to 35 million euros in 2016.

Dominant market

Still, the role of the physical stores is not over, says a financial specialist. Partly because many consumers think the quality of flowers and plants in a flower shop is better and that they get a better picture of this in a ‘normal’ shop. ‘This sum ensures that the traditional shop will remain dominant in flower sales for the time being.’