“Valentine’s Day for us is two days really, the 13th and the 14th. We incentivise our customers to get their flowers delivered early to avoid the rush. On those two days, we’ll do about 18,000 deliveries,” NetFlorist managing director Ryan Bacher told CNBC Africa.
“Generally we do about 1,500 deliveries on an average day. We multiply our capacity by almost 10, so it becomes quite a crazy day for us, but it’s a wonderful day.”
NetFlorist is an online floral shop that also offers customers a range of occasion-related gifts. With high volumes of deliveries, florists have to constantly think of different ways of delivering their product on time, as well as strategic deals that will increase purchases.
“Every part of our business expands, not just distribution. We have more bandwidth, more call centre agents, divers, vehicles, many more florists. The good news story is that we employ about 800 temporary employees, they get trained, [and they] allow us to expand significantly and meet the demands,” Bacher explained.
Red roses are the primary flowers of choice for customers, but aspects such as quality of the flowers, a functioning online presence and delivery channels are crucial to banking on such occasions.
“Mother’s day and Valentine’s Day for us are fairly similar. They are our two peaks for the year. Collectively, they bring 15 per cent of our revenue for the year. That’s quite significant because they are three or four days in the year,” said Bacher.
“The rest of the year is pretty healthy for us. Birthdays and anniversaries are very important and happen every day, so the peaks are healthy for us, we focus on them, but during the year is just as important.”
NetFlorist’s roses are bought mainly from South African farmers, but a certain percentage also comes from Ethiopian and Kenyan farmers. NetFlorist is also exclusively an e-commerce business but, have two smaller retail outlets.
“A big focus of ours this year is to expand our product range. We’re looking to go into things like confectionary, and those will be coming on board in the next six months. Our flower variety’s changed significantly, [and] our hamper business is growing so we’re certainly not resting on our laurels. [There’s] a lot of product innovation in our business,” Bacher added.