Consumers Most Often Select an Online Flower Retailer Based on Their Previous Experience with the Brand

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WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 11 December 2012 — Consumers most often select an online flower retailer based on their past experience with the brand, which is closely followed by price, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Online Flower Retailer Satisfaction ReportSM released today. 
The report measures overall satisfaction with online flower retailers among consumers who completed a purchase from an online flower retailer website within the past 12 months. The report examines seven factors (listed in order of importance):  competitiveness of pricing; online store services and delivery; in-stock availability of merchandise; usefulness of information; variety of merchandise offered; website/online store; and contact with customer service. The relative importance of customer service is low, as only 24 percent of online consumers indicate that they contacted customer service; however, among those who contacted customer service, this becomes the most important factor.
"With many products such as shoes and clothing, consumers are buying a specific brand, but they don't buy a brand of flower," said Sara Wong Hilton, director at J.D. Power and Associates.  "When ordering flowers, the retailer is the brand, which may explain why 54 percent of consumers select their primary flower retailer based on past experiences with that brand."
Price is also an important selection factor, cited by 51 percent of consumers. 
"Price as a selection standard is always important, but perhaps more so with flowers because they are not a branded product," said Wong Hilton.  "Consumers will shop the lowest price when ordering flowers, but their experience will ultimately decide whether they use that retailer again."
There is a heightened level of anxiety that comes from ordering flowers, given that consumers often need to have the flowers delivered to a location by a specific day and time.  The study finds that 15 percent of those who buy flowers online experience problems with the shipping process--the problem incidence with flowers is more than twice that of online orders for apparel (7%)1  and shoes (5%)2.  
Wong Hilton explains that online flower retailers have a unique delivery system, compared with other industries: the retailer takes the order, but most often relies on a network of growers and floral shops to package and deliver the flowers to the customer.  
"Because flower retailers have to rely on others for the quality of their product and the timeliness of the delivery, it's vital that they develop a broad yet reliable base of vendors--growers and florists--that they trust will best represent their brand," said Wong Hilton. "Dealing with a perishable item also adds to this complexity."
Overall satisfaction with online flower retailers averages 802 (on a 1,000-point scale). The report finds that customers visit an online flower retailer website an average of 10 times per year and order an average of four times annually. 
Flower retailer brands with a higher percentage of customers citing "rewards program" as a reason for purchase from that brand have customers who tend to visit the website more often and make more purchases per year.  While customers of these flower retailer brands tend to be more loyal, their advocacy--that is, their willingness to recommend the retailer to friends and family--is about the same as that of customers who are not rewards program members. 

Online Flower Retailer Satisfaction Rankings ranks highest among online flower retailers with a score of 821, performing particularly well in competitiveness of pricing, online store services and delivery, in-stock availability of merchandise, and variety of merchandise offered. Following in the rankings is (803), which performs well in the website/online store, competitiveness of pricing and contact with customer service factors.
The 2012 Online Flower Retailer Satisfaction Report is based on responses from 2,154 consumers who made an online purchase from an online flower retailer in the past 12 months.  Invitations to participate in the online survey were sent via email to panelists in October and November 2012.  

1J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Online Apparel Retailer Satisfaction ReportSM  
2J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Online Shoe Retailer Satisfaction ReportSM  

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction.  The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.  For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, J.D. Power and Associates and Platts, a leader in commodities information. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at

Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218;
Syvetril Perryman; J.D. Power and Associates; Westlake Village, Calif.; (805) 418-8103;

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