Most florists are predicting an increase in Valentine’s Day sales on this year’s Tuesday holiday. For a florist in Glastonbury, Connecticut, that means planning ahead for crowd control.
“In our point-and-click world, no customer likes to wait in line,” said Kevin Keser of Keser’s Flowers. (He’s right about that. In a survey of business owners, 70 percent said their customers will wait in line for five minutes — max.)
On a busy weekday holiday, with customers dropping in to pick up something fast after work, some wait time will be inevitable, but Keser said he and his team have a two-step plan to speed things along.
- Turn customers who pre-order into VIPs. Keser and his team set up two check-out lines on Valentine’s Day: one for order pick-up and the other for last-minute shoppers. Through pre-holiday marketing, “our goal is to teach the walk-in customer each year to pre-order,” Keser said. The designated pre-order line, which moves at a faster clip, is an added incentive. “This format has worked well for years and takes the rush away from tired people on both ends of the sale,” he explained.
- Give walk-ins options — and distractions. For customers who haven’t planned ahead — and you know you’ll have them — the Keser team sets up seasonal point-of-sale products that make the grab-and-go effort more efficient and the wait time more engaging. (That’s an approach many retail experts advocate; giving customers something to look at in line will help the time pass more quickly.) In the showroom, walk-in customers will also find ready-made arrangements at a variety of price points, “from a single rose to several dozen vased to go,” Keser said.
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