The Single Rose Disconnect – They Can Make You Money!
Florists tend to miss out on a lot of potential profit from the sale of singles. Either because they refuse to sell them, or because they underprice them when they do. In both cases the problem starts with not understanding the customer.
If the shop refuses to sell singles it is typically because they believe one or more of the following.
- there is no profit in singles
- people only ask for singles because they’re cheapskates, and if singles aren't offered they’ll buy something more expensive
- if singles are offered people will choose the less profitable single over a more profitable dozen
The florists that underprice singles probably agree with the first point, that there is no profit in singles. Again the mistake comes from not understanding the customer.
If you take the time to ask the customers in the market for a single rose why they want a single rose you tend to get one of two answers…
The Just Want A Single
Some people don’t want a dozen. Often they’re younger people and it’s less about the money and more about the gesture…. a full dozen is simply a bigger statement than they are willing to make. In one case a gentleman wanted to roll a single rose up in a newspaper or magazine for a secret love at work, who would then have to hide it in her desk. The common thread with this group is that it’s not about money. They simply want a single.
A Dozen Is Too Expensive
This group (typically smaller than the first) is about price. They want something less expensive than a dozen. They are focussed on price.
The first thing is to accept that there are many customers that are only going to buy singles. Whatever their reason, if they can’t get a single they are not going to move up to a full dozen. If you don’t offer them singles you aren’t going to get the sale.
The next step is pricing to make the sale worthwhile. If you follow a cost plus formula it will likely suggest that your singles be priced at about 1/10 the cost of a dozen. That means they are only about 10% as profitable as a full dozen, and that is hard to get excited about.
But who said you had to follow a cost plus formula? Remember – most of the people that wanted a single weren’t hung up on price, they were hung up on singles. They’ll pay what you ask. Even if they don’t you are no worse off than you were not offering singles.
And as for the people that were hung up on price, the ones that wanted something cheaper than a dozen… inexpensive does not have to mean great value. In fact it almost always assures the opposite.
In most purchases the smallest size is the cheapest, but also offers the worst value. The giant bottle of shampoo from Costco is the most expensive, but also the best value. The small bottle at the convenience store typically offers the lowest price but the worst value.
So the thrifty customer that wants something cheaper than a dozen – they didn’t say they wanted comparable value, they just want a lower price. They’re the person looking for the cheapest bottle of shampoo, not the person looking for the greatest value.
The solution is to price your singles far in excess of what your cost plus formula would dictate. If you sell a dozen for $70 your cost plus formula would likely suggest pricing singles at $7.
Instead dress them up a little and sell them at $19 or $24.99. Maybe even get really fancy with a very long premium roses and upscale packaging and go to $29.
The person that wants something cheaper than a dozen is getting that. The person that loves the idea of a single gets what they want.
And you get a very profitable sale you would have missed otherwise.