Sometimes, especially from people new to the industry, we get asked what exactly is so special about the flower business that it requires POS software built specifically for florists. The flower business is a retail business, so why isn’t any retail POS system good enough?
The answer is that while the flower business does have a retail element it is so much more than that… it involves the rapid production of a perishable good, a courier service and more.
Florists really do need software built specifically for their special needs. Here is a quick look at how the flower business is different from other kinds of retail.
In most other retail the customer is also the recipient – they are buying the product for themselves, or at least taking it into their custody for the time being.
The flower business is different. The customer is almost always buying for someone else. And not only that they probably send to multiple people at multiple addresses.
A florist needs a POS system that can tackle that. A basic retail solution cannot.
Most retail software assumes the customer is buying stuff and taking it with them. And, even if it includes features for pickups and deliveries it usually assumes the customers wants the product as quickly as possible.
The flower business isn’t like that. Sometimes a flower buying customer walks into a florist and buys something to take home with them. Sometimes they call and want to place an order for pickup, often for some future date. Most often they will call to order flowers to be delivered – sometimes right away, sometimes at a future date and time.
A POS system that will truly work for a retail florist has to be able to handle all this. Not just the order taking – it also has to give the florist tools to help them prepare that perishable product at the correct time.
And of course florists often have to deal with a customer placing different types of orders for different recipients for different dates and times by different methods (pickup, local delivery, wire delivery, etc.).
With some sacrifice, a whole lot of work and even more room for error you might be able to crowbar a general retail POS to work for simple single orders but it will never work in a situation like this.
Florists also have to deal with enclosure cards – something that simple is not a part of typical retail. And while you might be able to fake it by entering the card message into a notes field or something a true floral POS system will do so much more… letting you save common expressions (like “Happy Anniversary” or “Our thoughts and prayers are with you”) to save time, and print attractive cards automatically.
These are just a few of the reasons why florists needs a POS designed for the retail flower business. There are certainly more, but hopefully these are enough to keep you from making a costly mistake. If you aren’t sure please give us a call to discuss!