Photo Credit: muffet, flickr.

Online flower marketers experienced another great Mother’s Day season.   Traffic to these sites grew by a healthy 7% from May 2010 to May 2011. 

The online flower business is a great example of how small, mom and pop businesses might have been given new life thanks to the web.  A flower shop in a drab storefront can be re-energized thanks to sites such as Teleflora.

As you can see, the sites are hugely dependent on the Valentine’s and Mother’s Day holidays.  Outside of that, traffic is respectable but significantly lower.

One of the more fascinating trends to look at over this past Mother’s Day holiday is the range of cross-shopping that went on across online flower marketing sites., which has the most loyal followings and largest volumes in the competitive set, saw it’s customer cross-shopping rate double this year.  Meanwhile, sites such as Proflowers, BloomsToday and 1-800 Flowers saw an improvement in customer loyalty during the Mother’s Day flower buying season.

You have to wonder just how much more these sites can continue to grow in their current form.  The seasonality issue is challenging.  Right now, the sites are all focused on delivering fresh-cut flowers and other gifts to celebrate a special occasion.

As a recent homebuyer, I would not mind seeing more attention paid to outdoor plants and trees.  The products are subtly marketed on sites, but the marketing is not prominently displayed.  Imagine being able to log onto and create a “gift registry” of plants and trees that you wanted for a housewarming gift.  Friends could log on and arrange to have them delivered the same day as a housewarming celebration.

What about ordering vegetable plants for mom’s garden during the upcoming summer as a Mother’s Day gift?  The opportunities are endless out there to either increase the average order value and to shift consumer mindset from holidays and birthdays to other life events / purposes.

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