Creativity Re-emerges in Online Flower Sales

by RaeAnne Marsh

BloomNation

La Paloma Blanca Floral Designs, a BloomNation florist

Online marketplace BloomNation was created as a fresh arrangement for online floral sales, developing a presence in each market for that local community’s independent florists. Increased profitability was part of the impetus. BloomNation takes 10 percent of the sale, in contrast to the 50 percent or more that has become standard in floral wire sales, and out of that fee it takes care of the 3 percent charged by credit card companies. BloomNation also helps the florists with their business’s website, SEO and social media.

“As a local florist, all you have to do is focus on making flowers and doing what you love best,” says co-founder David Daneshgar. And that is the critical innovative aspect of BloomNation as an online florist market: allowing floral designers to create their own arrangements instead of just filling an order for a stock photo. They post pictures of their own designs, and consumers enjoy the transparency of knowing with whom they are dealing.

Businessmen Daneshgar, Farbod Shoraka and Gregg Weisstein — none of them florists — developed BloomNation after Shoraka’s aunt lamented to him that the wire service she participated with was restricting her profitability and her ability to be an artist. The men developed their concept through an incubator with the University of Chicago. “By the time we ended the test, 500 florists had signed up — before we’d even built the technology,” Daneshgar relates, noting this underscored for them that the existing situation was a considerable pain point with local florists even though, for brick-and-mortar florists, online sales may account for only 10 to 20 percent of their gross. BloomNation has helped its members double their online flower business sales — some even increasing those sales by 500 percent.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, BloomNation entered the Phoenix market last summer.

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