Here are the five mistakes florists most commonly making when choosing a POS/CRM system for their flower shop.
Too Small, Too Simple
There is a difference between good simple and bad simple. It’s important to understand the difference.
An old touch tone phone is very simple – you pick up the handset and enter the number. Use it once and you have mastered it. It’s simple, and you might feel good about your mastery of it, but it’s bad simple because you only have mastery of a very simple device with severely limited potential.
A smart phone is relatively daunting. Sure – making calls and sending texts and emaemails is easy enought, but even after several weeks a new owner is likely only familiar with a fraction of it’s total potential. This is good simple – core functionality is simple to master, with much more advanced functionality to discover and master over time.
The same is true of POS/CRM software for florists. Yes – you should be able to master the basics like taking an order and running a daily sales report very quickly. But if that is all the system can do you are limiting your potential to succeed. You need a systems that will continue to surprise you with advanced features that will help you increase sales while saving time and money.
Sacrificing Quality For Integration
It can be tempting to choose an “integrated” system that includes two or more of the technical services florists require (e-commerce website, POS/CRM and order relay).
The problem is that in these situations the key benefit is not the excellence of the individual pieces, but the simplicity of the integration. “I don’t love my POS or my website, but they do work well together” is not OK. Simplicity is not going to make you more money, and if making money was easy anybody could do it.
The better approach is to choose a best-in-class solution in each category – the best POS/CRM, the best e-commerce website, the best order relay option…. rather than a single integrated solution that is mediocre.
But that doesn’t mean you need to make your life harder. The goal is to find individual, independent systems that work together but can be swapped out. For example a POS/CRM system that works with many of the best e-commerce website and relay options for florists. This allows you to simply swap components in and out.
Signing A Contract/Making A Big Upfront Payment
There was a time when any POS system for florists came with a big upfront payment and an even bigger contract. You were locked in, by both the sunk cost of the payment and the terms of the agreement.
That is no longer the case. There are so many POS/CRM systems designed for florists that don’t require upfront money or contracts there is just no good reason to choose one that does. It’s like the expression “if you love something set it free”. Good vendors with good products know you’ll choose to stay with them so they don’t need to trap you.
Assuming “The Cloud” Is Always The Best
The cloud is great for a lot of situations, especially if you are in an area with great (stable, very high speed) internet access. This helps explain why it is most often championed by people in large population centers on either coast.
But many florists don’t have access to fast, stable internet connections. And when their cloud based system runs slowly as a result productivity suffers. Customer service suffers. And in the event of an internet outage they are completely shut down.
An alternative is to look for a system that leverages the best of both the cloud (security, ideal for storing backups) and on-promise (speed, reliability) deployments.
Prioritizing Website over POS
The promise of an ecommerce website is very tempting – a tireless employee that processes sales all day and night. And every florist should have an ecommerce website.
But industry statistics show that even the florists most successful at ecommerce, the ones that make a truly impressive ongoing commitment to online sales, see a relatively small percentage of sales come through their website. 80% of florists that have ecommerce websites see less than 20% of their sales generated by that website, and the sales that come over the phone are higher in value and more profitable.
The lesson? It is important to keep your priorities straight. An e-commerce florist website is important, but it is far more important to have a truly powerful POS/CRM system that lets you take the best possible care of the customers when they call because that will remain the biggest and most profitable segment of your flower business.