Published September 21st, 2016 by

How Does POS Technology Benefit A Florist?

How a POS system designed specifically for the retail flower business can help a real local florist succeed.

Save Time and Money
(By Automating The Boring, Repetitive Tasks You Hate Anyway)

A florist switching from pen and paper to a POS system is usually first impressed by how much time and money they save. The best part is that all that extra time is the result of the POS system streamlining and/or automating the boring, repetitive work that they hated anyway.

Sometimes the money saved comes in the form of reduced payroll – you are no longer paying employees to do all that repetitive work. Often it is the owners and managers that free up hours and hours every week and, while that may not translate into payroll savings it does give them more time to do the things they enjoy (designing), work on their business (instead of in their business) or maybe just spend more time outside the business.


Order Taking

The single biggest time savings for most pen & paper shops comes with the thing they do the most: taking orders.

In a typical pen and paper situation the order is scribbled down on a notepad while on the phone with a customer. During that conversation the florist needs to get all of the relevant details – the complete name and delivery address, the full card message, all the payment details (which may include a full credit card number and expiration date, the product information and more.

That is just the start. If the florist did not record that information onto a proper order form that both the designer and delivery driver can work from they’ll need to fill out that form(s) later. Then they have to hand write the enclosure card. Then they have to ring the sale into the car register to get the total with taxes. Then they need to manually process the credit card (calling the customer back if there are any problems) or creating an invoice (entering all the information again) if it was charged to an account.

The POS florist has it much easier. If the customer is already in the POS the florist can look them up using the phone number from their call display before even answering, or as soon as they get their name. All previous recipients and addresses are already stored in the system, and any new addresses are instantly verified to avoid errors. Spending patterns, purchase history and customer preferences are immediately available. The card message is spell-checked, and there are florist defined short forms to save time (for example ‘ha’ instantly turns into “Happy Anniversary”). If the purchase is charged to a credit card already on file the florist simply clicks a button and payment processes instantly. If the sale is charged to an account the invoice is created at that moment. Invoices and receipts can both be emailed or faxed to the customer instantly. The time savings are incredible – the thing you do most often should take less than half the time.


As mentioned above a POS system means you don’t need to create invoices by entering them into QuickBooks or another accounting or invoicing program – the invoice is created as the sale is being taken, and can be emailed or faxed instantly (or printed for mailing already formatted to go into a window envelope).

Most pen and paper shops enter all of their invoices once a week or month – a time consuming and laborious process (and an expensive one if you are paying a bookkeeper to do it).

More importantly the invoices don’t get out until days or weeks later (making it that much longer for you to get paid) and aren’t very detailed. With the POS system invoices include all of the product and delivery information to ensure the customer remembers the purchase and makes prompt payment.

Sending duplicate invoices and/or statements by email, fax or mail is also quick and easy – just the click of a button. Other features are designed to help you pursue payment.


A good POS system will include an employee time clock feature that keeps track of their hours worked and wages earned – no more adding up timesheets. More sophisticated systems also keep track of the amount that they sell and/or produce during each shift.

Sales Tax Reporting

No more totalling up your receipt tapes at the end of the month – a good floral POS system will automate this process too. You should be able to click a few buttons and get all the sales tax reporting information you need, including information on any exemptions.

Wire Outs

Pen and paper shops face additional challenges with orders they want to wire out. They either have to call a filling florist and pass along the information over the phone, or enter all of the order information (again!) into some kind of sending terminal. With a good POS system the florist should be able to send all of the relevant details with just a click of a button.

Wire Ins

With wire-ins the pen and paper florist must enter all of the information again, which is a shame when you consider the sending florist already did that. With a floral POS system orders from many wire services can flow right into the software, which then automatically prints out the enclosure card, worksheet, etc.

Website Orders

Orders placed on your ecommerce website are a lot like incoming wires…. all of the information has already been entered, so why enter it again? A good floral POS system will allow website orders to be passed directly into the system, which will then print the enclosure card, worksheet, etc. It is important to choose a POS system that is compatible with a number of different ecommerce website providers so that you aren’t trapped with a single option and no alternatives.

Reduce Outside Costs (Bookkeepers/Accountants)

Florists frequently employ bookkeepers or accountants to do their invoicing, prepare monthly sales tax returns, etc. All of this is automated by a true POS system for florists. If a pen and paper shops brings in their accountant for one day each week they will typically reduce that to half a day each month when they switch to a POS system.

Resource Allocation

Any POS designed for the flower business should include reports that show you who sells the most, who produces the most, your busiest periods, etc. Your most productive designers need to be on the design bench when there are orders to be filled. Your best salespeople need to be on the phone when the phone is ringing. Knowing who is best for what job and when you need them can save you serious money.

Increase Sales

More Sales

Automated marketing features (discussed below) are a great way to get your customers to buy more often. Other options include loyalty programs that reward purchase frequency. These encourage customers to buy more often.

Bigger Sales

Bigger order values are good for a flower shop. You’ll make more money, your designers will have more fun filling them, and the recipients will enjoy them more… making the customer want to do it more often. Any POS designed for the retail flower business should include features that help you increase average order values by showing you spending patterns (you don’t ever want to under-sell a customer) and encouraging an order process that is accepted by the industry as a way to nudge order values up.

Automated Marketing

A POS system designed for florists should include powerful marketing features. One is a tool for building lists of customers/recipients that meet certain criteria, and then sending an email to all of them. This is great when you are having a sale or want to promote a floral holiday like Valentine’s Day. Another is a reminder service feature that lets you reach out and remind customers that you are standing by to help them out with the birthdays, anniversaries, etc. that you have stored in the system. And finally there should be a kind of “drip feed” marketing that is reaching out to a small (and different) segment of your customers each day, coaxing them to buy more often.

Employee Performance

A good POS system for the floral industry will let you closely monitor employee performance. Knowing which employees are better at selling (shorter order-taking times, higher order values) is vital information – you want these employees selling (not washing buckets or taking out the trash) during your busy periods. You can also enlist them to help your other employees, the ones recording smaller orders and taking longer to do it, get better and faster.

Improve Customer Service

Faster Service

Put yourself in the shoes of a customer that orders from you two or more times a year. Wouldn’t you expect your name, address and payment card information on file? Would you really want to have to recite that over the phone every single time you placed an order? The pizza parlour keeps track of that information and they’re selling $15 pizzas. Flowers are supposed to be a premium product – we should be at least as good as the pizza man. A POS makes order taking faster by having all the information you need right at hand. This is something your customers will appreciate.

Better Enclosure Cards

Your handwriting might be fine, but can you say the same about every single employee? Can you even be sure they won’t make spelling mistakes? A good POS system will spell check messages before printing beautiful enclosure cards, and this is more important than you might realize – long after the flowers have died some recipients will still have the enclosure card as a keepsake. It is a vital piece of your branding and it needs to look great. Make sure that your floral POS system lets you adjust fonts, sizes and styles.

Fewer Errors

A good POS system will help catch errors before they become major problems, and they will do it two different ways. First they’ll catch many orders during data entry because of things like spell-checking, real time email and address validation, etc. Secondly they will enlist the help of the customer by including all of the vital details on the receipt/invoice that is immediately sent t the customer – just ask the customer to take a quick look and conform the spelling of names, date of delivery, etc. It is a great way to make sure nothing goes wrong, and a great benefit of using a POS system designed for retail florists.

Delivery Confirmations

Customers love delivery confirmations – an email or text message telling them that their order was delivered at a specific time. A system for florists should make this very simple – pleasing the customer and cutting down on “has my order been delivered yet?” phone calls.

Personalized Service

A good floral POS system lets even the newest employee treat every customer like they have been dealing with them forever, and knows exactly what they like and how much they spend. By keeping track of spending patterns, purchase history and customer and recipient preferences a good floral POS system empowers your employees to give the kind of service customers dream of.

Protect Yourself

Data Theft

Much of the benefit of a POS system comes from storing your customer data, and using it to improve customer service and run marketing campaigns. That also makes it very easy for an employee that is leaving (to start their own shop or go work for a competitor) to take all of your customer data with them. Make sure that your POS has a “granular” security approach that lets you limit access to exporting this kind of data to the employees that really need it.

Internal Theft

The flower business (still) often involves cash and cash always raises the risk of internal theft. The problem is so serious that many retailers and even fast-food restaurants are no longer accepting cash as a form of payment – just having cash in the store costs them so much in internal theft they’d rather lose those sales. A good POS system, designed for a retail floral environment, will help you combat internal theft with features designed to monitor and record this kind of activity. Although this can help help catch employees that are stealing from you it also provides such a strong deterrent the problem usually ceases to exist.

Analysis & Reporting


Pen and paper shops are generally awestruck when they see the reports that are available from a POS that was designed for the floral industry. Information is power, and these reports give them power they have never had before to make informed decisions that will lower costs and increase profitability.


Without a POS inventory control usually doesn’t exist, and taking inventory is a painstaking process. POS for florists will enable live inventory monitoring and control, and period reconciliation become much easier.

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