Buying Roses and Flowers Online
We recently came across an interesting article from Consumer Reports, written by Mandy Walker, titled Ordering Flowers Online: Do the Pictures Match What You Get? Read the full report here.
To summarise, the Consumer Reports website ordered similar flowers (one dozen mixed roses in a vase) from three US online florist shops – ProFlowers, FTD and 1-800-Flowers. After the flowers were delivered, they compared the delivered flowers to the flowers pictured on the florists web site. Below are the comparison photos. "What we saw online" is the photo advertised the product. "What we got" is the delivered product.
This is a great article, well written and worth reading. Having said that, we would like to expand a bit on the photos and the floral industry in general.
Firstly, a little bit of background information on 1-800-Flowers, FTD and ProFlowers. All three companies are US based and some of the biggest in the the floral industry.
FTD was founded as Florists' Telegraph Delivery and is now trading as Florists' Transworld Delivery. FTD is a floral wire service, retailer and wholesaler with $US1.22 Billion revenue in 2015.
ProFlowers is an US based online flower retailer that sells products shipped from growers, suppliers and its own distribution facilities to consumers. In 2014, FTD purchased ProFlowers and its sister gift brands for US$430 Million.
1-800-Flowers is an online floral and gourmet foods gift (gourmet gift baskets and hampers) retailer. Total company revenue for 2009 was US$714 Million.
As you can see, these three companies are not your average suburban florist shops. All three companies generate revenue in multi-million dollar figures. Their websites are modern and slick, with high quality product photography.
Product Photography. Picture Perfect Flowers.When photographing flowers for their web site, product catalogs and marketing campaigns, hundreds of flowers are sourced/purchased for the product shoot. Then they might wait a couple of days to let the flowers blossom and open up. When the flowers are ready, at their aesthetic best, an experienced florist or a creative team will arrange the flowers. Out of the hundreds of flowers, they will pick the best available flowers. Using wires inserted up the stem, pegs, clamps, super-glue or whatever is required to keep the flowers in place. Once the flowers are professionally photographed, they will be processed through imaging software such as Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop for colour correction and to touch up any blemishes.
The flowers are composes to be viewed at a 180 degree angle – from the front only. If you were to walk around the arrangement of flowers, the arrangement would look unbalanced and non-semitrical. Take another look at the product images above. See how every rose is clearly visible. How you can count each individual rose. If you were to look at these arrangements from behind, you will probably be able to clearly see four – maybe five individual roses.
In the above image, the rose on the left is a raw camera image. The image on the right is the same image of the rose, processed in Abobe Lightroom, touched up and sharpened in Photoshop. The image processing is subtle but it does make a difference.
Producing good photos and making the product look appealing to the consumer is fine, providing it's not misleading. Every industry does it.
Now have a look at the delivered roses. The blossoms are not as big. Some blooms are smaller than others. Some of the rose petals appear dog eared. Some of the roses appear to be wilting. Notice how the foliage is all over the place. These rose bouquets were most probably arranged on a production line. A production line that ships hundreds, even thousands of flower orders per day. The flowers are then delivered by courier. Sitting in the courier van for hours, the flowers are tossed around as the courier makes multiple deliveries.
Local Florists vs Relay Florists & Wire Services
Local florists are small florist shops usually owned and operated by a qualified florist. Typically, the florist/owner will source flowers from local wholesale markets and flower growers. Selecting the freshest, quality flowers available, a florist will purchase enough flowers for a couple of days, going to market 2-3 times per week. This ensures the florist has the freshest possible flowers while minimizing wastage.
Local florists operate in a very competitive environment where their products are physically on display in their shop. They take great care and pride to maintain a solid reputation for fresh flowers and beautiful arrangements. Otherwise, no one will enter their shop. No one will purchase their products. When buying online, it's safe to expect the same level of quality and service when dealing directly through a local florist.
To find a local florist through a search engine, try searching for "local florists in Melbourne". Replace Melbourne with whichever city/suburb you want to send flowers to.
Jardins Square Boxed Roses
With Jardins, what you see is what you get. Most of the photos on our website and social media pages, are actual photos of products sent out to customers. Due to seasonal availability of rose cultivars, some colours rose colours may differ.
Sending Roses to Melbourne
Similar to local florists, Jardins is a boutique florist specialising in roses delivered to Melbourne, Australia. What makes us standout from our competitors is our signature boxes and fresh premium quality roses. We buy our roses daily, selecting the freshest flowers available. All our roses are premium quality, long stemmed with large blooms. When you buy roses through Jardins, we guarantee the flowers will look as good as they pictured on our website – if not better.
Consumer Reports Article - http://www.consumerreports.org/shopping-websites/ordering-flowers-online/
FTD Wikipedia page - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florists%27_Transworld_Delivery
1-800-Flowers Wikipedia page - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1-800-Flowers
ProFlowers Wikipedia page - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ProFlowers
Flower Delivery Wikipedia page - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flower_delivery