Adopting an omnichannel strategy has become the flagship strategy for brands given the need to engage with consumers at all times. As an accomplished brand in offline and then online retail, flower and gift retailer Ferns N Petals (FNP) has been successful in growing its customer base online.
It has indeed doubled its online turnover over the past three years and enjoys very strong loyalty with more than 60% customer repeatability. It is believed to be the largest flower and gift retailer in India and one of the largest flower retailers in the world.
âThe omnichannel strategy certainly adds value to the customer journey lifecycle, where the customer needs both online and offline depending on the type of need – we observed that our customers were visiting both channels. Therefore, we are trying to expand our retail store network beyond the current 400, including florists and pastry shops, âsaid Sai Tota, Digital Marketing Manager at Ferns N Petals.
The brand engages customers in the following touch points: online properties, ie websites, app; call center (through phone channels, email, chat, etc.), offline stores, i.e. marketing touchpoints, email, push notifications, SMS, etc., and the platform -Customer data form (CDP) that the company has built internally.
Technological adoption and its challenges
The main reason that brands like Ferns N Petals have grown in recent times is due to the rapid technological adoption that these brands have been able to successfully integrate.
Vasanth Kamathgi, CTO (Chief Technical Officer), Ferns N Petals talks about the areas they are currently undertaking: âWe work a lot with cloud computing and cloud engineering and a lot of work is being done in integrating payment options. We are also working on building our integrated wallet with most of the leading payment options, be it Gpay or PhonePe. ”
Another major area of ââdevelopment that has taken place in recent times, which the company is actively working on, is âcontent dynamismâ. This is about giving full control to your company admins to control the overall part of the content and also in a way the editing of personalized content for a respective user.
To illustrate, in the case of FNP, if someone lands on the website www.fnp.com from the US – and if the business user wants, if someone lands on the website from the US – United, then it should see the X content with the Y image or, say, the Y layout – so this stuff is completely controlled by business users. This means the technology-based system, whereby it only takes a few commands from their panel to control the overall interface and the type of content they want to display in any type of condition.
However, alongside these high-end technology adoptions, there are many challenges that prevent a business from performing at the optimal levels expected.
âThe biggest challenge is the acquisition and development of knowledge. Since you are heading for new technology and find the problem which can be solved by using the new technology, you also need to acquire the knowledge. So this whole rigorous training process is something that’s a challenge and I think it’s for the whole industry, âKamathgi said.
Another major challenge is that of spectrum compatibility. Kamathgi added, âIf you build a new system, but you don’t know how compatible it will be with various other devices – new devices are introduced every day, new phones are released, new software is released. ”
Currently, with 260 flower shops in 105 cities, the company has worked on digitizing all of its physical stores and the company has achieved the same by listing Google businesses and creating social media pages (Facebook / Instagram ) of each store which we continue to propagate from time to time with the arrival of new designs / occasion.
In India, 80 percent of the flowers sold in India are in an unorganized market by roadside vendors, local florists and street vendors. Among the organized markets, Ferns N Petals, Flowercompany, Interflora, Giftsnflowers, etc. are some of the major players in the market. In fact, Ferns N Petals was the first company in India to venture into the flower business in an organized manner.
Demand for flowers in India has always been robust despite the market hit the past couple of years. With occasions like weddings, birthdays, anniversaries etc. which accelerate again, the market will only grow in the coming days, if not further hampered by a third wave.
However, although it is a lucrative field, a major barrier to entering the flower business is the need to develop storage and sourcing capacities to manage flowers. It also prevents a flower business from sustaining itself throughout the year.
To make supply chain processes transparent, FNP uses the emerging âRobotixâ technology to solve the overall logistics and supply chain management system. In fact, many Robotix IoT-based solutions are adopted in offline systems: logistics, supply chain management, as well as delivery.
Founded in 1994, the company started with a single store under the entrepreneurial spirit of Vikaas Gutgutia, which has now grown into a reputable brand with 12 vertical stores under the umbrella of FNP. Today the company has 12 verticals namely FNP Retail & Franchising, FNP E-commerce (India, United Arab Emirates, Singapore), FNP cakes ‘N’ More, FNP Gardens, FNP Weddings & Events, FNP Floral Touch (UAE), WDH (Wedding Design Hub), Flowers ‘N’ More, FNP Flagship, Sipping Thoughts, FNP Water and FNP Media.