No one really knows how the universal tradition of giving flowers began. For as long as humanity itself, presenting someone with flowers is culturally accepted as an expression of a positive emotion – be it admiration, gratitude, and love.
Certain flowers can also be presented in not-so-happy situations, like extending condolences or trying to make peace with an ex.
Traditionally, givers must head to a nearby florist for prearranged bouquets as well as recommendations on which flowers to give.
Apart from the limited options, you’re also not guaranteed a fresh batch even if you purchase the flowers from the store yourself.
For ex-Googler Steve Feiner, these are only some of the reasons why the florist market is in dire need of change.
The bigger reason was his bad shopping experience when he wanted to buy flowers for his now ex-girlfriend’s birthday. After scouring through similar-looking bouquets and struggling with a clunky checkout process, the flowers were delivered a day late and died shortly after.
“This business is ripe for a disruption,” says Feiner. “Nobody has created a customer experience that makes ordering flowers effortless.”
On the plus side, the incident inspired him to found A Better Florist - a flower-delivery startup with a rather self-explanatory name.
The Singapore-based company has a simple statement on their website: “happiness, delivered”. According to Feiner, the florist market hasn’t fundamentally changed for thirty years.
Although online flower shops existed before A Better Florist, these websites lacked what online platforms solely need for sustainable growth – great user experience.
First of all, the company is the first to offer a 90-minute delivery guarantee to any part of Singapore. By ensuring all orders are delivered within the same day, customers can send flowers as last-minute gifts – useful in case they forgot about an occasion or had their initial plans messed up by unforeseen circumstances.
Of course, customers also have the option to schedule delivery dates ahead of time to make sure their plans go without a hitch.
ABF also addresses site experience issues this by having a simplistic store design and streamlined checkout process. A single “Shop” button is visible for each bouquet; all handmade by professional florists from their central office.
Upon clicking, you will be taken through the step-by-step process of filling in the recipient’s details, specifying custom delivery dates, and purchasing add-ons such as vases, scented candles, and snacks.
To help you decide which bouquet best suits the occasion, the product pages come with 1-2-sentence descriptions – similar to what florists say in-store.
The site itself is also devoid of ads and other elements that may distract customers from information that matter. Other than bouquets, ABF offers other floral design services for special occasions such baby shower hampers, wedding vehicle decorations, and general-purpose fruit baskets
Finally, ABF is marginally cheaper than other Singapore-based florists since the flowers are imported directly from flower farms in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.
Unlike traditional flower shops that typically restock on Mondays, the company claims to get daily shipments to maximize the longevity of bouquets by the time they get to the customer’s hands. And with less middlemen involved, both the company and customers get to keep more of their money with every transaction.
Beyond Business Acumen
Flowers provide some of us with a way to convey emotions that are difficult to put into words. For Steve Feiner, it’s all about emotions that put smiles on people’s faces. “Success is making a lot of people smile,” he says in a Crowdfunders interview.
On top of business acumen, he advises aspiring entrepreneurs to be genuinely passionate about what they do to truly grow. “Don’t do it unless you are obsessed with the problem you are solving,” says Feiner. “It is much harder than you think it is.”