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Driving business online at Petals

In the second of the Driving Business Online case study series, Petals florist discusses the motivation behind its decision to allow veteran US florist Teleflora acquire it.

The similarity between their business models is a key reason why it made real sense for 75-year US florist veteran Teleflora US to acquire award-winning Armidale-based florist Petals Network in April 2011.

Petals has a 20-year history and has been online since 1994, with a website developed in-house. Similarly, Teleflora US has its own website and following the merger, plans to align both businesses’ web sites and share insights and learnings between the two businesses.

Petals has a number of different business channels. It facilitates transactions between florists in its network, provides an online consumer platform for ordering flowers, contracts to corporates such as Amway and Telstra, has an international floristry business and also has a non-florist gift business.

Challenges

CEO Michael Martin says Petals has a successful online business because “florists are artists at heart and our model allows them to outsource the more commercial aspects of their business.” However, he acknowledges it’s one of the most challenging industries in the online space: “people compete aggressively for orders and are prepared to pay a lot for search marketing.”

Petals also has an extensive online and offline marketing program, including SEO, paid search, banner advertising and email marketing, as well as posters and in-store merchandise.

Payments

Petals accepts PayPal as a payment option, providing its global customer base with a secure and convenient payment solution. Petals processes the payments for all its partners and an important part of its service is to ensure a secure, trusted and convenient payment solution.

Future

Martin says he’s focused on “servicing and expanding our member florists and helping them succeed as business operators, expanding our online consumer business and partner businesses to strengthen our network and growing our international footprint.”

“We’re also looking at expanding the Petals’ offering into new areas such as web design and hosting for local retail florists, call center services for local florists, and vases and many others. Petals has great brand recognition in the industry and Armidale is a great city. We are very much looking forward to being part of the business and community.”

– This case study was produced to support the Driving Business Online program, an initiative developed by PayPal Australia in partnership with Australia Post, Optus, Symantec, MYOB, eBay, Powerfront and The Australian Retailers Association. Driving Business Online has been developed to help small businesses throughout Australia achieve greater success online. The Driving Business Online program consists of an educational roadshow educating businesses across rural and regional New South Wales in addition to the Driving Business Online website.

Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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