Tropos, a software development agency, has a case study related to flower shops.
They define Online Flower Shops as "a store selling and shipping different varieties of flowers". The online flower stores customers can use a catalogue that may be available onsite or offsite. The catalogue is regularly updated online and is also mailed to the shop's customers.
The details of the flowers included in the catalogue are:
name of the flowers,
a short description,
name of the breeder,
the year when it was introduced in the shop,
the price of the flowers.
There may also be pictures available to go with the description.
Customers select the flowers and place their orders online using this catalogue. They can add the item to their
shopping cart online.
The Online Flower Shops gets quality flowers from flower suppliers. Customers can order the flowers in person, on phone or through the internet. They call the new internet system, "Flower Alive".
Tropos creates a new software for this flower shop and the goal of the software is to "allow an on-line customer to examine the different kinds of flowers in the FlowerAlive! internet catalogue, also to place orders".
The system is freely available to all without any registration or payment requirements. They system allows potential customers to browse through the catalogues and access the flower data base. All the flowers are grouped and customers can view and compare similar flowers and then make a decision.
Customers can search using keywords or they can just browse through the pictures, catalogue and information available on the site. The customers select what they want to buy, add it to their shopping cart. When they are ready to buy they check out and buy the items by providing their credit card details. The information required to be filled in generally includes: name, address, credit card number, bank account, delivery address and date, and personal message.
The goals of the customer is to buy flowers and that of the flower shop is three fold.
The flower shop needs to handle the customers orders efficiently.
It should make the customer happy.
It should try to increase sales.
The tasks of the Online Flower Shops are divided into specific goals in the case study.
The task 'Run shop', for example is divided into three goals: Handle Billing, Handle Customer Orders and Handle Stock.
One of the things here, 'Handle Customer Orders' is further sub divided into tasks: OrderByPhone, OrderByPerson, OrderByInternet.
The goals and tasks are split up in this way till one task that can be carried out by one person is arrived at.
The software is fine tuned and improved based on the findings of the study which is based on customer experience.
It is professional for shop owners to take adequate measures to ensure that their customers get the best experience of shopping with them and they are the buzz marketers or the chains of the viral marketing links. Word-of-mouth they will convey the best experience they have had and this will be the best advertising for the shop.
Professionalism means ensuring the best quality at all levels and leaving no chance for
complaints. The first and foremost in the flower link may be the flower supplier. So it is necessary to buy flowers from a florist who has taken care to insure his product right from the planting and harvesting stage to the processing and finally shipping stage. A set of guidelines for flower care should be part of the contract and it should include specifications like the temperature should be maintained at 33-34 degrees F. How the flowers are packed and where they are kept in the truck used for transportation and a myriad other details play a vital role in determining the vase life of the flowers.
The online flower services can have assured success if it ensures that the customers enjoy the experience of choosing and buying the flowers and getting the expected response from the recipients, which is the ultimate goal of this transaction. The flower shop, if it handles each stage professionally and ethically, online flower sales benefit from the fragrance that spreads from word-of-mouth advertising of satisfied customers.