• LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Chain partner collaboration plants seeds of success

28 November 2022

Shopper activations: enticing and selling 

The Flower Council of Holland has been focusing on shopper activations for several years now, with enticing campaigns that boost in-store sales of flowers and plants. And it is not just the sales figures that are given a boost, but our knowledge also increases with each activation. Insights are shared with the sector and used to make subsequent activations even more successful. ‘The enticement lies in the added value for the consumer rather than in the cheapest price,’ explains Activation Team Manager Ivo van Orden, who presented the latest results and insights at the Flower Council of Holland’s stand at the recent Trade Fair Aalsmeer.  

How do you go about enticing consumers to visit the store or webshop and then purchase flowers, a bouquet, or a plant? That is always the challenging question for the shopper activation team. In conjunction with growers, traders, and retailers, the team has developed in excess of 60 sales promotion campaigns for and on the shop floor in various European countries since 2018.  

Entice, activate, retain 
And yet effective activation requires so much more than just a nice giveaway. First and foremost, flowers and plants need to be top-of-mind among consumers – which can be achieved through campaigns like Thanks Plants, with radio spots and online communication. The next step is to target shoppers with an effective campaign that will actually get them to visit the shop: ‘Come along and get the Happinez special Happi.Health for free’. Once in store, an eye-catching presentation reinforces the campaign promotion. And we can start to encourage the next purchase as soon as the customer pays: ‘get €5 off your next plant purchase’. ‘Four steps geared towards enticing and retaining customers. And it works. We’re seeing higher sales figures or less waste.’ 

Another success factor revealed by the surveys is an added value that is genuinely relevant for the target group. And the more emphatic the link between the activation and the Flower Council of Holland’s campaigns and content, the greater the success of the result. 

Spectacular results 
Examples abound, such as the autumn bouquet campaign at Blumen Risse, which ran in October 2021. Radio commercials, social media, and influencers were used to attract consumer attention. The special autumn bouquets were offered in the chain’s 135 branches (florists and garden centres) and in its webshop. The website attracted 21% more visitors and sales of the special ‘bouquets of the week’ were boosted by no less than 114%.  

Shopper activations are taking off beyond our core countries as well. An activation run in September 2022 enabled Norwegian florist chain Mester Grønn to achieve 7.5 million views on social media, 85% of which were within the target group. Customers were given a free Begonia Rex when purchasing an orchid. Orchid sales rose by nearly 10% as a result. 

Every shopper activation is the result of close cooperation between various chain partners: growers (and grower collectives), traders, retail chains, and the Flower Council of Holland. Which party takes the initiative and subsequently enlists the help of the other partners varies.  

Shopper activations centering on potted roses and orchids were introduced at the French supermarket chain E.Leclerc consecutively in November and December.  

This year marks the fourth edition of the shopper activation featuring the orchid. ‘Research attests to the great deal of enthusiasm on the part of both shoppers and retail organisations,’ says Barry Wubben from The Floral Connection. ‘We use different promotional material each time to see what works. Last year, we introduced the “wobbler” for greater visibility in-store. But it didn’t have the desired effect, proving to be too much of a hassle for the stores. Focusing on the door-to-door brochure (16 million issued this year), in-store posters, and campaign stickers on packaging always pays off. We’ll be steering more towards online promotions this year.’ An important aspect of the collaboration is the value added by project partners. ‘Orchidee Nederland and the Flower Council of Holland are great at the creation and communication aspects. We’re familiar with the stores, how things work in practice and what customers want. Together we come up with good ideas and deliver great results.’ 

For the third year in a row, Fleurop is running a shopper activation featuring the Amaryllis in Germany. One insight is now firmly imprinted in the mind of Ilka Siedenburg from Fleurop Germany. ‘We’ve tried all kinds of things during previous activations, but shoppers want to keep things nice and traditional at Christmas and stick with the red amaryllis.’ No fewer than 35,000 amaryllis bouquets were sold in 2021, proof in Siedenburg’s eyes that the campaign and activation worked. ‘That was twice as many bouquets as in 2020. And there’s no doubt in my mind that this was due to excellent cooperation. Developing good shopper activations is a collaborative effort, taking all partners’ interests into account.’ 

The chrysanthemum growers and breeders that make up the Chryson Foundation are set to get their first taste of shopper activations, with two running in the Netherlands and France in the coming months. In recent years, the focus was primarily on visibility and presentation on the shop floor. ‘We’ve gained a great deal of experience with product displays and now know what consumers find appealing in terms of presentation and range,’ says Chryson Chairman Jan van Ruyven. ‘It’s now time for the next step – triggering consumers to feel tempted on the shop floor, so they actually go ahead and buy chrysanthemums. We did that at Jumbo in November and are currently doing so at the French florist chain Jardin des Fleurs. We’re now going to gain experience linking enticement and activation on the shop floor. Not only is this exciting stuff, but above all very informative and constructive to be teaming up with a variety of chain parties in working towards our ultimate goal: getting consumers to enjoy flowers even more. In view of the level of experience that the Flower Council of Holland now has, I have complete faith in this being a success.’

One important aspect of shopper activations is to garner insights into consumer preferences. Targeted surveys provide more and more clarity on what influences buying behaviour. Where do consumers shop, both online and off? What types of activations work on them? And what influences their purchases? Does a display or locally produced products make the difference? Is product information the decisive factor or is a quality guarantee important? These and many other questions are increasingly being asked of shoppers in the participating countries. ‘Crucial information for each subsequent activation,’ observes shopper activation specialist Ivo van Orden. Incidentally, that subsequent activation could also be a re-run. ‘The Flower Council of Holland will run the same shopper activation a maximum of three times. It’s then up to the other parties. And that’s becoming increasingly common too. 

Further information 
Keen to find out more about this shopper activation or to organise one with us? Feel free to get in touch with our Country Manager Chanel de Kock via cdekock@flowercouncil.co.uk. Or contact Ivo van Orden, Activation Team Manager, by sending an e-mail to ivanorden@bloemenbureauholland.nl.

November 2022