UNDERSTANDING THE CAPABILITIES OF TECHNOLOGY OFFERS POTENTIAL FOR INCREASED FUTURE SALES
Ever wonder how the biggest companies keep getting even bigger each year? It’s not your imagination as this trend has been accelerating over the last few years. People have lots of explanations for these trends, but it seems unmistakable that the larger players spend more on technology and R&D than the smaller players.
It’s no secret why companies like Amazon keep acquiring more and more market share. They have thousands of people working on IT on any day of the week, spanning hundreds of business segments. Compare this to many flower companies that do not have one technical person on staff. How can they possibly compete and keep up with the newest technologies and trends? It’s just not possible to keep up.
Is your company thinking of investing in AI (Artificial Intelligence), drones or robotics to better serve your customers? That’s a tall order for small IT teams with limited budgets. These new technologies help give the more significant players a substantial competitive advantage in the marketplace with shoppers. The larger companies are building a foundation to serve customers better. They are investing in the future.
Consumers have become accustomed to the latest apps when they shop, with real-time inventory control, accurate product data and rapid local delivery. Maintaining hardware and software systems to address all these areas requires a commitment on the part of the company to invest as much in IT as they do in marketing. That’s just not the mind-set at many companies we see in the flower business. The traditional thinking among many players is “we” spend/invest in marketing, but it’s okay if our staff uses five-year-old computers. New tablets? Don’t even ask!
We’re all consumers in one way or another. Ask yourself why you shop at some of the big brand stores or websites? A lot of it has to do with how customer friendly and how advanced their technology is, along with how polished it looks and how easy it is to use. When was the last time your shopping cart crashed on Amazon.com? Rarely or never is the answer.
This past Father’s Day, I decided to send something different to my dad from Amazon after they had acquired Whole Foods Market. After logging on to Amazon Fresh, I ordered a nice bottle of red wine, two steaks, fresh bread and dessert to send him the makings of a nice dinner.
All of this was delivered within two hours (for free) in California for $65. That’s a fantastic example of what is possible and what we are up against in the flower gift-giving business. These types of gift-giving options will only be expanding in the future as the most prominent players combine the latest technologies with some of the best brand names.
We should also be encouraging our staff members to embrace the latest technologies at home and the office so that we can all stay ahead of the curve when it comes to new and emerging trends. Understanding what new hardware is capable of is the first step in developing better software and systems to address the future needs of consumers.
So the next time your staff asks for a new tablet, smartphone or laptop, keep that in mind because it will help your company even more in the long run.
Alex Frost has founded and operated multiple technology and marketing companies in the floral industry for more than 25 years. He has also developed unique supply chain software for the flower industry. Email him at email@example.com.
SUPER FLORAL / JANUARY 2019 superfloral.com