Uber, DoorDash, and the Floral Industry
It’s no surprise that floral e-commerce has taken off in the past few years, evolving into a growing industry. In the U.S. alone, floral e-commerce has grown yearly by 5.1% on average between 2016 and 2021. Even organizations like the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) have admitted that floral e-commerce is a trend gaining a lot of traction. In fact, they have called it one of the greatest opportunities in the floral industry today.
Keeping all this in mind, it’s no wonder that Uber, DoorDash, and other e-commerce platforms are focusing on the floral industry and florists in particular.
DoorDash for Merchants allows florists to sell on their platform, with customers able to browse stores, order, and pay through the DoorDash app. In fact, florists even have the option to use their own ordering or delivery platforms and only partially partnering with DoorDash for florist
Uber for florist
It’s as recently as July that Uber Eats announced its plans to start delivering flowers. This means that consumers will be able to order directly from the app. However, their model is very different from DoorDash for florists, which allows all florists to use their platform. Uber has partnered with ProFlowers, a subsidiary of FTD, and is delivering flowers in major cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, with plans to offer the service nationwide by 2022.
Even Instacart has jumped on the bandwagon, partnering with Publix to deliver flowers and floral arrangements to customers.
COVID and the Gig Economy
Since the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in layoffs and businesses closing their doors either temporarily or permanently, many workers were left without a source of income. According to the PEW Research Center, unemployment grew by more than 14 million between February and May 2020, jumping from 3.8% to 13%.
While the gig economy was flourishing before the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic pushed new people into the field. In 2018, more than a third (36%) of U.S. workers were in the gig economy. This was approximately 57 million people. The gig economy has become increasingly popular for people who want more flexible work. However, COVID-19 pushed people into the gig economy because of massive job loss and the financial uncertainty that the world was facing.
Even as the world is slowly returning to normal and more businesses have opened up, the gig economy isn’t going anywhere. According to IBM, the change in behavior is here to stay. 75% of those surveyed said they wanted to continue working remotely at times, while more than half (54%) wanted it to be their primary way of working. This desire, combined with unemployment, has resulted in the gig economy expanding rapidly.
Why Tech Companies Are Investing in the Floral Industry
Many tech companies are taking notice of the flower industry and investing in it. A primary example of this is the popular domain website, GoDaddy, advertising .garden and .florist domains. Even IT consultants like Magneto are trying to get into the floral boom by advertising floral e-commerce statistics and encouraging floral websites. In fact, they’re going as far as to call themselves experts in the field.
So why exactly are these companies suddenly interested in the floral industry? The answer is simple – it’s lucrative. According to a report by research and markets, the global floriculture market is forecasted to reach $77.3 billion by 2026. The cut-flower market in the U.S. alone is worth $6 billion. According to the Society of American Florists, flower retailers average sales of $325,000 annually. Start-ups also don’t need a lot of capital unless they’re opening a storefront, making the floral industry a great investment for tech giants.
As previously mentioned, the gig economy is flourishing, making for accessible employment opportunities for workers, and the number of workers entering the economy is helping wages remain competitive. Delivery companies have benefited the most from the gig economy, with platforms like Just Eat growing by 58% between the final quarter of 2019 and 2020. All of this makes now an excellent time to invest in floriculture, especially in flower delivery services.
It should also be noted that IBISWorld reports that in the U.S., the online flower shop industry grew by 5.1% annually from 2016 to 2021. This was faster than the economy overall. With online flower businesses seeing such profits and demand consistently rising throughout 2021, it’s not surprising that larger companies want to invest in the floral industry and take advantage of the profits.