Why we pride ourselves in never outsourcing
At Overnight Flowers, we will never outsource or broker the fulfillment of your order to another company. We take great pride in the responsibility of fulfilling your order from end-to-end. This means Overnight Flowers has complete control of the flowers that are purchased, what flowers are used in your order, the shelf life of your flowers, how your flowers are arranged, and how your flowers are delivered. Yes, flowers are perishable and these details matter to ensure you receive flowers that are beautiful, fresh, and long lasting. Therefore, our team manages every last detail, so that your order is a perfect order every time. Successful fulfillment and delivery of your fresh flowers is our core responsibility and we will not outsource that core responsibility to any other company.
How would I know if my online flower order is outsourced?
Read through the fine print to determine if your flower order is outsourced. The easiest and most effective way to know if your order is outsourced is to look for the words “substitutions” or “examples only”.
Why does the words “substitution” or “example only” mean outsourced? It’s simple. When an online floral retailer outsources to another company (typically a local florist), they may not have all the flowers necessary to fulfill your order. The substitute is when you may receive a carnation instead of a rose or a daisy instead of a lily. The florist often cannot support to hundreds of flower types required to fulfill your order. Sometimes the substitution word is on the product page, sometimes it is in the FAQ’s, or sometimes it is buried deep in the Terms and Conditions. Wherever you see the word substation, just know that your order will very likely be outsourced.
Why some online floral companies outsource orders
Outsourcing of orders began organically through floral wire services before the Internet and eCommerce when people had a need to send flowers to a recipient in a location different from their own. You’d simply walk into or call your local florist, tell them how much you’d like to spend and a general idea of the flowers you’d like to send. Your local florist would then wire the order to a florist in your recipient’s location. The florist in your recipient’s location would then fulfill the order the best they could with the flowers in stock in their store.
With the rise of eCommerce, the wire services transitioned online into brand names you may be familiar with. And, rather than walking into a local flower shop, consumer now shop online. After the customer places the order online, the process to fulfill the wired or outsourced order is exactly the same as was in years past. The floral bouquet you select to purchase online is only a suggestion of the flowers for the local florist. Again, read the fine print and if you see the words “substitutions” or “example only”, your order has been outsourced.
So, why do these companies not take more responsibility and fulfill the orders on their own? It’s simple. It’s much easier and more profit rich to provide only the technology to take the order and outsource the hard work for someone else to fulfill. Additionally, many of these companies take fees from florists to have the luxury of being in their network. And, if anything goes wrong with the order, like a missed delivery or a quality issues, who do you think assumed financial risk of credits back to the customer. You guessed it. The risk is outsourced.
No one ever purchases a car model and upon delivery is given another model because the dealer does not have the model you purchased in stock. Even if the product is perishable, no one ever orders a dish in a restaurant and is served an entirely different dish. The restaurant would go out of business. Just because the flowers may be delivered to a recipient different from you the purchaser does not make the substitution practice acceptable. You should always get what you pay for.
What outsourcing means for you
We get it. People are often in a hurry. It’s easy to just place an order online because you need something fast. We do, however, think it’s important to understand and educate everyone why a quick order placed with a company that outsources can create headaches for you after your flowers have been delivered. No one wants poor birthday experience, a disappointed Mom on Mother’s Day, or a significant other who questions you on Valentine’s Day.
Typical floral outsourcing issues
- Minimal control of the flowers that are purchased and put into your bouquet. Although many believe that red roses are red roses and tulips are tulips, there is an amazing amount of variety in flowers. There is a lot of variety amongst the same flower’s color. We can think of dozens of types of red roses alone! And that doesn’t even include stem length! Because it’s impossible to manage how each and every flower shop purchases their flowers, there is the possibility that what is in the picture will be substituted. Maybe you’ve received a bouquet similar to what you’ve purchased and maybe not, but the point is you should only receive what you purchased.
- Flowers substitutions. This is the number one complaint we’ve heard from friends and family who’ve had their order outsourced. The flowers received do not look anything like the flowers ordered. That’s right, friends and family who have ordered a dozen red roses receive six red roses and six red carnations. As mentioned above, availability of flowers varies by geography and even what the florist has in stock day-to-day. Once the online floral retailer includes the word substitution, the florists can include whatever they want into a bouquet. So, if the outsourced partner does not have more than six roses in their shop, it’s ok to complete the dozen red rose order with six red carnations.
- Flower life span. There are three major factors that impact a flower’s life span. They are (first) the type of flowers purchased, (second) the number of times flowers are sold per week (inventory turnover), and (third) how the flowers are stored. We spoke about the type of flowers purchased in point number one above. The second factor that dictates flower life span is how often fresh flowers are brought into a shop. If the flower shop, the order was outsourced to, does not turn their flowers quick enough, they may be more apt to sell older flowers. Finally, the third factor that dictates flower life span is how the flowers are stored. If the flowers are stored in a refrigerated environment, that’s perfect because it puts the flowers in a dormant state that enables a long life. If however the flowers are not stored in refrigeration, the flowers can have a reduced life span.
- Flower Delivery. It’s easy to think that all forms of delivery are the same. They are not. In fact, the delivery of anything can be one of the most sensitive parts of any online order, not just flowers. Best delivery practice includes a tracking number, tracking information that is readily available to the customer, and the delivery driver being uniformed and professional. If your order is outsourced, there is a strong change you may be missing one of these. The best example is tracking and updated tracking information. Because of the differences in outsourced partners, tracking technology and processes vary. A poor experience is having to wait until late in the evening when a tracking number is manually entered when the bouquet was actually delivered much earlier in the day. An even worse experience is never receiving an update if the bouquet was delivered at all.
The Details Overnight Flowers Controls
- We select the best flower varieties from the best farms. That’s right. We go to great lengths to work with the best farms and select the best flowers varieties that last the longest. We use data to analyze what flowers last the longest, what farms have produced the best flowers year after year, and, what makes our customers happiest. Most important, we do not and will never skimp based on price. Our most important asset is you as a customer and making you happy. None of this would be possible if we outsourced your order.
- No flowers substitutions. We will not substitute ever. We believe that if a customer purchases a mixed bouquet they should receive exactly the same mixed bouquet that is represented in the photo we put on our website. We only sell seasonally fresh flowers. If a flower is not seasonally fresh, we will not sell it to you through substitutions. If you order pink and white lilies, you will only receive pink and white lilies. If you order lavender roses, you will only receive lavender roses. None of this would be possible if we outsourced your order.
- Our flowers last longer. As mentioned above, there are three major factors that impact a flower’s life span. They are (first) the type of flowers purchased, (second) the numbers of flowers that are sold per week, and (third) how the flowers are stored. We have exact specifications of the flowers we order as mentioned in point number one above. Second, because of the amount of flowers we sell, we are able to turn our inventory daily meaning our customers always receive value and freshness. Third, our flowers are always stored in a refrigerated environment, so the flowers have the longest possible life span. None of this would be possible, if we outsourced your order.
- Flower Delivery. When your order is delivered with Overnight Flowers, your order will have a tracking number that is updated regularly. Additionally, a uniformed driver will deliver your order. When you order a Gerbera Daisy birthday bouquet, you will know the exact time of delivery with no guessing. When you make that call to say happy birthday, you can be confident that order was delivered. Lastly, we believe in the safety of our customers and we would never allow for delivery by a non-uniformed driver, period. None of this would be possible if we outsourced your order.
We hope you are more educated in understanding if your order will potentially be outsourced and the consequences of it being outsourced. Remember to take the time and read through the fine print on the product page or FAQ’s. Always look for the words substitution or example only. There is no reason to risk a disaster on a birthday, Valentine’s Day, or Mother’s Day. These are important occasions where you want smiles.
Breathe easy that Overnight Flowers has got your back. We will never outsource or substitute. We do the hard work, so you can sit back and take credit. That’s the way we like, so that when you need to make your next floral purchase, it’s an easy and confident one with Overnight Flowers.
Flowers always make everything happier!