An increasing number of consumers buys products on the Internet. After all, it is easier and saves time. Who are the online buyers of flowers and plants? Age and sex appear to make all the difference when making a purchase.
Royal FloraHolland's "Consumer Tracker" offers insight into how Dutch consumers buy flowers and plants. Our market researchers examined the differences in (online) purchasing behavior between men and women, and between various age groups, according to data pertaining to 2016.
Men buy flowers online more often
It transpired that women bought flowers and plants slightly more often than men in 2016. Where they do that - in the store or online - differs somewhat between men and women. Women still make 94% of their purchases in stores. Only 3% bought flowers or plants online or by e-mail. This percentage is considerably higher at 10% among men. They go to a physical store less often to buy flowers or plants (82%). The contrast is greatest with the purchase of houseplants: 20% of men versus 4% of women.
Convenience versus experience
It is striking that men also make telephone purchases more often (4% versus 1%) or via a subscription (2% versus 0%). One explanation could be that men prefer the convenience of remote buying or that women experience more pleasure from physically buying flowers and plants in a store.
The preference for the type of store also appears to differ. For example, women prefer to buy flowers and plants in the supermarket (27% versus 18% among men). The garden center is also favored more by women than men (35% versus 25%).
Young people front-runners in online purchasing
In 2016, young people (18-29 years old) bought 17% of the total purchases of flowers and plants. Compared with other age categories, they do that less often in a store or kiosk: 68%. This percentage is 80% among people in their 30s; from the age of 40, it rises above 90%. It will come as no surprise that, at almost 20%, young people lead the way in the online purchase of flowers and plants. That figure is 11% among people in their 30s and this falls from 3% to 1% among people in their 40s. Online purchases of houseplants is highest among young people: 26% versus an average of 12%.
Funeral flowers bought online relatively more often
Sales channel preference appears to depend on the reasons why someone is buying flowers or plants. If it concerns a personal gift, then 90% of Dutch consumers go to a store. This figure is even 92% in the case of flowers and plants for personal use. The purchase of funeral flowers for graves or funeral services occurs considerably more often online: 24% versus 4% for personal use, and 5% in the case of a personal gift.
It seems likely that we can conclude that for personal gifts, consumers still prefer physical stores where you can actually see, feel and smell what you will be giving. The option of having the gift beautifully wrapped may also play a role in this case.
Expected growth of online sales channel
The online channel for flowers and plants is still in its infancy, but is expected to grow. Young people in particular will play an important role here and men also see the convenience of making purchases online.