iBuyFlowers: Disrupting the US flower business


iBuyFlowers iBuyFlowers is a B2B e-commerce platform for US florists, wedding and event planners. The founder and the investors are originally from the Netherlands, but the company is currently only operational in the US. The platform is disrupting the traditional flower industry by eliminating wholesalers and auction houses. With the fully automated logistics chain developed by iBuyFlowers, the wholesalers and importers of the traditional flower chain are eliminated, and the transportation time is reduced by 30-50%. The full transparency of the iBuyFlowers logistics chain allows customers to pick the desired source location and enjoy fresh flowers at a lower price. The social impact of the iBuyFlowers platform ranges across many areas: the company works only with (Green) certified growers with labels like: Rainforest Alliance Certified, VeriFlora, BASC, Fairtrade, Flower Label Program (FLP) in order to protect the human rights of farm employees, and guarantees payment to the growers within two weeks after shipment, as opposed to 45-60 days in the industry. Also, due to a more efficient logistics strategy, a fair amount of CO2 emissions is saved, no damage is caused to flowers due to repackaging; and fewer flowers are wasted and thrown away during the transportation. The e-commerce platform is developed in house and has been updated in design and algorithms. There is a continuous investment in the development of the platform to enhance user experience and add new features. As the only one on the market, iBuyFlowers can price flowers up to six months in advance and automatically provide substitute flower suggestions for flowers that are out of stock or unavailable. The platform can provide all of this information automatically within 10-20 min.

Learn more about iBuyFlowers here: www.ibuyflowers.com

Project Definition

NGC has worked with the iBuyFlowers team before the platform launch in 2016 and again in 2017. In this follow up project, NGC consultants will help iBuyFlowers by creating a long-term international expansion strategy and determining whether or not Canada is the best primary expansion target. Additionally, NGC consultants will analyze iBuyFlower’s current software and recommend how it can be improved to meet their long-term strategic direction.

Specific recommendations to be developed by the Consulting team are:

1. Develop a detailed 2-5 year international expansion strategy for iBuyFlower’s B2B flower business.

a. Conduct a deep study on the viability of Canada as a primary expansion target i. Strong final recommendation on Canada’s viability as the first expansion entry point

b. Develop an understanding of the B2B flower market globally, and benchmark ideal countries for future targeted expansion i. Determine number of competitors, feasibility of a US based company to enter, untapped market opportunities, pricing structure in the country, etc.

c. Create a comprehensive expansion strategy for one-three target countries (including Canada) i. The expansion should consider language, time zones & culture

2. Analyze iBuyFlower’s current software and recommend key areas for improvement, focusing on customer acquisition and customer experience

a. Conduct primary and secondary research to evaluate iBuyFlower’s current app platform and its alignment with the company’s long-term strategic goals

b. Deliver clear recommendations on what needs to be changed and create a strategic action plan