FloralMarketResearch.com - - The site for Floral Marketing Research
A P&P Consumer Report
Consumer Floral Tracking Survey
Release Date: March 9th, 2015
As a benefit for the floral industry, Prince & Prince (P&P)
reveal select findings from their tracking survey of U.S. floral-buying
households, including consumer perceptions (attributes) toward the
floral businesses where consumers make their floral purchases.
In the consumer floral market, consumer perceptions are often
realities, as these perceptions of the floral offering (product,
service, and business image) largely form the basis for consumer
purchase decisions. In
statistical reporting, P&P categorize these consumer perceptions of
floral businesses into eight major floral channels (e.g. florist shops,
supermarkets, super-discounters, Internet/ 800-numbers, wholesale clubs,
home/ hardware centers, garden centers, and farmers markets). Of sixteen factors measured in the P&P consumer
research, this report details three perceptual factors:
1) Floral Quality, 2) Over-Priced, and 3) Consumer Satisfaction/
For the Floral Quality factor, the perception that “Their flowers or
plants don’t last” (floral longevity) was registered by 13% of all
household business ratings ( n = 2,376 ), but the “don’t last” perception varied
widely among the major floral channels, ranging from a low of 2% of
households that purchased from a particular floral channel (best
performance), to a high of 28% for another channel (worst performance).
The consumer perception of “Fresh-appearing flowers or
plants” (floral freshness) was scored for 65% of all household
business ratings, ranging from a low of 42% at one channel (worst), to a
high of 80% at another channel (best).
And for the consumer perception “Highest quality arrangements
or bouquets”, the average across all household business ratings was
40%, but the lowest-scoring channel registered only 9% of household
ratings, and the highest-scoring channel reported a strong 80%.
These striking differences in consumer perceptions of floral
quality suggest that consumes can readily distinguish floral quality
perceptually (both perceptions of freshness and longevity) among U.S.
floral businesses and the major channels where they purchase.
For the Over-Priced factor, the perception of “Provides value for the
price paid” was registered by 50% of all household business ratings,
with the lowest-scoring channel registering 39% of households that
purchased from the channel (worst), and the highest-scoring channel at
65% (best). About 11%
of all household business ratings indicated that the floral business
“Over-charges for handling/ delivery”, ranging from a low of 2% of
households (best), to a high of 45% (worst) at another channel.
And 25% of all household business ratings reported that the
floral business has “Over-priced flowers or plants”, ranging from a
low of 5% of households at one channel (best), to a high of 50% (worst)
In addition to measuring numerous perceptions of a floral business/
channel, the P&P consumer research also measured an “outcome”
factor, Consumer Satisfaction/ Floral-Purchasing Loyalty. Across all floral businesses and channels, the average
satisfaction rating attributed to floral businesses was a score of 5.4
on a 7-point scale, ranging from a low average score of 4.5 at one
channel, to a high average score of 6.0 at another channel. About 15% of all household ratings indicated that
the household would be increasing their floral purchasing at those
businesses (future intention). For
one floral channel, only 1% of households purchasing from the channel
indicated an intention to increase purchasing at the channel (lowest
intention), while at another floral channel, 36% of households
purchasing from the channel reported an intention to increase purchasing
at the channel (highest intention).
Across all household business ratings, 61% indicated that they
would “Recommend the floral business to a friend” (loyalty measure),
ranging from a low of 37% of households at one channel, to a high of 80%
of households at another channel.
This reporting by Prince & Prince provides a descriptive profile of
U.S. consumer perceptions of floral quality, price, and satisfaction/
loyalty attributed to floral businesses throughout the U.S., and with
perceptions grouped by the major floral channels (the P&P on-site
seminar details 16 perceptual factors of floral businesses, grouped by
the eight major floral channels).
Follow-up reporting (Part II in this series) will introduce a
statistical model that explores the relationships among the perceptual
factors Floral Quality, Over-priced, and Consumer Satisfaction/
Floral-Purchasing Loyalty. Applications of this model to the P&P consumer survey
data will uncover some key drivers to consumer satisfaction/ floral
purchasing, and will yield important market information about consumer
floral-purchasing behaviors in the U.S. market.
Consumer Perceptions of Floral Quality and Price and Their Impact on Consumer Satisfaction/ Purchasing Loyalty:
Part I, Consumer Attribute
Insight from the 2014 Prince & Prince U.S.
Consumer Floral Tracking Survey
Drs. Tom & Tim Prince, Prince & Prince, Inc., Columbus, OH USA
Special Note: This report series is based on new consumer research findings from the Prince & Prince (P&P) consumer floral seminar, “The U.S. Consumer Floral Tracking Survey, 2014 Edition”, which tracks U.S. consumer purchasing behavior of fresh cut flowers and indoor potted plants from 2007 (prior to recession) to 2010 (after recession) and to the end of 2013 (recovery period). The floral quality, pricing, and consumer purchasing/ satisfaction metrics detailed in this report series are just a few of the 100+ consumer floral-purchasing metrics discussed in the P&P seminar. The research update was sponsored by Smithers-Oasis North America (SONA). P&P sincerely thank SONA for their support in making this research update possible, providing benefit for the entire floral industry. The updated Prince & Prince consumer floral research is now available to the floral industry with an on-site seminar. Please contact P&P for seminar content, fees, and scheduling at your business location.
In the floral industry, the perceptions of “floral quality” and “price” are important perceptions to understand at all levels of the floral distribution channel, from the floral production (grower) level, to the logistical (import and wholesale) levels, to the retail (florist and mass-market) levels, and to the level of the ultimate consumer. In this distribution channel, the buyer-seller relationships (dyads) at each link within the channel form the basis of exchange, and the key perceptions of floral quality and price are often part of that exchange. Since the floral market is truly global in scope (largely for cut flowers), with a very high degree of perishability (it’s alive), and with a high level of diversity (thousands of floral species), and having to respond to great fluctuations in floral supply (climate change) and consumer demand throughout the year (floral holidays), members of the floral distribution channel often seem to “wrestle” with these two key perceptions of floral quality and price that drive the floral market forward.
report series, Prince & Prince (P&P), with survey data from the
2014 U.S. Consumer Floral Tracking Survey (Prince & Prince, 2014),
present a descriptive profile of U.S. consumer perceptions of floral
quality, price, and consumer satisfaction/ loyalty attributed to floral
businesses, and across the major floral retail channels.
This profile provides some “consumer perspective” to an
industry understanding of floral quality and price perceptions.
Then, in Part II of this series, P&P posit a structural
equation model (SEM; Wothke, 2010; Byrne, 2001; Jöreskog et al, 1972)
that diagrams the quality, price, and satisfaction/ loyalty factors, and
the hypothesized “drivers” among the factors.
Then, P&P “tests” (confirms) the model with the consumer
survey data. The
purpose of this SEM response model is to provide the floral industry with
evidence as to the impacts of both floral quality and price perceptions
(attributed to floral businesses) on consumer floral-purchasing behavior.
P&P contend that the consumer-based model findings have
important implications for floral businesses throughout the floral
Consumer Perceptions of U.S. Floral Businesses/ Floral Channels
The P&P U.S. Consumer Floral Tracking Survey comprises two large relational databases of consumer floral purchasing information: 1) numerous characteristics of consumer floral demand (e.g. household floral spending levels, product categories purchased, and holidays/ occasions of floral purchase), and 2) a comprehensive consumer evaluation of floral business performance (perceptual ratings) and their related channel. This reporting focuses on the later database. The floral business/ channel evaluation portion of the research collects consumer perceptions toward the floral businesses where consumers make their floral purchases, and these business evaluations are assigned to the major channel categories . The consumer perceptions cover 16 domains or factors of floral-business (channel) performance (Table 1), including floral quality, price, product selection, color offering, personnel, floral services, and other floral business factors .
Also measured is an “outcome factor”, Consumer Satisfaction/ Floral-Purchasing Loyalty (in Table 1), which collectively measures consumers’ overall satisfaction with the floral business, the percent of total household floral purchasing spent at the business, future intentions to purchase floral at the business (increase, decrease, or no change), and if the floral business would be recommended to a friend (loyalty measure). The Satisfaction/ Loyalty factor is structured as an outcome factor in a SEM model (in Part II), delineating the business performance factors that drive consumer satisfaction/ floral purchasing loyalty in the U.S. marketplace.
The floral business evaluations by consumer households are classified into eight major channel categories . Table 2 show these eight channel categories, and shows the number of randomly-selected floral-buying households throughout the U.S. that have rated each floral channel for the 2014 survey. In the P&P survey, each household evaluated nearly three (2.7) floral businesses, on average, which provided over 2,300 comparative floral business ratings. Each floral business rating comprised a 30+ attribute evaluation of the floral business (collapsed into the 16 factors described in Table 1), and each floral business rating was later classified to the specific floral channel.
Consumer Perceptions of Floral Quality, Over-Priced,
and Satisfaction/ Loyalty
In the P&P seminar, all 16 evaluative factors of floral business performance inTable 1 are detailed and discussed. This reporting focuses on consumer perceptions of the floral business relative to three factors: Floral Quality, Over-Priced, and Consumer Satisfaction/Loyalty (Table 3). Three attributes in the P&P survey collectively measured the Floral Quality factor: 1) “Their flowers and plants don’t last.” (a floral longevity metric negatively related to the factor ), 2) “Fresh appearing flowers or plants.” (a floral freshness metric), and 3) “Highest quality arrangements or bouquets” . The “Over-Priced” factor also was measured by three attributes: 1) “Provides value for the price paid.” (negatively related to the factor), 2) “Over charges for handling/ delivery.”, and 3) “Over-priced flowers or plants”. The perceptual attributes measuring the Satisfaction/ Loyalty factor have been discussed previously.
The Floral Quality Factor
The percentage data in Table 3 represent the percent of all household ratings in the P&P survey that associated the specific attribute with the floral business/ channel. Thus, for the first attribute in the Floral Quality factor, and across all floral businesses and channels, 13% of household business ratings indicted that “Their flowers or plants don’t last” . For one of the eight channels in Table 2, only 2% of those purchasing from that channel indicated a floral longevity problem (a highly respectable score), whereas for another channel, floral longevity was a noted problem, with more than one-quarter (28%) of those purchasing floral product from that channel reporting a longevity problem .
For the second attribute in Table 3, floral freshness, the majority of household ratings (65%) reported “Fresh-appearing flowers or plants”. However, there was substantial variation among the specific floral channels on the freshness attribute, from a low channel score of 42%, to a high of 80% (a highly respectable score). And for the floral quality attribute with an implied “hurdle”, “Highest quality arrangements or bouquets”, the overall rating average was 40%, but the range between the lowest and highest channel scores was large. For one floral channel, nearly 80% of households purchasing from that channel reported “Highest quality arrangements or bouquets”, but for another channel, the channel score was only 9% reporting “highest quality” (a difference of more than 70% among the major floral channels shown in Table 2).
This P&P survey data on consumer perceptions of floral quality suggests that consumes can readily distinguish floral quality perceptually among the major floral channels, and that these perceived differences in floral quality among the channels are quite substantial. Also, since the floral-buying households in the P&P survey are largely purchasing from multiple floral businesses, one can hardly argue that differences in the channel scores are due to differences in consumer groups that may gravitate to specific channels. From P&P’s perspective, the overall rating score across all channels for “Their flowers or plants don’t last” (13%) should be of concern to the floral industry, and the specific floral channel scoring 28% for poor floral longevity is simply unacceptable . This P&P survey data on consumer perceptions of floral quality may challenges some business buyers’ current priorities in purchasing floral, as this type of comparative market channel information is not likely captured with internal reporting of business metrics.
The Over-Priced Factor
The Over-Priced factor captures consumer perceptions concerning the floral business pricing of flowers and plants, business charges for handling/delivery, and the consumer perception of value. For the first attribute in the Over-Priced factor, 50% of all household business ratings indicted that the floral business “Provides value for the price paid”. The “value” attribute is negatively related to the “Over-Priced” factor (shown in Part II), thus high scoring on this attribute lowers the “Over-Priced” score. One channel of those shown in Table 2 registered a low score of 39% on the “value” attribute (worst), while another channel registered a score of 65% (best) on the attribute.
For the second attribute in the Over-Priced factor, 11% of all household business ratings reported that the floral business “Over-charges for handling/ delivery”. The consumer perception of handling/ delivery over-charge ranged from a low of 2% (best) at one channel, to as high as 45% (worst) at another channel. For the third attribute in the pricing factor, 25% of all household business ratings indicated that the floral business has “Over-priced flowers or plants”. This over-priced perception ranged from a low of 5% (best) at one channel, to as high as 50% (worst) at another channel.
These consumer perceptions of floral business “over-pricing” related to product offerings, associated services, and overall perceived value are quite instructive. Although “value for the price paid” was noted by one-half of all floral business ratings, at P&P, we don’t think a 50% “value attribution” is good enough to achieve substantial repeat purchasing among floral buyers, and to grow the floral market organically. The over-priced perception related to handling/ delivery charges is likely not a problem for the floral channels that do not offer those services, but for those that do, that perception is of concern. Of more concern, however, is for one-quarter of all household ratings across all channels to report an over-priced perception related to the floral offering (flowers or plants). And for one major floral channel to obtain a 50% score on this over-priced perception is somewhat alarming. And these negative perceptual scores cannot be discounted due to claims of “small sampling”, or “non-representative samples”, as the P&P consumer perceptual scores come from a large random sample of floral-buying households throughout the U.S., and with each household rating about three floral businesses, on average ( n = 2,376 ).
The Consumer Satisfaction/ Floral-Purchasing Loyalty Factor
The Consumer Satisfaction/ Floral-Purchasing Loyalty factor (in Table 3), collectively measures consumers’ overall satisfaction with the floral business (7-point rating scale), current level of household floral purchasing at the business (percentage of total spending), future intentions to purchase floral at the business (increase/ decrease, or no change), and if the floral business would be recommended to a friend (loyalty measure). While there are undoubtedly many possible measures of satisfaction /loyalty, P&P purport that these four measures broadly and collectively define consumer satisfaction/ floral-purchasing loyalty at a floral business (evidence for this is in Part II).
The first attribute measure in the Satisfaction/Loyalty factor is an attribute measuring consumer satisfaction with the floral business. Across all household ratings and all channels, the average consumer satisfaction rating given to a floral business was 5.4 on a 7-point satisfaction scale . The floral channel with the lowest satisfaction score (of those in Table 2) registered a 4.5 rating, on average, while the channel with the highest satisfaction score obtained a rating of 6.0, on average. From P&P’s experience in conducting competitive market research in the floral industry, these scores represent a wide divergence in consumer satisfaction among the major floral channels in the U.S.
The second measure in the Satisfaction/ Loyalty factor assessed the percentage of total household floral purchasing that was spent at a particular floral business (termed “loyalty purchasing” and measured as a percent). Although the range in this metric across all households and all channels was between 1% and 100%, the average level of household floral purchasing spent at a floral business was 37%. One of the eight major channels in Table 2 obtained the lowest level of “loyalty purchasing” at 29%, on average, while another channel registered the highest level at 40%. These average loyalty measures across the major floral channels suggest that each channel has a long way to go in achieving a strong, loyal consumer customer base. While an individual floral business may attain a high level of loyalty purchasing, averaged with other businesses within the same channel likely results in a lower level of loyalty for the whole channel. However, the loyalty purchasing metric is also influenced by the marketing strategy of the business.
The third measure in the Satisfaction/ Loyalty factor assessed the consumers’ future intention to increase or decrease floral purchasing at the floral business (or if there was no intended change in purchasing intention). In Table 3, P&P report the net percent purchasing intention, which represents the percent of households intending to increase purchasing at the floral business minus those intending to decrease purchasing. Thus, from Table 3, across all household ratings and all channels, 15% indicated that they would be increasing their floral purchasing. For one of the eight major channels in Table 2, only one percent of households purchasing from that channel indicated that they would be increasing their floral purchasing at that channel. Yet for another floral channel, 36% of households purchasing from that channel indicated that they would be increasing their floral purchasing at that channel.
The net 15% of household ratings indicating an increase in floral purchasing is reflective of an overall improvement in the U.S. consumer floral market in 2014. The channel exhibiting the net 36% increase in floral purchasing among its customers suggests that some floral businesses in some channels are growing their business through their existing customer base. The low single-digit net scores are likely indicative of problems within certain floral channels. Some channels obtained a relatively high percentage of households indicating an increase in floral purchasing, and also a high percentage of households indicating a decrease in purchasing, representing a “churn” of consumers entering and exiting the floral business, resulting in low net purchasing intention scores.
The fourth and final attribute measure in the Satisfaction/ Loyalty factor assessed whether or not the consumer would recommend the floral business to a friend. Many marketing analysts declare that a business recommendation to a friend is a strong proxy measure of purchasing loyalty toward a business. From Table 3, across all households and all channels, 61% of household ratings in the P&P survey indicated that they would “recommend the floral business to a friend”. The floral channel with the lowest “consumer recommendation” score was 37%, while the channel with the highest recommendation score was 80%. Although the “recommendation” metric was associated with the Satisfaction/ Loyalty factor (more on this topic in Part II), in P&P’s view, the recommendation scores appear “puffy”. P&P question whether the usage of the “recommendation” metric as a consumer loyalty measure is now being weakened (e.g. lower measurement reliability) by the plethora of the “like” and other monikers much over-used in social media today.
Obtaining More Meaning from the P&P Consumer Perceptual Data
The above descriptive profile of consumer perceptions is very useful for the floral industry in assessing where the U.S. consumer floral market currently stands relative to some key perceptions of floral businesses, and the floral channels. However, there is undoubtedly much more market information inherent in the P&P perceptual scores.
At P&P on-site consumer seminars, several often-asked questions at the beginning of the seminar are the following: Do consumer perceptions of floral quality, price, or any factor in Table 1. . . do these consumer perceptions have any real meaning for a business manager? Do consumer perceptions of floral quality and price actually drive sales and repeat purchasing at a floral business? . . . and to what degree? As a manager, what factors of consumer perception should one focus on? Are some factors more important than other factors? Are some factors more important now, compared to five or ten years ago .
In Part II in this report series (forthcoming), P&P generate floral market information that provides answers to many of those questions. P&P posit a structural equation model (SEM) that diagrams the key relationships among consumer perceptions of Floral Quality, Over-Priced, and their directional impact on Consumer Satisfaction/ Floral-Purchasing Loyalty. The SEM model is then tested against the P&P survey data, revealing the model parameters, identifying the drivers to Satisfaction/ Loyalty, and the strength of those drivers. The dynamics of the model are shown for specific consumer segments, and across historical time periods revealing how consumer behavior may change across segments and over time. P&P also test various constraints on the model parameters to uncover more specific details of consumer behavior. In essence, the P&P SEM response model becomes a laboratory to study consumer floral-purchasing behaviors in the U.S. marketplace. Please join us on this learning adventure.
Byrne, B.M. (2001). Structural Equation Modeling With AMOS, Basic Concepts, Applications, and Programming. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
K.G.; Van Thillo, M. (1972). "LISREL: A General Computer Program
for Estimating a Linear Structural Equation System Involving Multiple
Indicators of Unmeasured Variables (RB-72-56)." Princeton, NJ:
Educational Testing Service.
Prince, T.L. and Prince, T.A. (2014). The Prince & Prince U.S. Consumer Floral Tracking Survey, 2014 Edition. Columbus, OH: Prince & Prince, Inc (On-Site Seminar).
Prince, T.L. and Prince, T.A. (1991). Floral Freshness Versus Longevity: Understanding the Difference. Columbus, OH: Prince & Prince, Inc (On web site at: www.FloralMarketResearch.com).
Rummel, R.J. (1970). Applied Factor Analysis. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
Tucker, L.R. and MacCallum, R.C. (1997). Exploratory Factor Analysis. Unpublished Monograph, Dept. of Psychology, The Ohio State University.
Wothke, W. (2010). Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling Course Notes. Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc.
the P&P Consumer Floral Seminar.
market information in this report was obtained from the Prince &
Prince (P&P) seminar, “The
U.S. Consumer Floral Tracking Survey, 2014 Edition”,
which P&P now offers to members of the floral industry and allied
trade. Smithers-Oasis North
America (SONA) was the key sponsor for the 2014 P&P consumer floral
one-day (or half-day) on-site seminar covers consumer floral purchasing
trends on over 100 metrics prior to the U.S. recession (2007), after the
recession (2010), and into the recovery period (2013).
The seminar reveals numerous “stories” about emerging U.S.
floral-market trends, product purchasing trends, consumer behaviors and
priorities in floral purchasing, the changing floral channels of
distribution, consumer satisfaction/ dissatisfaction with floral
purchases made at the various channels, and the opportunities and
challenges that are currently unfolding for the U.S. floral industry.
The P&P seminar content is based on surveys obtained
from large random samples of floral-buying households throughout the
U.S. (over 6,000 households over the past six survey periods).
Contact P&P for seminar content, fees, and scheduling.
Drs. Tom and Tim Prince, formerly of The Ohio State University,
are brothers and co-founders of Prince & Prince, Inc. (P&P), a
leading marketing research specialist in the floral and green plant
has completed more than 50 major marketing research projects and
countless reports for the floral industry in the U.S., and has also
conducted research in Canada, the United Kingdom, Holland, Germany, and
Spain. P&P conceptualize, design, and implement market
research projects and product tests for floral and green-plant
suppliers, hardgood suppliers, floral importers, wholesale florists,
retail florists, floral-industry associations, and companies serving the
allied floral trade. For
more information about P&P marketing research and services, and
their informative on-site seminars, visit the Prince & Prince web
site at www.FloralMarketResearch.com , or contact Prince & Prince.
 In the P&P survey research design, each household can rate up to three businesses (outlets) where they purchase floral products. P&P collects the actual name of the floral businesses being rated, and P&P assigns each business evaluation to the appropriate channel category. P&P note that some consumers often call particular supermarkets (e.g. Kroger) a retail florist, or call a home center (e.g. Home Depot), a garden center. P&P assignment corrects these consumer mis-classifications of floral channel identity, thereby improving data accuracy and research validity.
 In the statistical data analysis phase of the research, P&P apply Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA; Rummel, 1970; Tucker and MacCallum, 1997) to the correlation matrix of 30+ business performance attributes. EFA identifies the key factors of business performance that underlie the correlations among the attributes. In effect, EFA identifies the pattern within the pattern of correlations of the attributes.
 In addition to the eight major channel categories, floral shares are also defined for three minor categories, including mail-order catalogs, convenience stores, and street vendors, but performance factors are not computed due to relatively smaller data counts for these minor channels.
 An attribute that is “negatively related” to a factor means that high scoring on the attribute reduces the overall factor score. The relationships among the attributes and factors will be specified in Part II.
 Across the past six national consumer floral surveys conducted by Prince & Prince, dating back to 1996, the Floral Quality factor has consistently emerged in the Exploratory Factor Analysis of the floral business performance metrics, with both freshness and longevity attributes, the two key aspects of consumer perception of floral quality. One of P&P’s initial reports for the floral industry, even prior to the consumer research, was “Floral Freshness Versus Longevity: Understanding the Difference” (Prince & Prince, 1991), and much of that report is still valid today (see “Oldies” under “Features” at the P&P Web site.).
 Since most surveyed households rated multiple floral businesses, the overall percentage metric is not “percent of households surveyed”, but rather “percent of household business ratings.”
 For this reporting, the identities of the specific floral channels with the lowest and highest scores are not provided. In the P&P on-site seminar, the identities of all eight major channels and their associated performance scores are provided. A discussion of the perceived strengths and weaknesses of specific floral channels often identifies marketing opportunities for both floral suppliers and floral retailers.
 From P&P’s experience conducting competitive market surveys throughout the floral industry, whenever a salient negative attribute obtains a score of 10% or higher, it is usually indicative of a problem that has implications for customer satisfaction, sales, and market share.
 The 7-point satisfaction scale was anchored by the words “Very Dissatisfied” for the “1” rating, and “Very Satisfied” for the “7” rating. A rating of 4 represents a “Neutral” position, neither dissatisfied nor satisfied.
 Fortunately, P&P can provide answers to many of these questions because the P&P consumer floral research was designed, from its inception back in 1996, to answer these questions. The P&P consumer floral databases, comprising large random samples of U.S. floral-buying households, are relational databases. Thus every metric in the database can be associated with any other metric in the database. This database structure allows for the application of statistical marketing research techniques, such as factor analysis and structural equation modeling, to gain insight on the salient relationships inherent in the data.
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