When "Free" Really Just Means Different (And More Expensive)

Dec 21, 2015


Free floral websites are anything but. In fact they are usually the most expensive website option for florists that want to sell flowers online.


This site usually looks at how florists can use different pricing strategies to increase sales and profits but this post is different. It looks at how some floral website providers are using a pricing trick that targets florists.

In the past florists have always paid for e-commerce websites. They paid a website provider to furnish them with a online flower store, allowing to purchase flowers over the internet. They typically paid for these websites on a monthly or yearly basis. This is what is known as a fixed cost.

Lately some newer vendors are offering what they describe as "free" flower shop websites, but in no way are they free. In fact they are probably the most expensive website a florist can use.

It would be more accurate to say these are "no money down" websites, because the florist doesn't pay anything up front. There are no fixed costs associated with the website.

Instead there is a much larger variable cost – the website vendor takes 30% of every order that the website generates. That gets expensive very quickly.

How expensive? Flower Shop Network offers a standard e-commerce floral website for just under $600 a year. It's probably the least expensive way for a florist to get into online sales, and a great value.

Of course it doesn't sound quite as good as "free", but think how little you have to sell until the 30% dwarfs the $600 fee. If your website sells just one $40 order per week the free website would cost you $624 a year.


And It Just Keeps Getting More Expensive!

Anything over and above that – more sales and/or larger order values – you're giving away 30% when you don't need to. Just stop and think about how quickly that adds up:


3 Orders Averaging $50 Each Per Week

The free website ends up costing $2,340 – $1,700+ more than the $600 website.


3 Orders Averaging $60 Each Per Week*

The free website ends up costing $2,808 – $2,200+ more than the $600 website.


5 Orders Averaging $50 Each Per Week

The free website ends up costing $3,900 – $3,300 more than the $600 website.


10 Orders Averaging $50 Each Per Week

The free website ends up costing $7,800 – $7,200 more than the $600 website.


20 Orders Averaging $50 Each Per Week

The free website ends up costing $15,600 – $15,000 more than the $600 website.


* At this point, just three $60 orders per week, it is already cheaper to go with a fully custom website like the Florist 2.0 platform from Strider


Forget about free. There is generally no such thing and this is no exception!

Fortunately most florists understand this. A few have been tempted by the promise of something "free" but quickly realized just how expensive "free" can be and ran back to their paid websites.

Category: Examples

Sponsored by FloristWare – Floral POS Software For Flower Shops

Beyond Cost Plus is sponsored by FloristWare – the most popular independent POS software for flower shops.

FloristWare – flower shop software/POS system.

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