Like many other industries, florists are struggling with supply chain issues. From lack of stock to long shipping times to limited options, we know that finding vases and containers is harder than ever. So what's the solution? Implementing a vase/container recycling program.
Encourage your customers and other people in your community to give you the vases and containers they have. Not only is this a great way to get access to the containers you need, but it's eco-friendly too! Plus it's a great way to reach members of the community that might not know about your shop.
Give them an incentive! They're giving you something valuable and will want something in return. Luckily, we've got a few ideas for incentives you can offer.
People love gift cards. It's basically free money and it's money they will spend at your shop. You can set the amount you want to 'pay' for each container, a minimum number of containers necessary, and any other rules you may have. Just remember the more stipulations, the fewer people who might participate, so keep it simple and easy for your customers.
What's something you already have that people would like to get in return for their vases? FLOWERS! Obviously, people love flowers or they wouldn't have vases to give you. By offering a free cut-flower bouquet to people who bring in their vases and containers, you get the containers, they get a beautiful bouquet, and everyone wins. At the end of each day, take the flowers you have leftover from your earlier designs and create a few wrapped bouquets. This allows you to use up all of your stock and have ready-made bouquets when someone comes in with containers.
Who doesn't love getting a discount or promo code? Offer your customers a discount on their next purchase when they bring in their vases or containers. You can set the discount amount to correlate with the number of containers they bring. For example, if they bring in 5 containers, you could offer a 10% discount. It's a great way to reward the customer for bringing in the vase and make sure they return to your shop in the future.
One thing people love is helping others and you can do that by donating a set amount of money for every vase you receive. Pick a local charity, something that people know and want to support, like the local animal shelter, food bank, or youth program. It's a great way to connect with your local community and get the hardware you need for your shop.
For each usable vase brought in, the customer is submitted into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to your shop. The more vases people bring, the more chances they have to win. It's a great way to get more people involved and potentially increase the number of containers you receive. At the end of each month, or whatever time limit works best for your shop, do a Facebook Live and draw the winner. That way you get more exposure on social media and can announce when the next drawing will be.
You could donate them to the local school's art program, see if the local theater needs them for props, or something else entirely. It's really up to you, but we do suggest trying to donate them to some place in the local community that could use them instead of throwing them out.
Implementing a vase/container recycling program in your shop is a great way to get the vases you need while also rewarding your customers and reaching your local community. Plus, it's eco-friendly and allows you to reach potential customers who might not know you yet.
Try one of the incentives above and test it out in your shop. Tell us in the comments what's worked for you and how it's helped your shop!