FlowerAura is an e-commerce gifting platform incepted in 2010 offering wide range of flowers, cakes, plants, personalised gifts etc. for all occasions across 220 cities across India. In an exclusive conversation Himanshu Chawla and Shrey Sehgal Directors at FlowerAura shed light on the growth strategy of the company.
When was FlowerAura incepted and tell us about the journey of FlowerAura?
We started FlowerAura with the aim of changing the flower gifting in the country, and started in 2010 when online gifting had just started, andflowers as a category was really unstructured. We brought in technology and processes to deliver the gifting experience which customers were looking for. Also, over the years, we have added categories like cake, plants and customizedgifts. Currently we at FlowerAura are on a mission providing thoughtful and expressive gifts to our customers, which can be delivered same day.
How is the gifting industry evolving from the retail viewpoint?
The gifting industry has been evolving on three fronts in India:personal gifting, corporate gifting and festival gifting. Personal gifting market is coming online, we live in a world of internet and speed people want instant gratification. So they also want gifts to be delivered the same day. So,personal gifting is moving towards faster deliveries. Corporate Gifting is also growing rapidly; it is being used by corporate to be in the mind of their customers as well as a tool to retain employees. According to the leading management consultants Technopak, corporate gifting industry in India is estimated to be 12,000 crore and is growing at 200% per annum.Corporate gifting contributes to 20 per cent of the Rs 33,500 crore India’s gifting market. Festival gifting has always been a part of our culture, but with growing nuclear families and people moving out to metro cities, the demand of online gifting has raised.
How is FlowerAura adapting itself with the consumer demand & behaviour?
At FlowerAura, we have a customer first approach and understanding these trends we have started company-owned fulfilment centers in metro cities. These help us to take gifting to 3 hours delivery and we are focusing on taking this to 90 minutes.
What makes you different from your competitors?
At FlowerAura, we are online first company, and our focus is on delivering customer experience using technology. We have a technology in place which even a florist can use to deliver a great customer experience.
We have company-owned fulfilment centers in major cities, which help us to deliver great customer experience in less than 3 hours. Our fulfilment centers has a florist section where we make our bouquets;a bakery where we bake our cakes; and a small nursery for plants.
What are the upcoming trends that you can foresee in this industry?
We are seeing a surge of exotic flowers as gifting options. People are looking for flowers that can stay longer. Plants as gifts is one big trend that we forsee. Living in these time demands awareness to nature and plants automatically become a good option.
How many franchise outlets you have and how many you are planning to open by 2020?
Currently,FlowerAura has around 15 outlets in India and we are planning to open 9-10 new outlets by 2020.
How is FlowerAura planning to deliver personalised gifts in a same day?
We are planning to start personalisation on the same day by focusing on technology we are building technology, which could help us in mass customisation. Also, we are working with hyperlocal logistics model to deliver this to our end customers.
What are the challenges you see in the industry?
Perishability of our gifts requires very delicate handling of our products and requires specialised delivery and logistics. Changing this requires a lot of capital and currently no player is investing in this area.