“Valentine’s Day Fashion Show” Video Series

Having trouble deciding which varieties to pre-book for this Valentine’s Day? Well, stick around this week for our video series showcasing approximately 60 rose varieties available for this Valentine’s Day. Join our VP of Sales & Marketing, Raul Marrero, as he hosts the Rio Roses “Valentine’s Day Fashion Show.”

Here’s the schedule for our series:

  •  Monday – Reds
  • Tuesday – Whites, Cream, Green, and Bi-Colors
  • Wednesday – Pinks
  • Thursday – Yellow, Lavender, and more Bi-Colors
  • Friday – Orange and Novelty

Watch one video or all and then post your questions or comments on our Facebook Wall. Who knows, you may even discover the perfect rose to complement this season’s hottest color “Honeysuckle Pink.”

Let’s begin with the essentials… RED ROSES

Manage your own Groupon Store

Groupon Stores

Welcome to the final installment of this week’s theme, Social Networks that promote in-store traffic. In November 30, 2010, Groupon announced its new feature, Groupon Stores. Basically, you can create a virtual store, have customers follow you to keep up with new products and offers, and offer Groupon deals as often as you like. Read more on Groupon Stores.

 Perks of Groupon:

  • Easily manage as many deals as you like
  • Groupon’s e-commerce platform handles promotion and fulfillment of deals
  • Use Groupon’s “deal of the day” feature as an added bonus
  • Groupon pays you a percentage of all deals sold
  • Get deal statistics to collect buyer demographics, reason for purchase, and times deal has been purchased.
  • Gain followers to advertise new products, attract new customers and follow up with existing customers.

 Things to consider about Groupon:

  • If you choose to promote as a “deal of the day”, there is a waiting period to be featured and Groupon keeps 50% of each Groupon sold. 
  • On deals you create on your virtual store you get to keep 70% of a promoted deal or 90% of non-promoted deals.
  • You receive a check from Groupon every 2 weeks for deals sold.

 Final thoughts on our series….

All three platforms offer similar methods to promote sales and customer loyalty. It is up to you to decide which suits your needs best. Invest some time in creating an online business plan that includes time to set up virtual stores, dates promotions will run, and how you will track effectiveness. Equally important is to make your staff aware of any online promotion you are running. Remember to promote in your actual store and let your current customers in on your online promotions. Most of all, have fun creating your deals!

 Comments or questions? Post them below!

Don’t be a square, get on Foursquare!



Foursquare came into the scene in 2009 and as of November 2010, it claims 5+ million users. Foursquare adds a layer of gaming to its location-based social networking by allowing users to earn badges, points, and mayorships for checking into locations. Furthermore, Foursquare offers a tips section where users can leave public comments accessible to all near-by users.

Similar to Facebook, Foursquare also offers a deals feature that allows you to host one deal at a time. Once a user check-ins near or on your location, a “Special Here” announcement will appear with your promotion. Deals can also be created in levels, much like in FB, offering larger incentives for customer loyalty (multiple check-ins). Read more on about Foursquare for businesses

Perks of Foursquare:

  • Large, loyal user base of over 5 million. 
  • No cost to create offers
  • Real time stats available to track specials’ effectiveness
  • You can integrate with Facebook and Twitter to spread your reach
  • Do you have multiple locations? Not to worry! You can market yourself as a brand on Foursquare and focus on acquiring followers and adding relevant tips near your existing locations. Read more tips on marketing on Foursquare without a location.

Things to consider about Foursquare:

When offering multi-check-in discounts, beware that users can check in without physically entering your establishment. As a fix, offer single check-in rewards. Also, keep an eye on who is becoming mayor of your establishment. You have the power to outs any false mayors!

Come back tomorrow for our last installment on Groupon Stores.

What’s the Deal with Facebook?

Facebook Places and Deals 

In November 2010, Facebook introduced Deals for businesses as a robust addition to its Places feature. Offering 4 different types of deals, Facebook allows you to reward new customers with in store coupons for checking-in at your location via Places. Businesses can also reward multi-check-ins to increase customer loyalty. Watch this short video tutorial on how to set up a Facebook Deal

Perks of Deals:

  • There is no cost to create deals (unless you decide to use Facebook ads to promote your deal)
  • Have full control to create deals and track effectiveness of your coupons 
  • Gain exposure. When someone checks in to your location and uses your deal, it will be populated on the user’s newsfeed for their friends to see, comment, and potentially utilize as well.

Things to consider about Facebook Deals:

  • You cannot create a deal unless you claim your business with Places.
  • Claiming a business will automatically create a page for your business. If you already have a fanpage, you can choose to merge the two. Keep in mind that at this time this action cannot be reversed; therefore, think wisely. Also, you will experience some loss in functionality, mainly the loss of tabs and landing page features. Finally, consider the new, unfamiliar look of your page once it is merged. This may confuse some of your fans; therefore, if you choose to merge, keep your fans up-to-date and highlight the positive new features of Deals you will be offering.
  • If you are representing a brand or have more than one location, you may want to keep your pages separate.

There are many resources on managing and creating Facebook Deals. Visit the following links:

The Complete Business Guide to Facebook Deals

Download and print Facebook’s guide to Deals

Be sure to come back tomorrow for our post on Foursquare for businesses.

Location, Location, Location… 3 Social Networks that promote in-store traffic

If you are like many businesses, you’re looking for ways to turn your online fans into real consumers of your products and services. How can you maximize your bottom line with the help of social media? One way is to take advantage of location based social networks. We will look at 3 examples of such services that have the potential to turn your fans into loyal costumers. Join us in this week’s blog series highlighting Facebook Deals, Foursquare, and Groupon Stores.

Next post: What’s the Deal? An overview of Facebook Deals.

The Carnation Comeback

Just in time for the holidays, modern design celebrates the comeback of carnations. Today carnations grace front covers of fashion magazines, instead of back counters of convenience stores.

Assorted Rio Carnations

The perception of the carnation has changed, with the help of some big names. Authorities from the design world are using carnations for inspiration and as the main element for their creations. Examples include high fashion clothing designer Oscar de la Renta, who is using carnations as inspiration for his 2011 Spring Collection and fine perfume designer Frederic Malle who uses the flower to accent his winter fragrance, L’eau D’hiver.

Oscar de la Renta carnation inspired gown

Carnation’s reintroduction as muse in the high fashion world helped boost its use in every day design. Queen of home décor, Martha Stewart enjoys using carnations in her seasonal designs as seen in her whimsical St. Patrick’s Day arrangement, Christmas Red Tabletop setting, and in her Valentine’s Day Carnation Heart Arrangement . Event planners are also using the flower as a design tool. In the 2010 opening party of New York Fashion Show, event planner and designer Van Wyck used carnations as the main attraction.

The increased interest in carnations is due to several contributing factors. First of all, modern carnations are sporting larger blooms and offer a larger variety of vibrant colors. Also, carnations have versatility in use and have a long vase life, as long as 2 weeks. Overall, carnations are easy to work with and have high durability, key features that place this flower on the top of the list for designers.

For further reading, visit the following:

Making a Comeback: The Carnation by Mancy Maxwell of the Flower Shop Network.
What in Carnation? The Wall Street Journal Oct 2010 article by Lettie teague

Corazón: Winner of Best in Class SAF 2010

Corazon - Red Rose VarietyA heart stopping red rose!
Corazon Features:

  • Rio Roses has the Ecuador exclusive for growing Corazón. Ecuador’s climate produces superior bloom size and overall quality.
  • Bright Red, lighter than Freedom and Forever Young, similar in color to Charlotte – the perfect red!
  • Much larger blooms and consistent throughout each bunch, average bloom size is 2.4 plus inches even on 40/45cm grade!
  • Blooms open fully and lay flat to almost 5 inches across, takes up to 4-5 days to fully open.
  • Blooms all open consistently at the same time – sure to please every time!
  • Petals re-curl at margin for classic look, similar to Charlotte (but on steroids!).
  • Produces long and short stems, all grades are represented to meet all price ranges.
  • Strong straight stems for masterful designing.
  • Holds shape and color well into 14-17 days – extremely great vase life.
  • Lush, crisp, dark green foliage for the natural look.
  • Very few thorns for easy usability.
  • Super strong neck that doesn’t bend.

Corazon from Rio Roses

The importance of service excellence

In a study by WF&FSA, florists were asked what the most important advantage was to using a wholesaler over buying direct. Not surprisingly, the number one advantage was service.

If your customers view service as the primary advantage of doing business with you, then you should provide the best service that you possibly can. So how can you provide better service?

Increase Your Availability – Create a system that allows your customers to reach you 24/7. Technology – faxes, e-mail, instant messaging, Facebook – allows us to be connected all the time. Find a method that works for you and make sure your customers know how to reach you anytime.

Visit Your Customer – Although quality of product ranks high in reasons to buy from wholesale, service is more than just delivering a product you promised. Service is also about having a genuine interest in your customer’s business. Personal one-on-one visits are one of the best ways to communicate your interest in their success.

Guarantee Your Product and Service – Customers need to know that you stand behind your product and service. Show your customers that you are willing to guarantee it. You can use Equiflor’s Service Excellence Guarantee as a guide to create your own service guarantee.

Remember that every interaction you have with your customer is an opportunity to provide better service. That includes phone calls, personal visits, and even faxes and e-mails.

Build solid relationships with your customers by serving them above and beyond their expectations. Better service could mean bigger profits!

Visit WF&FSA to review “Top Reasons to Buy from Wholesale Florists.”

Free Online Webinar

Join us for a free online webinar!  Barry Gottlieb, floral industry rockstar, will present Brilliant on the Basics: Proven Sales Strategies.  Learn 7 strategies you can implement that can increase your sales immediately.

Open to all wholesale and retail florists, this presentation will last approximately 30 minutes with a Question & Answer session to follow.

Date:   Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Time:   3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT

Click here to register.

A Father’s Lesson

From Barry Gottlieb’s weekly TGIT…

This story was shared by one of my readers…


One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live.   

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”

“It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh, yeah,” said the son.

“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.

The son answered,  “I saw that we have one dog, and they have four.

We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden, and they have a creek that has no end.

We have imported lanterns in our garden, and they have the stars at night.  

Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have the whole horizon.

We have a small piece of land to live on, and they have fields that go beyond our sight.

We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.

We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, “Thanks Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”

PerspectiveOpen your mind…