Flower and gift e-commerce service FlowerAdvisor.com just revamped its website interface last month, and things appear to be going well for the startup recently. It generated SG$1 million last year, and founder Willy Thomas says that the revenue has improved consistently this year as well. He told us a little about the company’s plans for 2013.
Willy likes to describe his business as an e-commerce store, rather than just saying they sell flowers. He explained that FlowerAdvisor simply connects customers with local sellers across more than 100 countries. The company now has around 5,000 florists worldwide, but mostly it uses just a few hundred of them as its main florists to keep its quality consistent.
Willy said that most of his customers are from Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore and Indonesia, with the latter region expected to surpass Singapore in terms of revenue in the coming months. The majority of his clients are cross-border customers, which means they are ordering flowers or gifts to be delivered to someone in another country. That is one of the reasons why the company chose to use the tagline “Bridging the Distance.”
FlowerAdvisor’s peak season in terms of transaction value is Christmas. This is because a lot of people order hampers which are more expensive than other items. The highest number of transactions is (as you might expect) during Valentine’s Day, with so many people ordering flowers for their loved ones.
He said that the company has made many improvements in the past year, but most of them are on the company’s back-end system, so customers wouldn't have noticed anything. One of them is FlowerAdvisor’s international catalogue and delivery API which can be used by other online sellers if they want to provide international delivery services. The API will make it seems as if the international delivery services are handled by that particular seller whereas, in fact, the one organizing the international deliveries is FlowerAdvisor.
In 2013, the startup plans to explore market opportunities more closely in other Asian regions like Malaysia and Hong Kong. The team will be also looking for partners to help expand its market reach. Another task on its 2013 agenda will be to build mobile apps for FlowerAdvisor, so keep an eye out for that as well.