Saturday, April 14, 2012

E-Commerce India - Flowers for any occasions from anywhere across globe

flowers by henry beecher
When I was a kid, flowers (roses) were typically given to a teacher during teacher's day. Gifting flowers  during any other events or occasions was unknown in those days. Perhaps we got influenced by the west, the trend of gifting flowers has become commonplace in India. Flowers are generally gifted as a token of love, appreciation, admiration, warmth or best wishes.

In the pre-internet era, there were physical flower shops, primarily in cities, which can quickly create a bouquet and handover to the customers at the shop. With telecom revolution, floral merchants have started taking the orders over the phone. With advancements in Internet, the floral business has come online.

Roses, Tulips, Carnations and Lilies are ordered online from different corners of India to be sent to their near and dear ones. There is no dearth of occasions in India in terms of festivals - Diwali, Dasara and Christmas form the prominent seasons for flowers according to my friends in this business. Corporates would always have flowers ordered during visits of guests and that is not very rare. People have adopted to sending flowers during the moments of joy and sorrow.

Are the flowers best left on the plants as a part of the nature or they should be nipped and made into bouquets in the living rooms, halls or corporate enclosures? That's a subjective question better left to an individual.

There are supposed to be about 30 million non-resident Indians across the globe. With most of them having roots in India, sending flowers to near and dear ones in India during important occasions must be emotionally satisfying for them. I have no doubts that these desis would be admiring technology for this invaluable service.

Just like any other e-commerce business, the request is initiated online, but the order fulfillment needs extensive network across the country for delivery. Most of the online floral businesses seems to deliver flowers across 1000+ locations across India. Some of these websites are mentioned below:

Flowers are also used for Puja, decoration during events like wedding and for wearing in the hair by women. For Puja, people invariably prefer flowers from their garden. For decoration during the events, the flowers are still obtained from local markets. Interesting, the flowers like jasmine adorned in hair in some parts of India are not sold online yet. Any takers for this niche domain? :-)