Flowers have always made a great gift, perfect for every occasion. In the past ten years or so, online florists and flower delivery services have skyrocketed in popularity (whilst in comparison, many traditional florists have begun to close). The range of products and services on offer at these online florists make them ideal for those who are looking for a last-minute gift for almost every special occasion. With such a surge in popularity and so many potential choices available, this buying guide is intended to help our readers come to a decision about which site to choose based on the products on offer.
Whilst many still believe that traditional, ‘high street’ florists have their place, more and more customers are turning to the internet to order flowers for delivery. There are a number of advantages to using online flower delivery services, not least the fact that customers don’t need to actually go into the florist to find the perfect bouquet.
Firstly, customers have access to a far wider choice of flowers and designs, based on the fact that online florists can generally source flowers from across the United States, straight from the seller. Secondly, customers have access to far more customizability than is available in a traditional florist, being able to alter existing bouquets or make a totally unique design with only a few clicks. Finally, in terms of accessibility, customers at online flower delivery services can shop by occasion, style, price bracket or arrangement, meaning finding the perfect bouquet really hasn’t ever been easier.
As a result of the sheer level of choice available, ensuring you’re getting the best deal can be difficult. As such, our reviews judge all services in this category based on the same criteria. These criteria cover the elements that are most important when assessing which services offer the best value and quality, so as to make our reviews as useful as possible to our readers. This buying guide considers these elements in turn, highlighting what we’re looking for in each case (and what you should be looking for, too) so as to make your shopping as savvy and satisfying as possible!
- Variety & Choice:
Flowers make a great gift for almost every occasion, but this is especially so when you match up the ‘meanings’ of certain flowers to the occasion in question. As such, the best flower delivery services will offer a wide range of blooms in a full range of colors (and in many cases, different ‘grades’ or levels of quality). Look out for sites that offer seasonal reductions on flowers that are in season, too. As well as the flowers on offer, customers should be able to pick out a particular style of bouquet that they would like to give, with many sites offering a number of options with each product (including complementary vases, water balls, traditional hand-tied bouquets, baskets, oasis-arrangements and more). Look out for services that offer this level of variety and customizability as standard on all of their products.
One of the biggest worries for new customers of online flower delivery services is the quality they should expect from the finished product. Unlike traditional florists, where customers can actually see the florist’s work in the store, online flower delivery services rely on customers trusting that the products will be of a good standard and overall level of quality. Many of the sites we have reviewed in this category offer lifespan guarantees on all flowers sent (usually 7 days, but occasionally longer) and money-back guarantees if you’re not satisfied with your purchase for any reason. Finally, as many of the services we have reviewed in this category deal directly with growers, these services offer additional quality assurances based on the origin of each bloom.
- Special Offers & Promotions:
Flowers are great for every occasion, but there are some times of the year when flowers have a particular significance or importance. Valentines Day and Mothering Sunday are just two such days, although special occasions throughout the year often have an associated ‘floral meaning’ (such as tulips and daffodils at easter, poinsettia at Christmas etc.). Almost all of the flower delivery services featured in our reviews offer special offers and promotional bouquets to celebrate these occasions and to make it easier for customers to find something just right for the occasion. As well as offering great value, these promotional products offer fantastic inspiration, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. Look out for such special offers throughout the year at each site.
- Delivery Cost & Efficiency:
Flowers make the perfect last minute gift, and with more and more online flower delivery services offering same day and next day delivery options, it really couldn’t be easier to get a bouquet to that special someone on time. Although many sites offer same day, next day and weekend delivery, the cost of delivery should be factored in when considering the overall cost of the bouquet and can, in some cases (depending on location and whether the date of delivery falls on a popular delivery date, such as Mothering Sunday) be expensive. To help our readers compare like for like, we have included the cost of ‘same day’, ‘next day’ and ‘standard’ delivery in the costs section of each of our reviews. Many services offer standard delivery free of charge if the bouquet is over a certain price threshold, so look out for offers like this as you’re checking out our reviews in this category.
- Value for Money / Price:
As with all gifts, the price and value for money offered by each service is an important factor. Depending on what you want, the price of a bouquet can range from around $20 all the way up to $500 or so for a complex arrangement. Unlike traditional florists however, online flower delivery services are able to offer many flowers at reduced prices, because the overall costs of offering the service is lower. Similarly, online flower delivery services are more flexible on price and many offer customers the opportunity to upgrade bouquets by adding additional blooms for only a few extra dollars. Many sites offer users the opportunity to search through products by price, meaning they can find all of those products that fall within the appropriate price range with ease. In order to make sure our customers have a realistic point of comparison in terms of price for services in this category, we have included in our reviews the price of a dozen red roses and a standard mixed bouquet to help when comparing sites.
- Ease of Use / Navigation:
Although some of our readers may never have used an online flower delivery service, many sites aim to make purchasing flowers online for the first time as easy as possible by providing a range of helpful features. Customers can filter bouquets according to price and style, or use a bouquet construction tool to create their own unique design. Many sites categorise bouquets according to occasion, making it even easier to find the perfect design for your loved one. Finally, almost all sites allow users to search through all products using a search bar, meaning customers can see all products containing a particular flower or products in a particular color.
- Customer Support:
Once you have purchased the perfect bouquet, it’s also essential that your chosen flower delivery service offers a range of customer service support tools to deal with any problems if they occur. Many sites offer dedicated customer hotlines or email support, while other sites have live chat customer support on-site. From a satisfaction perspective, look out for services that offer customers guarantees on overall quality and lifespan guarantees on the flowers used. By ensuring that the service you choose offers these assurances, you can be sure that your gift will arrive on time and in perfect condition.
With so much choice available in online flower delivery, it is sometimes difficult to know where to start! All of our reviews consider each of the most popular options in turn, comparing them against what’s on offer elsewhere to ensure that you always get the best deal. Although, generally speaking, those sites that appear higher in our rankings in this category will often offer better deals and promotions, it’s always worth checking out a number of your favorite sites in our listings to see what’s on offer at that particular time.