Frequent Flower Buyers Seek Product Variety

TAIPEI, TAIWANFlorists and other retailers who sell flowers and plants can
now add another tool to their marketing kit. A recent study of “consumption
values” may help them understand what influences consumers’ choices in regard to
floral purchases, and how to better design marketing efforts and purchase stock
that can increase customers and sales.

Li-Chun Huang from National Taiwan University and Tzu-Fang Yeh from Da-Yeh
University headed a research project that evaluated the differences in floral
consumption values across consumer groups (the full study appears in a recent
issue of HortTechnology).

A consumer survey was conducted in cities and rural areas in Taiwan in 2006
where 677 participants were surveyed. According to responses to a survey
question that asked whether they purchased flowers, participants were divided
into two categories: ”users” and ”nonusers” of flowers.

The majority of survey participants indicated that the following values (in
descending order) influenced their floral purchases: showing care to others,
emotion conditioning, and “sensory hedonics”, a phenomenon in which consumers
perceive the value of flowers based on touching, smelling, or tasting them.
Interestingly, those participants identified as “heavy users” of flowers
revealed different priorities, rating “emotion conditioning” as more important
than “showing care to others”. The researchers note that this implies that
“heavy users” make more frequent floral purchase flowers partly because they are
more emotionally stimulated by flowers. Heavy users also rated “curiosity
fulfillment” higher, leading to them to look for more novelty and variety when
purchasing flowers.

Nonusers and light users of flowers, or consumers who prefer to buy cut flowers,
have lower degrees of curiosity fulfillment value, so tend to be less likely to
seek product variety when purchasing flowers. These groups are also less likely
to be influenced by florists’ advertising, revealing a distinct marketing
challenge for retailers.

“The results of this study indicate that the consumer groups who made different
purchase choices in relation to the floral products possessed different floral
consumption values”, noted Huang and Yeh. “However, their perceptions of the
flowers’ social value, as in presenting flowers to show care to others, were
very common and consistent, regardless of what their choice was for the
purchases of flowers”.

The researchers admit that their study results present specific challenges to
floral retailershow to convert recalcitrant consumers into frequent floral
buyers. “Due to the inner lack of curiosity about flowers, the task of
transforming the nonusers and light users of flowers into the users and heavy
users of flowers, respectively, becomes very challenging for the practitioners
in the floral market”, they concluded.


The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortTechnology
electronic journal web site:

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the
largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural
research, education, and application. More information at


American Society for Horticultural Science