When the need for flowers or gifts arises many South Africans’ first response is to turn to NetFlorist. This online retailer is South Africa’s largest flower and gifting supplier and has delivered over one million items since its inception. NetFlorist, and its sister site, Netgifts, are in the business of delivering emotions, creating memorable experiences for the recipient and encouraging customers to connect with the important people in their lives in the most convenient way.
NetFlorist was recently awarded the Leisure Options Best of Jo’burg Reader’s Choice award for best florist in 2010. Its ascent to the top rung of South Africa’s floral and gifting industry and the country’s online industry began on February 1, 1999. NetFlorist started off as a proof of concept designed to demonstrate how e-tailing could work, but its performance far exceeded expectations, and thus a business was formed. The first website offered flowers and men’s gifts such as biltong and nuts. Within a relatively short time, NetFlorist was able to buy Teleflorist, a network of florists that processed orders around the country. NetFlorist realised that quick and reliable delivery was as important as selling quality products. Teleflorist was sold to its original owner and today 65 percent of deliveries are managed in-house.
NetFlorist began to adapt its offerings to incorporate unique and high-quality gifts in 2007, and initiated its practice of marking special occasions such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day by offering gifts and bouquets suited especially to the occasion. NetFlorist has become renowned for its practice of constantly expanding its floral and gifting product range in line with international trends. Also remarkable about the company is its unfailing ability to select delightfully unconventional gifts, ranging from spa treatments to freshly baked goods to “experience” gifts such as abseiling packages and the Valentine Sensory Feast Cooking Experience, many of which can be personalised.
NetFlorist’s range of gifts, and the number of sales of these products steadily grew and in November 2010, the site, www.netgifts.co.za was established to house the company’s gifting options.
After opening a business hub in Rivonia at the end of 2008, NetFlorist extended its bricks and mortar footprint by opening a second hub in Pretoria in February 2010. The company’s year-on-year growth figures for 2008 and 2009 reached 30 percent and 20 percent respectively. NetFlorist shows no signs of slowing down, with repeat purchases standing at 62 percent and the conversion rate – the number of visitors to the company’s website who place orders – at 18 percent at the beginning of 2010. Internet sales now account for 80 percent of transactions and call centre sales for 20 percent. NetFlorist’s gifting business is currently growing at 40 percent year-on-year.
NetFlorist and NetGifts make deliveries throughout South Africa. Local deliveries are made through the company’s own hubs as well as a network of preferred florists - a selection of South Africa’s best florists chosen to handle its customers’ needs with care and dedication. Reputable floral networks handle international deliveries. A same-day service is offered for flowers ordered before 12 noon.
NetFlorist’s bouquets and flower arrangements, and NetGifts' hampers and gifts are all carefully assembled locally and all its products are backed by a 100% guarantee. Ordering happens at the click of a button or with one phone call, assuring clients that a quality gift or flower arrangement of their choosing will be delivered promptly and professionally.
Product-wise, NetFlorist and NetGifts can be expected to remain one step ahead, scouting out upcoming international trends and incorporating them into its offerings. Plans are being made for the construction of more hubs in all the major centres in South Africa with a view to including its current partners in those areas.