As one of the most successful D2C brands of our time, Bloom & Wild were intent on delivering an in-store experience that lived up to their standards.
Flowers in the Post
Bloom & Wild are the biggest e-commerce flowers brand in Europe, delivering beautiful flowers through the letterbox. After huge success online, in 2019 they started their retail business through a partnership with Ocado, and then in 2020 they launched their first in-store concessions with Sainsburys in 25 stores as a trial.
Losing control of the in-store standards
As a D2C business they had historically enjoyed full control of their customer experience – they knew what the products looked like, how the brand was packaged and could craft the journey to the Bloom & Wild standard. However, moving into a store environment suddenly changed things.
“I think we were a little naive – we assumed our buying team would have complete control to execute in-store the way we had planned. In reality, this sits with the store operations teams who have thousands of products to think about and are KPId on very different things to the buying teams. As a result, the fixtures weren’t always looking as we wanted them to, and some elements of the POS hadn’t even made it to the shop floor from the backroom. Because we weren’t accredited, it was really hard for us to get instore colleagues to work with us putting things right.”
Limited by store operations hours and the reality that ‘they can never care like we do’, they needed a way to get into store regularly to implement change but with minimal impact on the Sainsbury’s team.
“The whole purpose of this to our business was incredible brand awareness at the front of the store. The stores would act as billboards for us, delivering direct revenue as well as giving a halo effect to our ecommerce platform. However, if we were not showcasing our brand in the best possible way, it has entirely the opposite effect – it was something we had to solve quite urgently.”
A retained field merchandising solution
The retail team at Bloom & Wild turned to us to help them solve this problem. They carefully walked us through their needs and we recommended they onboard an always-on field merchandising team. They would have to have the Sainsbury’s accreditation to go into store but they could then go in regularly to ensure the fixture looked beautiful.
We put them in touch with our Specialist Services team who have worked with dozens of agencies across the industry. They could advise on the right specialist for the need and use our connections and scale to deliver a discounted price that the Bloom & Wild team could not access. We would then support them in briefing and navigating the new partnership.
“We trusted you to help. I have personally done courses that you run, met your network and I know you totally understand us. Given that we had no knowledge or expertise, it really felt like you guys knew what you were doing. Even though the service came at a premium price, the only thing that mattered to us was the ROI and we have no doubt that this was higher with you than alternatives which is why we are still working together today.”
Within a matter of days, Bloom & Wild had field representatives in-store making interventions on the stand. They established a weekly visit cadence with monthly reporting and meetings. The Bloom & Wild team would then use these reports to navigate conversations with the buyer to effect positive lasting change.
A commercial no-brainer
The partnership has now been live for almost a year. Bloom & Wild are experiencing sales at 2x forecast since solving this problem on an ongoing basis, and as a result their store numbers have increased 400% with more to come. They can enjoy peace of mind that each week, someone is making sure the brand is being represented well in the store environment.
“There is just no way we would have been able to do this without you. To know we have a monthly 45minute check-in and get so much information to take back to our contact at JS makes a massive, massive difference. The impact this has had on the business and my job day-to-day is unquestionable.”
The YF team attends meetings and advises the Bloom & Wild team and the agency team as a trusted specialist – but the credit for success here really sits with the brand’s retail team for its proactive management and investment into the Sainsbury’s account.
2 Things Olivia Learnt
1. Do not assume the rollout will be perfect. Have backup plans and contingencies because the store teams will never look at your brand the way you do – they have far too many other critical things to think about. If it matters to you, invest to do it in-house and ensure the execution that you need
2. Know your metrics. Understand what you are trying to optimise for and the metrics that matter to you. For us store compliance is less important that how the physical product is looking. Ask your partners to report back on what you care about to get the most from the service and the maximum ROI.
Do you need field support in your business too?
Use our search tool or contact us to find the right partner for your business need. Our team will advise you to make the most of your investment.