With the increasing of Chinese citizens’ income and the popularization of high-quality-life concept, consumers started to pay more attention to spiritual demands rather than the basic needs for the life like clothing, food, accommodation and transportation. Fresh flower as an ornamental plant is thus widely used in people’s daily life. China’s flower retailing market boomed up during 2011-2015 with a steady growth and the sales of flowers and other gardening products on Alibaba’s retailing platforms increased more than 93% during 2014-2015. Therefore, online penetration rate of flower industry is expected to keep rising and new market of flower businesses will possibly be produced in the future.
The enhanced balance of demand and supply together with the improvement of basic facilities accelerated the development of fresh flower e-commerce. The flower planting area, the amount of flowers and species of flowers all increased in the past years, resulting in a larger supply in the market. Meanwhile, the consumption upgrading and the booming of “Her Economy” in the demand side brought flower e-commerce new opportunities. What’s more, the improvement in logistics especially the development of cold chain logistics further fueled the development of flower e-commerce.
Currently China’s flower e-commerce mainly has two models including 2B and 2C judging from their client groups. In 2B model, the flower platforms mainly cooperate with the flower planting bases and purchase flowers for the offline flower shops. In 2C model, the flower platforms offer city-wide order transfer services (B2B2C mode), high-end customized flower business and daily flower subscription businesses (B2C mode). B2B2C platforms transfer their online orders to offline flower shops and the offline shops deliver the flowers to the clients; B2C platforms, however, directly serves clients and apply logistics modes different from B2B2C logistics. Nowadays more and more 2B and B2B2C platforms started to offer businesses that directly serve their clients.