In this episode of Add To Cart, we are joined by Hannah Spilva and Verity Tuck, Co-founders of gifting business, LVLY. From backgrounds in advertising, Hannah and Verity are now turning over in excess of $3m with LVLY delivering amazing posies in beautiful jars with heart warming and slightly cheeky messages on them. In this chat you will hear how they solved the ultimate challenge with flower delivery, their top tips for attracting and keeping millennial customers and how Hannah’s Christmas was ruined by providing some exceptionally good customer service.
Living amid a global health crisis is tough. It has taken its toll on many people especially for health care providers and other essential workers. Aside from worrying about necessities for everyday survival, a lot of people also find themselves struggling to keep their physical and mental well-being in check. In such trying times, receiving even the tiniest gifts, indicating that someone cares means alot.
In this episode of Add to Cart, Hannah Spilva and Verity Tuck of the flower-gifting business, LVLY, share how they developed a brand which aims to regularly put smiles on the dials of thousands of Australians every day.
Certainly we found none of the solutions to our problems by looking at what the competition were doing.
Questions answered in this episode include…
- How did you solve the challenge of delivering such a delicate product using the traditional postal method?
- What marketing channels have worked best for you?
- How important has personalisation and customisation been for your brand?
- What are the key factors when appealing to the millennial customer?
On how the LVLY idea came to be
LVLY (pronounced lovely) is a direct to consumer flower-gifting business established in 2015. According to founders, Hannah and Verity, they came up with the name LVLY before they have decided on what kind of business it would be or even what kind of products they would offer. Both agreed that their purpose is “to build a company and a brand that would make people’s day and spread some happiness in the world”.
Originally, the two did not plan to sell flowers as their main offering, rather make flowers part of the product set. However, a lot of their customers assumed that flowers are the main focus of the business. And they just went along with the demands of the market — offering something that will brighten people’s day.
Solving the challenge of delivering such a delicate product using the traditional postal method
Since LVLY offers fresh posies arranged in glass jars and wanted to deliver them quickly and efficiently all over Australia using an existing postal network, they had to overcome quite a few challenges. Water, perishable flowers and glass are three of the hardest things to receive in tact and looking fresh through the post. One of the biggest hurdles was finding the right packaging.
Knowing that unboxing the package/gifts is a key part of the experience, the solution they came up with was to find boxes that can withstand different modes of transportation while keeping the flowers intact. The team found a box manufacturer in Melbourne who can develop a box that will accommodate their goods, making sure that the gifts are delivered safely. “I’ll never forget the first meeting with them and I thought they’d laugh us out of the room, because on the table in front of us was this glass jar and a freshly arranged posie and an iPhone box”
Hannah recalled testing different boxes and methods by sending out flowers to volunteers located in different parts of Australia. The participants rated the overall experience, allowing the team to discover problem areas and evolve the product and packaging to address the problems. After three months of testing, the brand was finally able to roll out a national flower delivery service on a next-day basis.
According to Hannah, when it comes to making things work, it’s all about wanting to solve the right problem. She also admits that she feels blessed that Verity and herself have a creative background and more than ten years experience in strategising, as it helps them in finding the solution to most of their hurdles.
How important has personalisation and customisation been for the brand?
Whilst the brand has tried different product combinations, the jar labels are one of the things the brand has become known for. For these labels, the sender will choose the message that the team will print and add to the gift. LVLY also offers their own messages, some swearier than others! This allows the recipient to get flowers with a personalised message.
The pair realised at the outset that it’s useless to create a variety of bundles for the business, since customers often deconstruct them and come up with very specific requests. She noted that it is important to give customers the freedom to choose what to include in their gifts.
Key factors to appeal to millennials
When it comes to making sure that they remain appealing to their target audience, Hannah follows four specific rules:
- Convenience and on-demand. They have high expectations. They are not comparing to traditional retail.
- Outstanding, not good, customer service. You want to exceed, not meet, customer needs, in order to be remembered.
- Customisation and personalisation. It’s all about them!
- Brands with social and environmental purpose. While they like nice things, it is important that you show that you care about the world around you.
Hannah and Verity were able to pinpoint the four things that make their customers tick – and turns good customers into brand enthusiasts.