Our progress so far
What are the World Flower Exchange programme's plans for the coming months?
The World Flower Exchange programme is taking the first steps in exploring the Chinese market as a sales market for the products of our growers and their buyers. For example, by making the rising Chinese e-commerce platforms accessible for our flowers and plants. Programme Director Guido de Wit says, "There are so many opportunities here for the Dutch horticultural sector to increase sales. The boundaries of our marketplace are rapidly becoming virtual. Via the online channel we can embrace the world."
In the first half of 2016, trials will be conducted with various parties. The aim is to explore whether the Chinese are interested in our Dutch supply and how we should approach this opportunity. One example is the trial with e-commerce platform YiHouDian. This is an online groceries service comparable to www.albert.nl, but ten times larger. A trial has also been started with a large supermarket chain, which are offering flowers for sale for the first time.
After this 6-month research period, we shall decide in the third quarter of 2016 whether Royal FloraHolland will continue investing in the Chinese market and what this will look like. The outcomes of the trials should answer questions like:
- What are the Chinese consumers' needs?
- What is specifically required in this market?
- How can we supply that?
- Which demands are being made on our current system?
- How can we work optimally with the Chinese?
Testing and learning in China
Guido continued, "Often we do in China on a small scale what we have been doing for a long time in the Netherlands. For example, setting up flower displays in a supermarket. By closely monitoring what does and does not sell, why that happened, and adjusting immediately, we obtain a wealth of information.
The experiments are prepared under the direction of the team in the Netherlands and implemented from our office in Shanghai. In a relatively short period we want to try out as many options as possible and learn from them. If a trial goes well, then we extend it. If it does poorly, then we adjust or pull the plug immediately."