The introduction of e-business to the general consumer market, particularly for the local flower consumer, was the start of a new technological experience that has changed the way flowers are purchased these days. The power of e-commerce using the Internet tools has also introduced a competitive challenge for the traditional florist business owners in the Boston area as well as other parts of the United States. For example, local flower buyers now have a new choice for how to buy flowers. Flowers can be purchased, as usual, from the local floral shops, or purchases can now be made directly with Internet-based floral services, such as 1-800-FLOWERS Inc. which is not a local florist shop. 1-800-FLOWERS Inc. is an Internet-based floral network company that receives and processes flower orders placed by consumers directly. This qualitative research was conducted with personal interviews of former and current Boston land-based retail florists. The study was needed in order to learn their impressions through lived experiences concerning the propagation of e-business as a consumer purchase option channel, and to understand why some business environments, particularly retail flower shops in Boston are rapidly changing. Some retail flower shops in Boston have closed for business, while other flower enterprises, in the same area, have remained operational in light of Internet-based purchasing options for consumers. This study examined topics and discovered recommendations that might strengthen the efficiency and flexibility of retail flower shops in Boston, particularly for the retail flower shops that might be threatened by attrition. The participants for the study offered knowledge based on their lived experiences as retail florists. They detailed the variety of ways that e-business as a consumer purchase option channel impacts the land-based retail florists. They also provided recommendations to retail florists and other industry participants such as flower customers, who need to be knowledgeable regarding the implications of e-business technology and the trends for the floral industry, and how the propagation of e-business might impact the future of land-based retail florists businesses, and the floral industry.
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