Online Flower Delivery Review
Why Should I Use Online Flower Delivery Services?
The top performers in our review are 1-800-Flowers.com, the Gold Award winner; FTD Flowers, the Silver Award winner; and ProFlowers, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a service to meet your needs, along with details on how we arrived at our ranking of these 10 services.
When you want to make someone happy, the gift of a fresh and beautiful bouquet of flowers is a surefire way to make that happen. Unlike in the past, when you had to visit or phone a brick-and-mortar store to place an order, sending flowers today is convenient, quick and easy.
Online flower delivery requires just a tap of the screen or click of the mouse. Almost immediately, your order is logged, the bouquet is set to be arranged by a florist and your splendid gift will soon be on its way to bring a smile to your recipient's face. Perhaps the hardest part is actually choosing from the abundance of online flowers and the beauty, fragrance and appeal of the arrangements available. With fresh and attractive flowers, you can tell someone about the depth of your love, wish someone happy birthday, say congratulations about the new baby, express sympathy for a loss and much more.
Our Verdict & Recommendations
Our top three choices each provide an array of delivery services and other perks. 1-800-Flowers.com presents an extensive and beautiful selection of flowers and gifts. In addition, it provides a generous selection of sympathy and funeral floral arrangements, as well as an exceptionally sensitive service: a sympathy adviser who can guide you if you are unsure about particular religious or cultural traditions before you place your floral order.
FTD Flowers also features a wide roster of flowers and presents, and it has added an appealing category of Farm Fresh Flowers chosen from select farms in the United States and several countries. As a company with a long history in flower delivery, FTD is known for its high-quality bouquets and gifts, and it can deliver flowers to 154 countries.
ProFlowers has developed five other brands, so it offers enough gifts to please even someone who seemingly has everything. Whether you want to send a pretty bouquet, a basket of snacks or a personalized gift, ProFlowers undoubtedly has something that will catch your eye. With many floral arrangements, you can also choose from three or four different vases to highlight the bouquet’s appeal.
Though they did not fall within our top three, some other services stand out for their selections and services. Harry & David began as a fresh fruit and food gift company whose name is now synonymous with first-rate gift baskets, and it has branched out into offering a somewhat small but attractive selection of flowers and plants. Teleflora specializes in Flowers in a Gift, which means the recipient gets a keepsake vase or other container along with the blossoms.
For a number of U.S. citizens, it would be heartening to know that Flowerbud.com not only offers farm-fresh blossoms, but deals only in American-grown flowers. The owners believe the blossoms are fresher, it's easier to know the environmental standards, and this approach also preserves American jobs.
Online Flower Delivery: What We Tested, What We Found
In our search for the best flower delivery service, we bought fresh flowers from each vendor, along with bouquets from vendors that did not make it onto our matrix. We noted if the flowers were delivered on time, observed their appearance upon arrival and then used proprietary testing methods to determine which stayed the freshest over a certain period of time. We graded the flowers accordingly.
In addition, we sought to feature firms that offer you a wide variety of products, services and community-related features. As a customer, you deserve services that deliver a first-class experience for all your floral and gift needs, as well as other factors that contribute to a good online flower delivery service.
These factors include such things as comprehensive and speedy customer support and different types of delivery tracking. We also researched each company’s commitment to ecological and fair-trade issues for your convenience and conscience. Along with the farm-to-table movement for food, there is growing interest in the United States regarding environmental and labor standards for flower production.
In addition, flower delivery companies are increasingly either being acquired by other corporations or are building partner relationships with other firms to expand the kinds of gifts they can offer you. For example, 1-800-Flowers.com has acquired Harry & David, and FTD has acquired ProFlowers, although ProFlowers and Harry & David still operate as independent entities. FromYouFlowers.com, which is not included in our review, is part of the Teleflora network of national and international floral vendors that uses local florists to fill orders. Meanwhile, Flowerbud.com, which sends bulk flowers for you to arrange and previously dealt only with flowers, has developed a partnership with Stargazer Barn, which offers you a selection of wine, candies, jewelry, perfume and more.
Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to evaluate all products and services in hands-on tests that simulate as closely as possible the experiences of a typical consumer. We purchased the floral arrangements in our comparison from the companies we examined. The manufacturers had no input or influence over our test methodology, nor was the methodology provided to any of them in more detail than is available through reading our reviews.
Flower arrangements include bundles of cut flowers, loosely gathered and shipped via a delivery service for you to place in a vase, as well as the more traditional floral arrangements that are already in a vase and are delivered to your intended recipient by a local florist. One of the most significant features of an online flower service is variety, and we looked for companies that offer reasonable-to-exceptional selections of flowers and arrangement styles. Whether you are looking at same-day flower delivery or a systematic plan to send monthly or weekly floral gifts, it is always great to have an abundant selection.
Many sites offer flowers for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals and "just because." Corporations often send floral gifts to employees or other firms. If you do not want to give someone a floral bouquet – and for some people, this implies a romantic message – you might prefer to order a live green plant, a bonsai plant or a dish garden with cacti. These kinds of gifts could be perceived as more professional and would safely congratulate or thank someone without sending the wrong message.
We sought out companies that offer a variety of non-floral gifts in addition to flowers. Many online flower delivery companies have branched out to offer a number of gift choices, including balloons, jewelry and seasonal presents like summer barbecue tools.
Gift baskets are popular, with many firms offering such things as gourmet chocolates, wines, cheeses, crackers, coffees and teas. Some even sell spa baskets filled with health and beauty items to make your recipient feel appreciated. Flower.com provides an attractive selection of gift choices, including fruit baskets and wine. Flora2000, which calls its appealing baskets "hampers," offers other kinds of treats as well, including red velvet cake and perfumes. For more gift basket services, take a look at our gift baskets site.
A first-rate online flower delivery service makes it easy to order flowers online or by phone and can answer your questions quickly and courteously. Another useful service is the electronic reminders that you can sign up to receive. If you have ever forgotten a birthday or anniversary, you will no doubt appreciate an electronic reminder so that disaster doesn't happen again. In addition, some have customer loyalty programs that let you accumulate points for discounts and special offerings.
Ordering & Delivery
All the companies in our lineup provide an online service to choose flowers and pay for them. You typically need to establish an online account with the firm, which is easy to do, and then fill in what you want, where and to whom it should go, and how you will pay.
You don't need to wonder whether your flowers arrived. Top-notch flower delivery companies provide tracking information online and by phone, so you can check the status of your bouquet as it travels toward your intended recipient.
All the sites we reviewed deliver within the continental United States, and most also deliver within Canada, Hawaii and Alaska. Some sites offer international flower delivery for an additional cost. All the online flower firms in our lineup provide next-day delivery on weekdays in most areas of the U.S., and several, including Flowerpetal.com, offer same-day delivery to most U.S. and Canadian locations.
In some cases, placing an order late Sunday evening might require a Tuesday delivery instead of Monday. Many offer same-day service, which is a real boon for many situations, especially if you forgot an important birthday or anniversary. It is typical for short-notice flower deliveries to depend on the time you place the order and cost more for the expedited efforts and the shipping. You might also have a somewhat more limited selection of bouquets if you are ordering flowers to be delivered very quickly.
One thing to be aware of, should you opt for a service that sends cut flowers for you to arrange yourself, is that it takes a couple of days for the buds to unfurl into blossoms. In addition, different services use different approaches to getting flowers into your recipient's hands. For example, ProFlowers offers two different floral delivery methods. You can order flowers that come in a box with a carefully wrapped and moistened sponge at the bottom of the stems to keep blossoms fresh. You arrange these flowers yourself, and since they arrive in bud form, it takes three or four days for the petals to open completely. However, you can also send a traditional arrangement that is already prepared and in a vase, since ProFlowers now has its connection with FTD. Florists.com, which is not included in our review, is another FTD subsidiary that uses local florists.
Check out our online flower delivery reviews to find the best company for you. For more information, read our articles about online flower delivery services.
Eco & Charitable Features
Many online flower delivery services prominently feature eco-friendly plants and flowers. Some have Veriflora designation, which means they sell only products cultivated under stringent sustainability standards.
Some also have the Fair Trade certification, which means their products meet various standards for the way producers treat the environment and the workers who tend the plants. This includes such things as restrictions on child labor and use of pesticides and other chemicals. Of course, not every farm or floral distributor throughout the world can be watched all the time, but many online flower delivery services are making a strong effort to support decent working conditions for employees and protections for the environment.
For example, Organic Bouquet since its inception has demonstrated a strong commitment to environmentally sound farming practices and good labor standards for those who work the flower fields. This firm also supports 57 nonprofit organizations that do such things as reduce illiteracy, help impoverished people and preserve the environment. Another company that is not in our review but becoming well-known, Bouqs, packs its fresh flowers in biodegradable boxes and materials.
First-rate flowers, great gifts and spot-on service define the best online flower delivery services. Check out our reviews to find the best online flowers for you and your loved ones.
Contributing Reviewer: Linda Thomson