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 detail on how we arrived at our ranking of these 10 services.
When you want to make someone happy, a fresh and beautiful bouquet of flowers is a surefire gift to make that happen. When you order flowers online, it lets someone know how much you care, wish them happy birthday, congratulate them, express sympathy over a loss and much more.
Online flower delivery services make the whole process quick and easy. With just a tap of the screen or click of the mouse, your splendid bouquet is on its way to let your recipient know you care and bring a smile to their face. Perhaps the hardest part is actually choosing from the abundance of flowers online.
All the online flower firms in our lineup provide next-day delivery on weekdays in most areas of the U.S. 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 very short-notice flower deliveries to depend on the time you place the order and cost more for the expedited efforts and the shipping costs. 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, some online flower delivery services allow you to substitute different flowers or customize a bouquet.
Naturally, different online flower delivery companies conduct their businesses differently. Most can send flowers directly but also have business agreements with a network of local florists to serve a wide-ranging audience. Some firms in our lineup are affiliated with each other. For example, 1-800-Flowers.com acquired Harry & David and FTD acquired ProFlowers, although ProFlowers and Harry & David still operate as independent entities.
In addition, different services use different approaches to getting flowers into your 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.
Two services on our lineup do not work with local florists: Harry & David uses select vendors to create finished bouquets for you, while Flowerbud ships its flowers in boxes, which you arrange in a vase yourself. These two companies use overnight delivery to ship blossoms to you.
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.
Online Flower Delivery: What We Evaluated, What We Found
In our search for the best online flowers and the best companies that handle deliveries, we looked for firms that offer a wide variety of products, services and community-related features. We wanted to find services that deliver a first-class experience for all your floral gift needs.
Many factors contribute to a good online flower delivery service. Product selection, comprehensive and speedy customer support, delivery tracking and even the company's commitment to ecological and fair trade issues are all important components of a superior flower service.
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 flowers already arranged in a vase and brought to your door 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 favor traditional floral bouquets, you might prefer to send a live green plant, a bonsai plant, exotic flowers such as orchids, or a dish garden with cacti, which many flower services also offer.
In addition, we sought out companies that offer a variety of non-floral gifts. 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 presenting such things as gourmet chocolates, wines, cheeses, crackers, coffees and teas. Some even sell spa baskets filled with plenty of health and beauty items to make the recipient feel appreciated. For other 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 reminder capability that you can sign up to receive. If you have ever forgotten a birthday or anniversary, you will no doubt appreciate an online flower delivery firm that sends electronic reminders so that does not 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 also can order flowers by phone.
You don't need to worry about 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.
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.
Our Verdict & Recommendations
Our top three choices each provide an array of delivery services and other perks. 1-800-Flowers.com presents an extensive selection of flowers and gifts, even giving you the ability to customize a bouquet, a service only a few online flower delivery services offer. It also provides a generous selection of sympathy and funeral floral arrangements, as well as the services of a sympathy adviser who can guide you if you are unsure about particular religious or cultural traditions.
FTD Flowers also features a wide roster of flowers and presents. Unlike many services, it can provide substitutions in arrangements. As a company with a long history in flower delivery, FTD is known for its 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.
Though they did not fall within our top three, a couple other services stand out for their selections and services. Harry & David, which 1-800-Flowers.com recently acquired, began as a fresh fruit and food gift firm and now has branched into offering a slightly limited but attractive selection of flowers and plants along with other treats. Teleflora specializes in Flowers in a Gift, which means the recipient gets a keepsake vase or other container along with the blossoms.
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.