Using Duoplane in Niche Markets:
A Case Study of 48LongStems

July 28th, 2022 | 6 min read

duoplane x 48longstems dropshipping automation in niche market

Ever wonder how e-commerce automation works, especially in those cool, unique market corners? Well, we’ve got a treat for you. We interviewed Michael Grieger, Founder of 48LongStems, to share how Duoplane has enabled them to infiltrate and dominate the dropshipping wholesale flower business.

With a small but mighty team of three (Michael, his wife, and a support person), this operation is all about connecting farms with homes across the U.S. They offer everything from classic roses to curated arrangements, bulk flowers, pre-made bouquets and even dried products like pampas grass. They’ve tapped into a market sparked by kids’ love for dancing. Did you know parents love giving their kids flowers at school dance recitals? That’s the market 48LongStems dominates in. Their flowers get resold to parents at dance recitals, creating a win-win situation and a significant revenue source for the dance schools.

The biggest non-typical challenge with farm vendors in this niche market is the language barrier and lack of tech skills. With Duoplane, Michael and his team were able to tackle this challenge. Duoplane provided their vendors with an easy-to-use portal, keeping everything in a centralized location for simple accessibility while reducing the chances of errors occurring.

Disruption of Traditional Models

Cutting the Middlemen in Flower Distribution

Traditionally, flowers grown near the equator get shipped to Miami first, a legacy of the old days when farmers were encouraged to grow flowers instead of poppies for the drug trade. But the folks at 48LongStems decided to give the old ways the snip. They go straight to the source, shipping flowers directly from farms to their customers. Their flowers are pricier than the big-box retailers like Costco but cheaper than boutique flower shops, hitting just the sweet spot for their customers. This fresh (pun intended) approach to flower distribution has put them up close with the farms, inviting them to sell directly on their platform.

Duoplane's Role in Facilitating Disruption

Duoplane, their dropship automation app, is the heartbeat of this upheaval. It streamlines order processing and tracking, so the 48LongStems crew can monitor each order, ensuring their vendors can fulfill it and get it to their customer’s doorstep on time. When an order arrives, vendors get an email and log in to the portal to see the details. They can then confirm shipping dates, tracking numbers, and delivery dates. Although Duoplane could automate the process, this hands-on method keeps things simple for less tech-savvy vendors. They consider their subscription of $250 a month for Duoplane worth every penny, as it helps avoid any hiccups and caters to the challenges of their niche market with ease.

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Niche Market Focus and Order Fulfillment Challenges

Running a business in a niche market is a unique beast. Let’s explore how 48LongStems navigates the terrain of its particular market and handles order fulfillment challenges with perishable and unpredictable products.

Reaching New Markets with a Unique Business Model

48LongStems is aiming to spread its petals into new markets. They’re not chasing mass-market sales but instead looking to connect with organizations and individuals, like brides, schools, and events, showing them how to save money. By cultivating a closer connection with their customers, they can reveal cost-saving opportunities. They’re already a hit in the dance industry, supplying flowers to 700 schools, and now they’re looking to bloom into other seasonal markets.

Perishability and Predictability: Managing Complexities

Picture this: every day, you’re dealing with a product that doesn’t last long and depends heavily on nature’s whims. That’s the daily grind at 48LongStems. When their inventory runs low, they need a system that can switch vendors on a dime. If a farm runs out of a specific flower, they hit the phones to find other available farms. After this, they use Duoplane to seamlessly reroute the purchase order to the different suppliers.

Duoplane's Role in Ensuring Order Fulfillment Efficiency

Given how quickly flowers wilt, sticking to shipping dates is crucial. And here’s where Duoplane comes in, helping ensure fresh flowers get to the customers on time. With Duoplane’s order rerouting features, managing their unpredictable inventory has become less of a headache. Features such as delivering orders in a single click, splitting orders into multiple POs, and managing shipping dates have given 48LongStems the power to expand and scale their business.

The Shift to Duoplane

Every business knows change is part and parcel of the game. It’s not always smooth sailing, but it’s often the right course to steer. Let’s trace 48LongStems’ journey and dig into why they chose Duoplane.

Seeking Solutions for Order Fulfillment

Their previous fulfillment software fell short of the needed features, like redirecting purchase orders and a dedicated vendor portal. Before they found Duoplane, their fulfillment process was a huge hassle—they had to screenshot the purchase order, block out the line items and parts the vendor didn’t need to see, and resend it. With Duoplane, they could automatically send the purchase order directly to vendors. They also loved the convenience of Duoplane’s portal, which helped minimize vendor mistakes and gave them a central hub for managing orders.

Making the Switch to Duoplane

Switching to Duoplane was all about improving the customer experience. They kept up even when they had to migrate from another shopping cart to Shopify in 2015 to work around technical snags. They opted to rebuild their store using Shopify to keep working with Duoplane and to deal with the issues from their previous shopping cart. Since then, they’ve never looked back and felt the decision was worth the effort.

Importance of Customer Experience

In today’s world, the customer reigns supreme. A company’s success can hinge on the experience it offers. So, how does 48LongStems prioritize the customer experience?

Addressing Customer Service Issues

Michael is a big believer in taking good care of their customers and vendors and ensuring they face as few hiccups as possible when dealing with the company. Their commitment to customer service led to significant changes in their operations, like the move to Shopify. They had been grappling with several issues related to order fulfillment and splitting, making it challenging to deliver orders to their customers promptly. Given the nature of their product—perishable, unpredictable flowers—it was tough to keep operations running smoothly and still offer top-notch customer service. No matter how much resources it took, they knew the sacrifice made today would be worthwhile for years.

Maintaining Ease of Business and Communication

In the competitive flower market, the ease of doing business and maintaining solid communication with vendors can make all the difference. That’s why Michael puts an emphasis on simplifying processes and keeping open lines of communication to ensure a smooth experience for their customers. Through Duoplane’s portal, vendors can directly communicate with Michael about shipping dates, delays, and more. Duoplane’s vendor portal has proven to be a godsend in improving communication in their vendor-retailer relationships.

Enhancing Customer Experience with Duoplane

Duoplane, with its order routing capabilities, supports its efforts to ensure a smooth customer experience. Michael continues his quest to iron out operational glitches and simplify processes using Duoplane’s rich feature set. Delivering flowers on time and providing critical information like order and delivery times is at the heart of a top-tier customer experience. Duoplane makes managing these elements a breeze, thanks to efficient order routing and clear communication between vendor and retailer.

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Duoplane x 48LongStems

In a nutshell, Michael’s company shows how a small business can innovate and disrupt traditional distribution models with the right tech tools. They continue to face challenges, but their dedication to harnessing Duoplane’s capabilities and their laser focus on customer satisfaction pushes them to keep improving and adapting. They stand as a shining example of the impact of niche market focus and technology-enabled efficiencies.

The story of 48LongStems and Duoplane is still being written, with every order processed, every bouquet delivered, and every smile brightened. As they continue to leverage Duoplane and uncover its full potential, they’re lighting up the world, one flower at a time.

Are you aiming to target a niche market with specific requirements? Duoplane might just be what you need. We’re the preferred dropship automation app for retailers across 30+ industries because our system is built for maximum customization. You can put your trust in our responsive support team and our highly reliable app. We’ve led the way in the dropship automation field for over a decade. If you have any doubts or questions, feel free to contact us. We take pride in our honesty, letting you know upfront if we can meet your needs.

This post was last updated on Jul 28, 2023.

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Duoplane provides 48LongStems with an easy-to-use portal for their less than tech savvy vendors, centralize their fulfillment operations, and reduce human errors. The app’s feature to route orders to a different vendor in a single click enabled them to ensure timely fulfillment. Additionally, the seamless process for order processing and sending back tracking information makes Duoplane invaluable for 48LongStems’ niche market challenges.

48LongStems deals with challenges like language barriers with farm vendors, lack of tech skills, and the perishability and unpredictability of flowers. Duoplane addresses these by offering an intuitive vendor portal, rerouting features for order management, and ensuring timely deliveries, making inventory management and order fulfillment efficient.

48LongStems switched to Duoplane to improve their customer experience. Their previous fulfillment software lacked essential features like redirecting purchase orders and a dedicated vendor portal. Duoplane provided these features and more, streamlining their operations and minimizing vendor mistakes.

Traditionally, flowers grown near the equator were shipped to Miami first. 48LongStems revolutionized this by shipping flowers directly from farms to customers. This approach, supported by Duoplane’s dropship automation, allows them to offer fresher flowers at competitive prices by working closely with farms and cutting out the middle men.

Duoplane plays a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth customer experience for 48LongStems. With its order routing capabilities, it guarantees timely flower deliveries and clear communication between the vendor and retailer. This efficiency in order routing and vendor-retailer communication ensures that customers receive fresh flowers on time, every time.

We Empower E-commerce Retailers to Automate Dropshipping Operations.

Duoplane is a dropshipping automation software built by dropshippers, for dropshippers. We’re here to help you streamline your ecommerce retail fulfillment operations and automate order routinginventory syncingshipment feeds, and more.

Don’t just take our word for it – check out our reviews and case studies to learn why we’ve been the industry-leading solution for over 12 years, assisting over 300 retailers in onboarding over 2000 vendors and 3PL warehouses.

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