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Flowwow's Global Expansion: CEO & Co-Founder Slava Bogdan on Revolutionizing Online Gifting and Empowering Local Artisans

Flowwow's Global Expansion: CEO & Co-Founder Slava Bogdan on Revolutionizing Online Gifting and Empowering Local Artisans
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Fuelled by a passion for bridging distances through heartfelt gestures, Flowwow emerges as a pioneering force in reshaping the landscape of online gifting. The platform connects users to 11,000 local businesses, including florists, pastry shops, and craft brands. From humble beginnings to exponential growth, the company aims to craft a glocal (global + local) marketplace that brings ultimate joy to loved ones worldwide.

In an exclusive interview, Slava Bogdan, CEO and co-founder of Flowwow, delves into the company’s genesis, user-centric features, and global expansion plans.

Birth of Flowwow

Through friendly surveys and conversations with small businesses, Bogdan unearthed a shared desire for streamlined online ordering processes. This recognition of a burgeoning need for centralized platforms in the market led to the inception of Flowwow.

Initially, the company started as a flourishing marketplace for florists, however, the pandemic brought unforeseen opportunities. Within two months, the platform expanded its offerings to include over ten new categories of local brands. This resulted in an impressive surge of over 800,000 orders and a remarkable 98% customer satisfaction rate.

Fuelled by a $6 million self-funded investment and leveraging product localization and targeted marketing strategies, Flowwow swiftly expanded its reach to encompass more than 24 countries. The company has doubled its year-over-year revenue growth and facilitated nearly 3 million orders by 2023.

Unique approach

By fostering a symbiotic relationship between local SMEs and a global audience, Flowwow distinguishes itself from conventional online delivery services. With a presence spanning over 1000 cities across 30+ countries, the platform empowers 14,000+ local businesses to scale and thrive in the digital sphere. Bogdan says,

“This is more than just a marketplace – it is about bridging the gap between talented artisans and the people who cherish their work.”

With a user-friendly interface and rigorous quality control processes, Flowwow Flowwow streamlines the ordering process from selection to delivery with a user-friendly interface and rigorous quality control processes. The platform offers an extensive array of products ranging from flowers to confectionery and gifts. The platform features personalization options that allow for tailored messages and customization preferences. With delivery options including same-day delivery, product photos before dispatch, and real-time tracking, Flowwow transforms the act of gifting into an effortless process.

In ensuring the quality and freshness of its floral arrangements, Flowwow follows stringent measures. Before onboarding sellers, the team meticulously verifies their compliance with legal regulations and product standards. To further guarantee quality, sellers upload photos of their products before dispatch, allowing customers to review them for accuracy. If discrepancies arise, customers have the option to cancel the order and receive a refund.

From a curated selection of product categories featuring unique finds from local artisans to an AI-powered generator for personalized gifting, the platform deploys innovations that reflect individual tastes and moods.

Commitment to sustainability

As highlighted by the Sustainability Trends Report 2023, sustainability emerges as a growing priority in the MENA region. Within this context, Flowwow, as a tech-driven enterprise, acknowledges its role in addressing climate change, beginning with its approach to gift delivery. The company observes a shift away from transient trends and disposable packaging, towards sustainable practices such as mindful production volumes, conscientious material choices, and robust recycling initiatives. Moreover, Flowwow partners with local businesses that prioritize responsible production and fostering mindful consumption habits. Bogdan comments,

“This focus on quality over quantity creates a win-win situation: beautiful gifts with a smaller environmental footprint.”

Successful collaborations

Flowwow has witnessed remarkable success in its mission to empower SMEs and enhance the gifting experience. A key example is its collaboration with the UAE-based floral shop, Fellora, which saw orders increase from 2,694 in 2023 to 2,780 in the first half of 2024 alone. This partnership allowed Fellora to reach a broader audience both globally and locally. Additionally, during Valentine's Day in 2024, Flowwow experienced an 800 percent increase in orders and a 1,000 percent rise in turnover.

Another major initiative was the 'Ramadan Moments: Family Game for Heart-to-Heart Talks,' created with Emirati digital artist Mariam Alobeidli, which aimed to foster connections within the UAE community and promote local artistry. This campaign also received extensive media coverage.

Overcoming challenges

Amidst the promising prospects of e-commerce market growth, Flowwow encounters its fair share of challenges within the industry. Despite the flourishing trend in online gifting, particularly evident in the MENA region, the UAE market posed distinctive hurdles. Consumers in the UAE harbored reservations about online platforms, often favoring direct purchases from established gifting outlets.

To overcome this skepticism, Flowwow devised a mobile-centric, user-friendly digital solution. Bogdan continues,

“Rather than competing with gifting shops, we invite them to join our platform, providing them with conditions that allow them to thrive.”

Expanding horizons

Currently, the platform serves over 14,000 local brands across 30+ countries, including the UAE, UK, Spain, France, Turkey, Brazil, and the CIS region. Flowwow is poised for further expansion in the MENA region throughout Q3-Q4 of 2024 and 2025. Additionally, the company is gearing up for product localization by introducing an Arabic-language version of its platform in 2025.

By empowering local artisans and embracing cultural appreciation, Flowwow is poised to solidify its position in the region and beyond.

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