There's no shortage of florists in Shanghai, and ordering a bouquet or flower arrangement is surprisingly easy. A lot of shops offer direct delivery, and timings are pretty flexible.
Ordering online also gives you quite a few options and allows you to better compare selections. The process also tends to be more affordable, especially if you are looking for an emergency bouquet. Ele.me and Dianping are both great options.
Here's how you do it.
Ordering on Ele.me
If you already know how to order food on Ele.me, the process is pretty much the same.
Step 1: Search and shop
Type "鲜花" (xianhua) into the search bar, and you will get 900 results for fresh flowers, complete with previews of their bestsellers. The buttons below the search bar also allow you to refine the search results by sales volume (销量), delivery speed (速度), or filter (筛选) through prices and deals.
If you like the look of a certain shop, tapping on the shop's listing will light up your screen with its full selection. Some recommend bouquets by occasion, such as birthday (生日) or romantic celebrations (look for the word "爱" or "浪漫" on the tab).
But most of them also organize their tabs by flower, with the more popular ones being roses (玫瑰), sunflowers (向日葵), baby's breath (满天星), carnations (康乃馨) and lilies (百合). Some shops also have a "must-read" (必看) tab at the top, which gives specific details about their delivery methods, or their cancellation/refund policy. This information is almost certainly in Chinese, but as long as you fill in all the required details, you should be fine.
Alternatively, you can always search for a specific flower which will allow you to browse arrangements only with this flower of choice.
All done? Hit the check-out button on the bottom-right corner. If your recipient doesn't live with you, or you want to send the flowers to someone's office, you'll also need to add a new address.
Step 2: Choose a delivery time and date, and write your message
Based on experience, flowers tend to arrive up to half an hour earlier than requested.
Since you're getting these flowers delivered, you should probably write a nice message so the recipient knows who's behind the gesture. The button marked "祝福语" will give you a 50-character space to write a note or your name – get creative.
A florist will transcribe the message onto a small card – don't put private information you don't want anyone else to see.
Step 3: Finalize delivery and pay
Near the bottom of the page, you can add other miscellaneous delivery requests under "备注," such as placing it at the door (放门口) or at the front desk (放前台桌上).
Double-check that all the delivery details are correct, go ahead and pay with your preferred method.
Step 4: And now you wait …
Your part is all done. You can track the delivery process on the app and make sure that the recipient gets the flowers on the day.
Ordering on Dianping
The process of ordering on Dianping is largely the same as Ele.me. Search "鲜花配送" (flower delivery), and choose "外卖"(courier service).
What's convenient about Dianping is the online inquiry (在线咨询) that some shops have set up. This makes it easier to directly put forward any special requests you may have to the florist.
You can also use this service to ask about any off-season flowers you may want so the florist can pre-order for you.
Once you've found the bouquet you like, click on the "去结算" (pay) button at the bottom. This will take you to the page where you fill in delivery details and pay.
Pay with your preferred method, and you're all set. Like Ele.me, you can also easily track the delivery to make sure your recipient has received the flowers.