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Proflowers.com vs 1800flowers.com Conversion Analysis

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This post follows the previous post top “10 retailers by conversion in April 2009“. We are going to talk about 2 retailers who made it to the top 10 for conversion rates, selling the same product (flowers), but with significantly different conversion rates.

Proflowers.com with 42.8% conversion and 1800flowers.com with conversion rate only 20.8%. As the conversion rate is really huge, provided the data is accurate, I had a look on both sites and these were my findings about why possibly Proflowers.com is converting better. Obviously, these are only my assumptions based on the data provided, which is conversion rate.

  • Proflowers.com displays on each page in the header banner saying “Need it today?”, which clearly attracts people who need flowers now – today. 1800flowers.com displays a similar banner only on the home page, but not in the header or anywhere else throughout the site.

proflowers-header

  • search pageproflowers.com page is more visually appealing, but is lacking “narrow search option” completely, whereas the 1800flowers.com does a better job.

    1800.com flowers search page results

1800.com flowers search page results

proflowers.com search page result

proflowers.com search page results

  • product pageProflowers.com in this case outclass 1800flowers.com website. Up-sells are above the fold with very good cross-sell, selling vases for flowers, plus their product page is just easier to use or select either a vase or the delivery time. For example once you type your zip/post code in the proflowers.com website then it will remember it anytime you select other products. On the contrary the 1800flowers.com website will ask you every time for your zip/post code, which becomes really annoying after a while.

    proflowers product page

proflowers.com product page

  • selection of delivery dates on the product pages are better and easier to use on Proflowers.com website.

    proflowers.com delivery date selection

proflowers.com delivery date selection

  • checkout process1800flowers.com is completely missing during their checkout any security reassurance, no SSL or Hacker Safe logo. Nothing! Proflowers.com displays their SSL security seal by Verisign on the bottom of the page (not very prominent though as you need to scroll down to see it, but at least it is there). This could be one of the reasons why Proflowers.com conversion rate is higher, provided the conversion rates data is accurate and not tampered by somebody. I found the Proflowers.com checkout process to be much easier and intuitive and once you enter the checkout process all the clutter (original website header and footer) are replaced by progress indicator and “lighter” footer in order not to distract shoppers from their task, which is to finish the checkout process. In both cases through out the whole checkout process you will see what is in your basket, although in the Proflowers.com case the price was missing there. That was a very interesting finding for me because best practice for lowering shopping cart abandonment rate dictates prices should always be included. Perhaps this is something to test on your own website as well to see which works better, having the prices or not?

    proflowers.com checkout

proflowers.com checkout

  • 1800flowers.com checkout

1800flowers.com checkout

Conclusion: Proflowers.com website conversion rate is higher by a staggering 22% (provided the data is accurate) compared to 1800flowers.com. The reasons could vary. One thing I have noticed is that 1800flowers.com has a blog whereas Proflowers.com doesn’t. And those of you who have a blog on your site know that blog traffic is really not targeted and conversion rates are very low compared to targeted traffic, so this could easily deflate the results.  Don’t take this the wrong way, having a blog is hugely beneficial for traffic generation and education of your clients but in this particular case, the blog traffic could be skewing the conversion results provided.

But as I said, without knowing the real data, where the traffic is coming from and especially what the conversion rate on PPC traffic is, I am not able 100% to fully justify the findings, as it is very likely the traffic from the 1800flowers.com blog is included in the overall conversion and probably for that reason we can see such a staggering difference in conversion. In this case we may not be comparing apples with apples. Proflowers.com website is arguably more visually appealing, easier to use and visibly uses secure seal to reinforce  security and trust, however 1800flowers.com is also a great site.

Book your website for our free site inspection service and I will be more than happy to perform analysis of your website and advise what you could improve.

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Top 10 Retailers by Conversion Rate in April 2009

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Below is a list of top 10 online retailers by conversion. Conversion rate data is based on visitor conversion rates, not session conversion rates. Source: Nielsen Online / Marketing Charts.

You have all very likely heard that average conversion rates on the internet are between 1-2%. If that’s the case on your website and by looking at the data below, how do you feel? Isn’t it time to improve this? At proimpact7 we offer a range of services including A/B and multivariate testing and optimization, usability testing, free site inspection service and obviously website redesign service focused on increasing conversion of rates.

In the following post you can see the analysis of 2 retailers from the same industry but with a significantly different conversion rate – Proflowers (42.8% conversion rate) vs. 1800flowers.com (20.8% conversion rate).

top10retailres

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Triggered vs. Autoresponder E-mails Guide

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Triggered e-mail solutions enable you to automatically communicate a relevant and timely message to each of your prospects and customers and is generated based on a meaningful change or event in a customer behavior or profile. The idea behind trigger-based campaigns is this: rather than sending to a group of people all at once, trigger emails send automatically whenever one of your recipients does something – like signing up to get your emails, or having a birthday, tips and tricks emails or reminders from your site. Triggers allow you to reach people the moment they’re most likely to read and respond – on their schedule, not yours.

Only a few e-mail service providers provide triggered email solutions which also tie into both analytics and cart systems, including ExactTarget, StrongMail and Bronto.

Trigger Email Setting Example

Trigger Email Setting Example

To better understand the difference between autoresponders and triggered e-mails let me explain what autoresponders do. While traditional automated emails (autoresponders) follow newsletter sign-ups and orders, trigger marketing sends emails for other events such as particular search patterns, customer birthdays, holidays, or related products.

Autoresponder Example

Autoresponder Example

Typical Uses for Event Triggered Emails:

  • Account Activity – these are generally initiated with pre-determined subscriber parameters, for example if you customers want to know when their checking account hovers perilously close to double digits. Another example of good use  is when your customers’ latest rental movie has been received back so you can send them a triggered e-mail.
  • Birthday Reminders – you can automatically send a triggered e-mail with a happy birthday wish and/or discount to your client
  • Customer Feedback and Surveys – customer feedback e-mails are usually triggered in response to recently-performed service, or several days after a purchase to asses overall experience
  • Download Confirmation for your customers
  • eBills
  • eCommerce Confirmation – like confirmation of an order
  • Emergency Alerts
  • Lead Nurturing Alerts typically deliver educational product or service information, or often an incentive to drive leads to conversion. It helps keep leads engaged with your brand. Good example are “tips and tricks” emails during the 30 day trial period.
  • Match Alerts – good example is an estate agent or car website, where you can receive a match alert based on your customers criteria
  • News Alert
  • Out of Stock Alerts – if you have ever wondered how these work then here is the answer. Via triggered e-mails your customer will receive an automated email “back in stock” alert
  • Shopping cart abandonment triggered emails: Whenever a client begins an order but then bails, you could set up an important follow up email to find out why they didn’t complete the transaction
  • Behavioral triggered emails: Whenever a client purchases a certain level that elevates them to platinum status or a warranty contract that is near expiration or even when a gift certificate should be redeemed by a certain date
  • Wish List Alert – you send an alert about items in your customer wish list

The trigger e-mail solutions mentioned at the beginning cost from $500+ per month. More affordable solution for small business worth to check, but perhaps not that sophisticated is from BigResponse.com.

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Free Online Webinar: Email 101

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email-101

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5 Simple Ways CMS.400 Will Boost Your Site Ranking

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cms-webinar

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