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.
- search page – proflowers.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
proflowers.com search page results
- product page – Proflowers.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.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
- checkout process – 1800flowers.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?
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.
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