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1800Flowers revamps mobile site to increase holiday conversions

NEW YORK – Due to the rise in smartphone ownership, consumers want more out of mobile experiences, according to a senior executive from 1800Flowers.

During the “Anatomy of Successful Holiday Marketing” at the Mobile Marketing Summit conference, the executive spoke about the importance of thinking about mobile as a multiplatform experience. Additionally, companies face a challenge when translating desktop shopping to mobile shopping for mobile-savvy consumers.

“As smartphones take over, we have a role to play within mobile commerce,” said Kevin Ranford, vice president of marketing at 1800Flowers, Carle Place, NY.

“We are at a place where shoppers expect more out of their mobile experience,” Mr. Ranford said.

Early adopters
1800Flowers credits its strong mobile presence to jumping into the game early on.

The company launched a mobile-optimized Web site six years ago and started tapping into applications three and a half years ago.

Based on demand at the time, the company prioritized BlackBerry apps as the first platform to tap into. 1800Flowers then followed with iPhone and Android apps.

“We had to figure out how to optimize the mobile experience and which pieces of the desktop funnel we didn’t need,” Mr. Ranford said.

In particular, 1800Flowers found that 90 percent of consumers’ time on the desktop was spent on the order screen, which shows the quick service the company gives consumers and set the model for the company’s mobile strategy.

“We learned it’s important to keep shoppers from going down paths where they get stuck, so we brought in tools from the desktop experience to mobile,” Mr. Ranford said.

1800Flowers has recognized the mobile trend and sees the need to upgrade its mobile offerings to meet the needs of consumers.

“We are at a place where shoppers expect more out of their mobile experience,” Mr. Ranford said.

“With the relaunch of our mobile site, we brought the ‘finding it fast’ functionality to mobile,” he said.

“This feature really helps our order funnel and conversion so why not bring that over to mobile.”

Other additions to the new relaunched mobile site include a detailed calendar function and a cleaner homepage.

Market on mobile
One area that 1800Flowers is heavily focusing on is mobile search.

“Getting to the marketing piece, we have had a lot of wins in mobile search marketing,” Mr. Ranford said. “We have a PC search program and that gave us some insight into what to do in mobile search.”

On mobile searches, 1800Flowers has found that 92 percent of the time users click on the headline when searching.

Additionally, four percent of clicks go to sitelinks and 4 percent go to CTC.

“There are less ad results for mobile so we have to optimize for that,” Mr. Ranford said.

“Shopping behavior is different on mobile,” he said. “Therefore, it is more critical to get consumers to focus on the few sponsored ad results that do appear.”

Looking forward to the holidays, retailers need to integrate mobile payments into their strategies.

“Alternate payments should be considered during the holidays,” Mr. Ranford said. “Also focus on the mobile user interface.

“If you are going to spend money make sure you are converting,” he said.

Final Take
Kevin Ranford is vice president of marketing at 1800Flowers, Carle Place, NY.