10 tactics from ProFlowers - leading e-retailer with a 27% conversion rate

Nielsen Online reported that ProFlowers led online retailers this April, with a visitor-to-sales conversion rate of 27.5%. Runners up were Office Depot and Lands’ End. Here are 10 tactics from the ProFlowers website and email newsletter.

1. In the header it reads , “Need it tomorrow, Sunday or Monday?” Once you’ve choosen a day, you view a selection of product options. Choosing a gift based on a desired delivery date saves time and disappointment.

Delivery date graphic

2. The header has another great graphic “Hear about us on Radio or TV? Click Here”. On entering a promotion code you enter a Radio Listener Specials page. I guessed, “proflowers” and it worked! It’s too obvious to be anything but a marketing ploy, still I felt like I had cracked the Da Vinci code. The main offer was “Receive a FREE glass vase or a discounted premium vase with today’s flower order”. View the Radio Listener,  landing page here.

Radio promotions

3. In a rush? you’re only one click away from a purchase. The homepage rotates through ten popular bouquets in the top-right corner.  (Powered by Javascript rather than Flash) 

Quick homepage picks 

4.  The first time I visited the homepage the main graphic promoted Father’s Day, when I re-visited 5 mins later it was promoting Birthday bouquets.  a/b testing will tell you which performs better, ProFlowers uses Omniture to measure consumer response to online promotions.

Prolowers homepage

5. A micro site for Wedding flowers, including real customer wedding photo’s and a separate wedding newsletter.

6. Paypal and Comscore carried out a recent survey and found that two-thirds of consumers who put items into a shopping cart did not complete the purchase. High shipping fees were the main reason the shopping cart was abandoned. ProFlowers gives you clear shipping fee information before you click the order button. I liked the “secure checkout” diagram which guides you through the steps.

{You pick your delivery date and shipping fee before ordering - see below}

shipping box

7. You can shop by price, flower or occasion. I found this really intuitive, I like daisies and need a Father’s Day gift it was easy to find both. I was not overwhelmed with choice, 16 options max.

8. Email sign up on every page of the website. Search engines don’t always drop people off on the homepage, you need to ask for email addresses more often and in different ways.

9. I received a welcome email within 10mins, offering me 20% off. To see more welcome email examples click here.

welcome email

10. The ProFlowers email newsletter is packed with good practices:

  • At the very top is the HTML link, “Take a look and choose Assorted or Red Roses for just $29.99″. Read a post covering this emerging tactic, increasing used by top retailers.
  • Besides the logo, the header is entirely html, and wastes no space. “Everybody loves free roses! Buy 12 get 12 free”, is the main title with four additional links to landing pages. This information packed preview pane has the benefit of being accessible on mobile devices.
  • Paragraph of engaging HTML text at the top in a conversational tone, “Our most popular offer is back in bloom”.
  • The offer, pricing and links are in HTML text, making this email readable with images turned off.
  • The upgrade specials underneath the two main bouquets is a tactic I will be trying out myself.
  • A reminder service allows you to set a date to be contacted via email, such as a week before your Mum’s Birthday.
  • A Father’s day promotion in the footer, Father’s day is a week away so it’s highly relevant.
  • An eye catching, “Share with a Friend” graphic.
  • A link to a well branded, simple preference center, see screenshot. They make the best of a bad situation, asking why you want to unsubscribe.

{Click to view ProFlowers email}

Proflowers newsletter

I’m sure there are many more reasons why ProFlowers has a 27% conversion rate. The tactics above grabbed my attention and appeared simple enough for other businesses to adopt. My favorite was the Radio specials link. A few of my clients spend heavily on radio advertising and I plan to pass this along. It could be adapted to Newsletter promotion codes, “Have a newsletter code? Click Here for VIP specials”. Their newsletter header, with it’s lack of wasted space and HTML text is something to keep in mind also.


2 Responses to “10 tactics from ProFlowers - leading e-retailer with a 27% conversion rate”

  • JW
    May 4th, 2015 17:46

    No, Proflowers does NOT make the shipping clear. It’s always an damned mystery till you get the checkout and at the “last click”
    That is the primary reason people abandon carts there. The bait you with great deals then sock you with shipping that costs more than what you’re buying.

    So stop being their apologist.

  • Anna Yeaman
    May 6th, 2015 13:15

    Hey Jim,

    this post is 7yrs old, what their check out process is like today I’ve no idea. Sounds like you’ve had a bad experience with getting hit with high shipping costs, we’ve all been there.


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