February 12, 2008, 12:00 AM

TulipWorld.com increases conversions by 8% using detailed search terms

Holland Bulb Farms increased conversion rates by 8% at its six-month-old web site TulipWorld.com by creating Google and Yahoo ads that include detailed characteristics of the flowers, says Erik Thomas, director of e-commerce.

Holland Bulb Farms increased conversion rates by 8% at its six-month-old web site TulipWorld.com by creating Google and Yahoo ads that include detailed characteristics of the flowers, such as “fragrant” or “shade,” says Erik Thomas, director of e-commerce.

When Holland Bulb Farms first launched Tulip World, visitors could only search for products by variety, for example, dahlia. But, using the Everest Advanced solution from Everest Software, the retailer enabled customers to search using more detailed terms. Holland Bulb imported information from suppliers about each product-everything from the size of the bulb to when it blooms to if it’s wind-hardy-so that shoppers could find exactly what they were looking for.

“We found that the people were actually looking for a specific characteristic,” Thomas says. “We created Google and Yahoo ads that used those key words like ‘fragrant’ or ‘shade’ or ‘natural light’. We would actually drill them to that product based on those custom fields.”

The result was an 8% higher conversion rate for customers who found products based on the more detailed search terms, he says.

Holland Bulb Farm has used Everest Software since 2004, when it launched its first site, HollandBulbFarms.com. The retailer selected Everest because it was an all-in-one system, integrating the e-commerce site, automated sales orders, payment processing, accounting, reporting and a real-time dashboard, Thomas says.

“Within the first month of launching the e-commerce site, we had about a 300% return on investment,” he says. “We actually had a much higher return on investment than we thought we were going to get.”

Using Everest’s customization features, Holland Bulb Farm products have ranked higher in some search listings than some major players, including FTD.com, Thomas says.

“Everest allowed us to customize the site and make it more search engine-friendly,” he says.

Everest also makes it easy for Holland Farm to design product pages and search ads.

“We don’t need to have our web designers or graphics designers go in there and design unique pages for each product,” Thomas says. “Anybody in the office can go into a certain custom field and put 12 keywords that will help a potential customer find that specific product when searching on Google.”

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