October 22, 2008, 12:00 AM

1800Flowers.com’s redesign goal was to keep it simple

1800Flowers.com’s redesigned web site was based on customer feedback about its e-commerce and mobile commerce sites. Simplicity is the key to helping shoppers find what they seek fast, whether they are last-minute or just because shoppers.

Floral gift shoppers tend to buy without a specific reason-just because-or they are in a big hurry because they forgot to order flowers for a special occasion. Either way, 1800Flowers.com’s redesigned web site aims to make it easier for shoppers to buy, Kevin Ranford, director of web marketing, tells Internet Retailer.

Lessons learned in building a mobile commerce site last year, combined with usability testing in 2008, helped the internal design team at 1800Flowers.com to streamline the way shoppers find and order floral gifts online. “We took a page out of our mobile learnings,” says Vibhav Prasad, senior director of web marketing and merchandising. The limited screen size and cumbersome keystroking required of most cell phones led 1800Flowers.com to offer a finite set of services on its mobile site. They include ordering and checking on the status of orders.

The mobile site requirements meshed well with e-commerce customer feedback gleaned from surveys. “The customer wants us to keep it simple,” Prasad says. Customer feedback guided the company’s hand in the latest web site redesign. “We are very sensitive about what we do to the home page,” he says, “because such a high volume of business goes through there.”

Catering to the last-minute shopper led 1800Flowers.com to reposition its “find a gift fast” tool. “We made it easier to find by placing it front and center on the hero shot,” Ranford says. It’s too early for much in the way of metrics, but since the late September rollout click-through rates are up, he says. A hero shot is the central image on a web page.

1800Flowers.com’s internal web marketing team handled the redesign, including information technology and the marketing and merchandising groups. The company, No. 36 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, used the Website Optimizer technology from Google Inc. for testing and user experience measures, Prasad says.

Vibhav Prasad spoke in June at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition and his audio-visual presentation at IRCE 2008 is available on CD-ROM.

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