The U.S. online shopping world's biggest day is here, but will strong web sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving cut into Cyber Monday's take?
Teleflora, the world`s leading floral service and products company based in Los Angeles, CA, knew they wanted more out of their comparison shopping engine (CSE) marketing programs. The company wanted to achieve better product visibility and higher conversion rates from the CSEs.
Teleflora was managing their CSE data feeds in-house and functionally things were going well, but felt more could be done to improve their data quality. In many cases key products were not appearing on the CSEs or they were not showing up in the appropriate category. The primary issue that caused these product visibility errors was that the category structure on each CSE did not match the way Teleflora merchandised products on their site.
Teleflora`s plant category is an example of how the nomenclatures differed between their site and the CSEs. These products should have been placed in CSE categories like `housewarming` or `get well` but they weren`t because product attributes were missing from the data feeds sent to the CSEs. Instead they were only showing up in categories like `live plants` or `house plants`.
"It was frustrating knowing that consumers searching for a housewarming, get well, or happy birthday plant arrangement never saw our products," said Tritia Cantun, online marketing specialist for Teleflora. "Not being listed with our competitors in those categories was detrimental to our bottom line."
The company felt confident they could perform better on these sites if they had better product visibility and more insight into determining which products perform the best on each site. This information would help bring more qualified buyers to their site and increase sales. Teleflora also wanted the flexibility to quickly add additional CSEs but found that scalability was an issue with their limited internal resources.
Teleflora wasn`t actively looking for a 3rd party vendor to manage their data feeds when the director of marketing heard about Channel Intelligence (CI) at a Shop.org conference. After this initial exposure, follow up meetings were scheduled where the company was able to learn more details about SellCast Online; CI`s data feed syndication and management service. In the end, Teleflora was extremely impressed by CI`s client list and felt confident they too would benefit from outsourcing their CSE data feeds.
IMPROVED DATA QUALITY
Teleflora`s product visibility issues were resolved with SellCast Online . CI`s patented technology provides item-level category placement on each CSE to help ensure products are appropriately placed according to each CSEs specific category structure. Due to Teleflora`s general categories like `flowers` and `plants`, CI optimized the data feed by including product attributes. This meant that a bouquet of roses would show up in predefined search categories on the CSEs like price, color, occasion, flower type, and holiday. Consumers use these predefined search attributes to narrow in on the types of products they are looking for. This optimization is key to a specialty retailer like Teleflora.
Having their products properly placed has significantly improved Teleflora`s competitive positioning on each CSE resulting in more traffic back to their site. This increase in traffic came from qualified buyers who found the right product in the right category on the CSEs, helping to drive higher conversion rates for the company.
With CI`s SellCast services, Teleflora now has a scalable and flexible program. The company only has to manage one feed to CI vs. customized feeds to each CSE. They no longer have to keep up with the ever changing data requirements for each CSE, which has saved time and freed up internal resources to work on other marketing initiatives. Teleflora has also been able to double the number of CSE partners since making the switch to CI because they don`t have to do any additional work on the front end to add more partner sites.
"We provide one feed to CI and they in turn handle the format and delivery to each partner site which means we don`t have to build out each individual data feed anymore," commented Cantun "We just didn`t have the resources to rapidly grow our program when we managed this in-house".
Gaining additional insight into how each product performs per CSE was a goal Teleflora achieved using SellCast. The company already had their own reports and could also access reporting from each CSE, but now they had one view across all sites. The SellCastreports provide essential details including the aggregated clicks from each CSE by category and by product. In addition, they are able to see the total sales, average order value, conversion rate and revenue per click. This key information makes it easier for Teleflora to quickly make decisions on product suppression rules and bidding at each CSE.
"We use the product report by partner the most because it allows us to customize the products we want sent to each CSE. These reports enable us to suppress the products that aren`t performing at the level we would like," said Cantun. "It also shows us which products are top performers on each CSE and in turn we can then heavily promote those top sellers on each site."
The SellCast Online service has helped to turn around Teleflora`s CSE programs. They now have better product visibility, enhanced data reports, increased traffic and higher conversion rates. As Teleflora continues to expand its online presence, Channel Intelligence will continue to be a trusted partner because of its unrivaled technology and knowledge about comparison shopping engines.
For more information about Channel Intelligence`s SellCast Retailer Solutions click here or call 1.866.559.2300 x2393.