Flowers and gifts retailers have a gift for conversion

As a category, Top 500 flowers and gifts merchants posted the highest conversion rate.

Bill Briggs

When it comes to generating higher conversion rates, Top 500 flowers and gifts web retailers have that all wrapped up.

The 11 retailers in this category — 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. (No. 40), FTD Group Inc. (No. 59), Potpourri Group Inc. (No. 145), Hallmark Cards Inc. (No. 147), American Greetings Corp. (No. 160), PersonalCreations.com (No. 207), The Vermont Teddy Bear Co. (No. 223), The Yankee Candle Co. Inc. (No. 342), JustFlowers.com Inc. (No. 387), GiftTree.com (No. 437) and GourmetGiftBaskets.com (No. 461) — chalked up a collective conversion rate of 7.8% in 2009.

That’s the highest conversion rate across all merchandise categories, according to research conducted for the 2010 edition of the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

The highest individual conversion rate in the flowers and gifts category was turned in by 1-800-Flowers .com at 17%, and the lowest rate was attributed to Vermont Teddy Bear Co. with 1.5%. Both rates are based on Internet Retailer estimates.

Flowers and gifts retailers are able to generate higher conversion rates than other Top 500 merchandising categories because of more repeat business generated by holiday gift givers and gift buyers for special occasions. For example, at 1-800 Flowers about 52%—$244.3 million—of fiscal 2010 e-commerce sales of $469.9 million were generated by repeat customers, the company says.

Because of a high rate of return customers, food and drug web retailers logged the second-highest conversion rate at 5.77% in this year’s Top 500 Guide. The 21 online retailers in this category were led by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (No. 96) at 18%, and the lowest rate attributed to MyMMs.com (No. 475) with 1%. Conversion rates for both companies are based on Internet Retailer estimates.

Office supplies retailers were next in order of aggregate conversion rate, at 5.75%. The top retailer among the 17 in the category was OvernightPrints.com (No. 172) with a conversion rate of 9.95%; the lowest rate was turned in by National Business Furniture (No. 213) at 1.15%.

Rounding out the top four were 26 health and beauty products web merchants with a collective conversion rate of 5.59%. The category leader was 1-800 Contacts Inc. (No. 95) at 15.5% and Lancome-USA.com (No. 378) had the lowest with 0.5%. Both rates are based on Internet Retailer estimates.

The overall conversion rates for all 15 merchandise categories are listed below.

Reid Greenberg, director of e-commerce and direct channels at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will be speaking at the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference Feb. 14-16, 2011 in Orlando, FL, in a session titled 10 simple things you can do next week to boost your conversion rates.

1-800-Flowers.com, FTD Group, Hallmark Cards and GourmetGiftBaskets.com have mobile commerce programs that are profiled in Internet Retailer’s Mobile Commerce Data Book.


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