• Analysis of the Top Converting Online Retailers: Homepages (3)

    In the last post of this blog series, I reflected briefly on the homepages of ProFlowers.com and 1800Flowers.com, the two top etailers in the category of gifts and flowers. Remember, the reason I decided to explore this category in the first place was the fact that in June Proflowers.com, 1800Flowers.com, and FTD.com all made it to the top 10 e-tailers sorted by conversion rate as reported by Neilsen Online with over 20% conversion rate each.


    Amongst the top 500 retailers, in the vertical of flowers/gifts are two sites that clearly have sizable revenue, but are not doing as well in terms of conversion rate: Gifttree.com at 3.5% and Justflowers.com at 5%. In this post I will reflect briefly on their homepages.


    Dissecting the Homepages



    1. The logo is clearly displayed in the upper right corner of the page with the contact number in smaller text right below.
    2. In attempt to relieve anxieties, the top portion of the includes quite a lot of text: a quote from the Wall Street Journal and various icons such as the McAfee Secure, My Saved Gifts, Shopping Cart, etc. That being said, you want to avoid giving the entire page a crowded, “texty” look, so sometimes clearing your top navigational area helps.
    3. The bouquet image in the center of the page is actually a flash image that changes every few seconds. In some, rare cases, such as these flower/gifts e-commerce shops, flash images work.
    4. There seems to be a lot of text throughout the page, or at least I get that impression when I look at this homepage. Gifttree.com does offer great category selections and ways to navigate throughout the site.

    GiftTree.com has a 3.5% conversion rate, which is quite low in comparison to their competitors. If you look at the site from the perspective of appealing to the 4 personality types of impulsive, caring, logical, and aggressive they don’t do an efficient job of appealing to each. There is more to see as you scroll down:


    3M Results
    1. There are categories listed beautifully in the center right below the fold. The categories can appeal to the aggressive buyers with a competitive category of Best Sellers. A little rearrangement throughout the site will do wonders in terms of appealing to certain personality types.
    2. For SEO reasons, it seems that GiftTree chose to place text in the center lower portion of the page to rank well on certain keywords. Sometimes rearranging the text in different areas throughout the site can help the site utilize the space more efficiently.
    3. The top 10 gift baskets list is a great idea, however, it’s placed in the center of the page towards the bottom and users can easily miss it.

    GiftTree.com deals with some fierce competition – so trying to appeal to a variety of buyers at different stages and personality types is key to improving sales and conversion rate.



    stop CRO frustrations
    1. The Logo is clearly listed in the left center portion of the page. They clearly want the visitor to make use of the search tool since it is listed in close vicinity to the logo and centered on the page.
    2. Unique to this site, the navigation is in the middle of the page. This is different from what most site visitors are used to, and may lead to a bit of confusion. It is possible that they want the user to utilize the search tool placed it in the forefront. If that’s the case, it isn’t necessary to rearrange the  navigation: Amazon.com, a leader in e-commerce, also points users to the search tool in a very clever way without taking away from the general layout site visitors are used to.
    3. The telephone contact numbers listed as Service and Orders, are placed in the upper right corner. One contact number placed on the homepage is enough. I’m assuming Service is referring to customer service and Orders is to place order, but having two numbers is confusing.
    4. All the images throughout the page are “clickable.” That’s always a nice feature to have because many times visitors may see a specific bouquet that meets their specific requirements. Clickable images really cater to the impulsive buyer but what would impact them more is a buy now button under each bouquet.
    5. Finally, as an incentive, they offer a $10 discount online coupon placed in the far left bottom corner of the page. I’m not a fan of online coupons at all. I feel they are yet just another way to complicate the buying process. If you’re offering $10 off the purchase, then automatically give it to your customers. Also, the incentive is placed in the bottom left corner of the page and embedded within a bouquet of red roses. It can easily be missed. Incentives should be clear and easy for the site visitor to catch.

    JustFlowers.com and GiftTree.com are doing very well for themselves, however, when we take just the homepages of all the sites put together, the discrepancies that lead the difference of a 3.5% and a 20% are very apparent. But that’s only the beginning. So far we’ve only reviewed the homepages and have a lot more to discover. Do you see a big difference between the top selling gift/flower e-tailers and the lower selling ones?

Ayat Shukairy

My name is Ayat Shukairy, and I’m a co-founder and CCO at Invesp. Here’s a little more about me: At the very beginning of my career, I worked on countless high-profile e-commerce projects, helping diverse organizations optimize website copy. I realized, that although the copy was great and was generating more foot traffic, many of the sites performed poorly because of usability and design issues.

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Ayat Shukairy

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One thought on “Analysis of the Top Converting Online Retailers: Homepages (3)”

  1. It’s interesting to note that the highest conversion rate is still below 30%. Maybe someday search engines will enable conversion rates to go above 50%. Could you imagine?

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