Amit Shah, vice president of online, mobile and social media for 1-800-Flowers.com, said the best approach for retailers implementing a mobile strategy is not to simply transport their desktop website onto mobile, but to prioritize specific features for the mobile user.
During a webinar on Wednesday, Shah said that trying to bring your desktop site to mobile misses the picture because “you need to bring the right things to mobile.”
After partnering with Moovweb to revamp its mobile site in September, 1-800-Flowers.com reduced the steps involved in its checkout process by 60% and saw a 25% increase in the average time spent on the site. What’s more, the company saw a staggering 53% reduction in cart abandonment.
1-800-Flowers.com launched its mobile site nearly six years ago. Since then, the company has also rolled out applications for BlackBerry, iPhone and Android devices.
Gaining customer insight is a strong indicator of a mobile experience, Shah said, and 1-800-Flowers.com saw the social revolution coming. “We were among the first to start a Facebook page. Our core belief is that multichannel retailing is about creating quick, fast experiences for customers.”
With mobile, Shah said, “we see it breaking down all of the disruptions across the channel and within the channel.”
Shah said his company was slow to roll out mobile integrations because it was previously constrained by the platform adopted for the desktop. Now, Shah said, the company has its own home-written platform. With site virtualization, he said, there aren’t breaks in deep linking and “customers receive consistent links to special offers.”
The only way to think about a mobile strategy, Shah said, it to make it clear, consistent, and part of a larger web strategy. Some of the features included in 1-800-Flower.com’s mobile strategy are: all desktop features are embedded, a GPS-enabled store locator, and it’s integrated with social media.
Shah said 1-800-Flowers.com prioritized features such as the shopping cart, but did not bring over less used features such as order tracking, which they identified only a small percent of desktop users accessing. Next, the company identified key functionalities that would improve the user experience specifically for its mobile customers. This included the ability to search gifts locally based on the recipient’s zip code using the “Find a Gift Fast” feature that allows users to find a relevant gift quickly from the home screen based on zip code and occasion.
When mobile consumers are searching, they are looking for something specific, so links cannot direct users to a mobile site’s main homepage, Shah said.
“Once you start focusing on experience, you start building feedback loops, and the only sustainable strategy when the marketplace is changing very quickly is to build these loops,” Shah said.