Case Study

A National Floral Retailer Chooses Future Proof eCommerce, Responding to Today’s Amazon-Age

The retailer needed a future-proof eCommerce strategy that would support their customers' evolving digital needs.

When a Minneapolis-based, 134-year-old national floral retailer, approached Four51, they weren’t new to the eCommerce game. 

The business opened its online shopping experience in 1998 when it first launched its website. It was dedicated to enabling its customers to shop and gather information about the company online since the turn of the century. 

Over time, the business recognized that it needed to redevelop its online experience if it was going to keep up with today’s Amazon-age.

According to a survey conducted by Salesforce, 87% of shoppers begin their product searches online. But nearly half still prefer to buy in a physical location.

Despite the fact that the in-store shopping experience is still so important simply maintaining a convenient in-store service counter isn’t going to cut it. Preparing for the next wave of retail trends – things like voice search, eMarketplaces, and artificial intelligence (AI) – is top of mind.

“When we first approached Four51, our customers could find us and shop our products online. But we knew that in order to remain easy to do business with, we needed a technology platform and a partner that could become an extension of our team. We wanted a partner to help guide us through the changes of tomorrow’s digital landscape.”

Director, Marketing and Corporate Communications, National Floral Retailer

A national floral retailer was looking for something different – something they knew they needed, but thought wasn’t possible.

The national floral retailer experienced technical issues with their existing platform’s functionality. They had customized an out-of-the-box eCommerce application so far that they couldn’t benefit from any of the upgrades the company was making to the technology. This led to a very slow system that impacted customers’ experience. They knew this was bad for their brand and was resulting in lost sales and wasted internal resources.

The team also recognized they had a huge opportunity to future proof their eCommerce strategy. At the time, they only sold floral arrangements online but had so much more to offer – from gardening suppliers to outdoor furniture to gifts, and more. They needed the ability to expand their online offerings as their business continued to evolve.

The national floral retailer was aware that their business and industry came with certain complexities that not all software providers could solve. First, the retailer sells perishable goods and custom/made-to-order products that are complex and hard to manage digitally. They also sell products, as well as services, and need those available in the same catalog. Further, they sell direct to customers, but also to retailers, with their long standing relationship with Lunds & Byerlys grocery stores. And finally, their place in the floral industry requires them to accept orders from Teleflora, a wire service company. Complexities like these made it hard to find an out-of-the-box eCommerce solution that would enable them to face the future with confidence.

the national floral retailer turned to Four51, a strategic partner that could help them navigate the Next wave of digital retail.

Four51 worked with the team to redesign and replatform the retailer’s eCommerce experience on the Four51 OrderCloud eCommerce platform. 

Today, customers can:

  • Browse, shop, and order from an expansive product catalog
  • Learn from extensive resources, tips and tricks
  • Join a loyalty program
  • Select from a variety of shipping and delivery options, including same-day delivery
  • And more.

The customer service team also has their own, personalized experience within the eCommerce application. They can assist customers and place delivery orders for them, as needed. 

Their eCommerce application integrates seamlessly with Contentful, a headless Content Management System (CMS) system. Administrators manage the online experience through a custom administrative interface, designed to fit their specific needs.

Integrating Four51 OrderCloud with Contentful enables the team to decide and direct both the administrative experience and the customer facing eCommerce experience. This drives drastic efficiencies in their workflows. They are able to continue to adapt and evolve the content delivered to customers online.

Within the first few months, the national floral retailer saw their online sales grow. Page load times drastically improved and the overall user experience became easier to navigate. The customer service team saw improvement in morale as they started to see better customer feedback. A decrease in manual touches needed to process each order improved their profitability, as well.

“We don’t know what the next ten years is going to look like, from a digital experience standpoint. One of the main reasons we chose Four51 as our eCommerce partner is because we are confident in their ability to deliver the future capabilities we’ll need tomorrow. We feel like Four51 is an extension of our team that will propel us into the future.”

VP Retail Operations and Services, NATIONAL FLORAL RETAILER