High scores across the board lands Proflowers.com in the No. 1 slot in the Flowers category of the latest PowerRankings by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR). Forrester PowerRankings combine survey data from online consumers and unbiased shopping tests to provide objective rankings of the leading US eCommerce sites. The companies following Proflowers.com are 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Flowers Direct, and FTD.COM.
Proflowers.com overwhelms the competition with first-class customer service, low prices, fast loading pages, and online order tracking. On the downside, the site doesn’t save credit card information, so even loyal customers must enter their payment information every time they order.
“Last spring, Proflowers.com barely edged out the competition, but this time the race wasn’t even close,” said Tom Rhinelander, senior analyst at Forrester Research. “About the only advantages that rivals can tout is same-day delivery in a vase, as Proflowers.com ships its offerings the next day at the earliest, and in a box.”
Topnotch customer service, including a 24-hour call center and clear inventory information, earned 1-800-FLOWERS.COM a distant second place, but the site still lacks online order status and purchasing history. Buying at Flowers Direct is quick, but the shopping experience is marred by site failures, a lack of online help, and high delivery costs. FTD.COM offers a feature-rich site, including canned gift messages, but the long buying process, inconsistent navigation, and lengthy phone pickup times explain its last place finish.
“Proflowers.com is the only flower site tested that feels like it fully uses the power of the Web,” said Rhinelander. “Until the other sites figure out how to integrate local florists into their systems, they will continue to force customers to cross their fingers or call to check whether that all-important bouquet arrived.”
For the updated PowerRankings, Forrester surveyed 20,000 consumers from the NPD Group’s online panel. These consumers identified the most recent eCommerce sites that they purchased from and rated their experiences. A team of Forrester shoppers then evaluated the shopping experience for sites with a statistically valid number of consumer respondents, performing a series of rigorous tests. The consumer data and Forrester shopper scores were then synthesized and weighted, with consumer views accounting for two-thirds of the overall PowerRanking. A complete set of PowerRankings results — both consumer and Forrester shopper data — are made available to all ranked companies at no charge.
In the coming weeks, Forrester will be announcing results in additional PowerRankings categories. Additional information about each of the categories, including a complete set of rankings and scores, can be found at the PowerRankings Web site — powerrankings.forrester.com.