Some of UrbanStems' pages converted at 11% as the online flower retailer continued to optimize deep into the week leading up to Mother's Day.

More people have reason to send a gift on Mother’s Day than on Valentine’s Day, said Katie Hudson, content director at online flower retailer UrbanStems.

And whereas UrbanStems typically sells five times more than a usual week in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, it sells 10 times more than a usual week leading up to Mother’s Day, she said. Moreover, conversion for UrbanStems Mother’s Day sales increased nearly 50% compared with the retailer’s average conversion, she said, without revealing specific figures.

The UrbanStems homepage, captured Friday, May 12, shows a Mother's Day promotion of up to 30% off for double bouquets.

The UrbanStems homepage, captured Friday, May 12, shows a Mother’s Day promotion of up to 30% off for double bouquets.

UrbanStems Mother’s Day sales

The retailer had its best revenue day ever on May 11, the Thursday leading up to Mother’s Day, Hudson said, without revealing a dollar amount. That coincided with its highest site traffic on the same day. Hudson said the retailer has yet to determine if this was its best Mother’s Day period to date, “but most likely. We are still figuring this out due to refunds and redeliveries.”

UrbanStems site traffic in the week leading up to Mother’s Day increased more than 400% compared with non-holiday weeks. Its average order value also increased more than $10 during the sales period.


“Typically we’ll see a spike,” Hudson said. At least for Mother’s Day, people are more likely to do gift sets, which are more expensive with us, or to do add-ons.”

That led Hudson and her team to do A/B tests to determine whether offering add-ons at checkout boosted AOV. She said the retailer did not see a difference in having add-ons appear during checkout, so going into Mother’s Day, it removed the add-on upsell opportunity to improve site speed.

“What we found was that when the add-ons were being shown in checkout, it would cause the site to load a little slower because it was having to call to see what add-ons were in inventory,” Hudson said. “So we removed that, and even then, some people were choosing add-ons before they got to checkout.”

A/B testing

The overall boost in site traffic made Hudson realize she could squeeze in some last-minute testing to optimize landing pages.


“So many people were coming to the site that we could get a result we knew we were 100% confident in — in half the time we normally would,” Hudson said.

On May 11, just three days before Mother’s Day, UrbanStems tested versions of its landing pages from social media with and without customer reviews. But when the retailer removed reviews, it saw conversions decrease 25%, Hudson said.

From there, Hudson said, UrbanStems better understood how much its customers care about reviews.

“They want to see how the actual product arrives,” she said.


Optimizing social media and digital marketing with APIs

UrbanStems also runs design feature experiments using web design vendor Zmags’ Fastr Frontend interface, which connects to the platform via an application programming interface (API).

About 10% of sales during the period came from Zmags custom pages for podcasters and influencers UrbanStems worked with. Those pages averaged an 8% conversion rate, Hudson said.

Hudson said UrbanStems also tested its paid landing page made using Zmags against the Mother’s Day product landing page, which runs on the retailer’s Shopify-powered ecommerce site.

“With that, we saw a 200% lift in conversion when we drove people to the Zmags experience versus just our normal PLP when they’re coming through paid social. We’re constantly testing,” Hudson said. “The conversion rate numbers that week of Mother’s Day in general were insane and not the norm, but we were able to keep testing and getting it better and better.”

The UrbanStems Mother's Day product landing page on May 12 shows how soon shoppers can receive bouquets.

The UrbanStems Mother’s Day product landing page on May 12 shows how soon shoppers can receive bouquets.

The UrbanStems Mother's Day product landing page on May 12 shows discounts, overnight shipping options and an out-of-stock bouquet.

The UrbanStems Mother’s Day product landing page on May 12 shows discounts, overnight shipping options and an out-of-stock bouquet.

Countdown timers

UrbanStems also used Zmags to include countdown timers across its site, including on product landing pages, even before Mother’s Day. The retailer worked with Zmags to automate the timers to count down to 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in cities where it offers same-day delivery, then automatically update each day to count down again. UrbanStems offers same-day delivery in Washington, D.C., New York City and Los Angeles.

Hudson said UrbanStems had never used the countdown timer on its homepage before Mother’s Day, so it ran an A/B test in which 25% of the site traffic had a timer on the page.


“We just wanted to make sure because our homepage was already converting so well,” Hudson said. “We didn’t want to mess with it too much.”

It increased conversion 2%, which Hudson said “wasn’t huge, but it was enough to say it was a clear winner.” Then, the timer went to 100% of UrbanStems’ audience.

UrbanStems also uses Zmags for its landing pages for site visitors coming from social media platforms. Some of those pages touted 11% conversion rates the week of Mother’s Day. Hudson said even though that’s when purchase intent is highest among UrbanStems shoppers, she and her team had not seen an 11% conversion rate for such a page.

Post-Mother’s Day

Hudson said UrbanStems did not run any paid social ads the week after Mother’s Day. Instead, the retailer is using the post-holiday time to reflect on what it has learned.


“We need to have customer reviews,” Hudson said.

Furthermore, UrbanStems must develop a landing page that prioritizes customer reviews higher on the page.

“Taking some of the testing we did and iterating on it after Mother’s Day is going to be really important,” Hudson said.

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