Hacking Mobility: Lessons from 1-800-Flowers.com


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As marketers adapt to the evolution of mobile into mobility, they will have to contend with the critical challenge of serving the right experience at the right time and the right place to their customers based on their context. Using real world examples from 1-800-Flowers.com and other leading brands, we will uncover how the core principles of hacking -- including quickly releasing and learning from smaller iterations, focusing on continuous testing and improvement of the core experience, and fostering an open and meritocratic team culture -- can help marketers transform the contextual mobility challenges into powerful opportunities for engaging customers.

Amit Shah, VP of Mobile and Social, 1-800Flowers

Published in: Technology, Business
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Hacking Mobility: Lessons from 1-800-Flowers.com

  1. 1. Hacking Mobility: Lessons from 1- 800-Flowers.com Amit Shah Vice President of Mobile and Social Media 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.
  2. 2. Quick History • Long historical context with analog machines in general but first originated within the digital and computing context at MIT in the 1950’s • Documented in Steven’s Levy’s classic book ‚Hackers‛ • Follows the story of the MIT model railroad club members who first used the term ‘hack’ to describe a clever way of improving electronic systems
  3. 3. Hack Improve and make things better
  4. 4. Hacking Culture - Context • Hacking means different things to different people • Many interpretations and sub-cultures associated with hacking: social change, freedom of information, systems security, coding marathons, etc. • Hacking culture is now adopted as a mainstream philosophy within technology development and especially within start-ups
  5. 5. Hacking Mobility - Context • Mobile was born and is growing up in this cultural context of hacking as a mainstream philosophy • Hacking Mobility is NOT about computer hacking, illegal activity, malicious access, etc. • Hacking Mobility is also NOT about code changes
  6. 6. Hacking Mobility - Context • Hacking Mobility addresses the evolution of mobile to mobility • Mobility challenges all stakeholders in the mobile ecosystem to be supremely expreience centric • But this evolution is not easy – it’s disruptive to how brands and agencies are structured and how they operate • Hacking Mobility provides a potential framework to meet this diruptive challenge
  7. 7. Hacking Mobility Transforming contextual mobility challenges into powerful opportunities for engaging customers
  8. 8. 1 Move Quickly 2 Be Iterative 3 Continuously test user context 4 Build open team culture Hacking Mobility: Core Lessons
  9. 9. Hackathon A focussed, intensive and collaborative exercise to make things better
  10. 10. Hacking Mobility – Experience Hackathons • Hackathons are commonly understood to be intensive coding sessions with a focus on a defined end state - for e.g., build a new functionality, release a new version, fix critical issues, etc. • We use Hackathons at 1800Flowers across the mobility experience – technology, design, marketing etc. which may or may not involve any code change • Not an easy task internally – deep skepticism, resource challenges, cross- channel pushbacks…
  11. 11. Experience Hackathon A focussed, intensive and collaborative exercise to make things any experience better
  12. 12. Hacking Mobility – Experience Hackathons • Currently once every two weeks focussed on a particular element constituting the user journey; once every other day during peak (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day) • Cross-functional internal team (marketing, operations, IT, CS, mobile) + external partners as required • Open, democratic hackathon team culture – no hiearchies, no sacred cows and success/failure is everyone’s responsibility • Outcomes are measured and distributed across the company for feedback
  13. 13. • Removed bloated tags and hidden images • Reduced total number of requests from 59 to 24 • Changed all category URLS to be absolutized • These improvements significantly improved the app homepage load time as well – Important win for first impressions of new users • Decreased Full Page Load time by 34% 0 3 6 9 Dom Content Load Full Page Load Time(sec) Load Times on 3G network Before After 34%Improvement 21%Improvement Experience Hackathons: Technology Focus
  14. 14. Original Flow: Select Date on Calendar Tap “Add to Cart” button Land on Cart Page Tap on “Order Now” Land on Shipping Info Page Valentines Day Improved Flow: Select Date on Calendar Land on Cart Page Tap on “Order Now” Land on Shipping Info Page Mother’s Day Optimized Flow: Select Date on Calendar Land on Shipping Info Page Experience Hackathons: Optimization Focus
  15. 15. Experience Hackathons: Design Focus - Input
  16. 16. Experience Hackathons: Design Focus – Auto correct
  17. 17. Experience Hackathons: Marketing Focus 1 week out 2 days out
  18. 18. Experience Hackathons: Marketing Focus Mother’s Day 1 Day After
  19. 19. Experience Hackathons: Marketing Focus
  20. 20. Experience Hackathons: Marketing Focus
  21. 21. Hacking Mobility: Early Results • Pre Christmas: Baseline • Post Christmas: 6.5% over baseline • V-day: 9.9% over baseline • Post V-Day: 13.3% over baseline • M-Day: 20.4% over baseline • AOV: 12.9% over baseline • Frequency: 14% over baseline
  22. 22. Most important hack = Cold Beer
  23. 23. Hacktastic Thank You! Contact: ashah@1800flowers.com 516-237-4189