You’re two days out from Valentine’s day—the holiday that your significant other secretly (or not-so-secretly) adores—and you’re caught present-less. We’ve all been there, don’t worry, but this year we don’t want you to be caught empty handed, so we found the best eCommerce websites offering the fastest experiences for shopping and delivery. We looked for those offering speedy first-page loads, browsing transitions, checkout, and delivery from retailers selling those favorite, timeless gifts: flowers, chocolates, and jewelry.
In the search for fastest customer experience, we found 1-800-Flowers and Shari's Berries lead their categories by adopting modern, headless commerce websites, as well as providing same-day delivery services. These leading eCommerce retailers deliver AMP supported Progressive Web Apps (PWA), which increase website speed and deliver a frictionless, “app-like” experience to consumers. From landing to checkout to delivery, speed is their priority.
Here are the top eCommerce gifting retailers, and an analysis on their pursuit to provide the speediest customer journey, from landing through checkout and delivery.
1-800-Flowers debuted its first flower shop over 40 years ago and has grown to become an innovative, multi-brand gifting giant. Offering an incredible customer experience is its core value, and it provides that through its instant eCommerce website, constantly growing its selection of gifts, and offering same-day delivery.
Speed is at the top of mind for the gifting giant. When you browse through 1-800-Flowers.com, it feels like the entire catalogue is already loaded on your phone, just waiting for your tap. This is because the flowers retailer upgraded its user experience with a sub-second PWA on the Layer0, which consistently delivers median page loads of 320ms (FCP) – that’s literally as fast as the blink of an eye!
With these impressive speeds, the retailer scores a high Lighthouse Performance Score of 71, which—according to a Google software engineer—classifies this score within the 90th percentile. This means 1-800-Flowers outperforms 90% of all websites, and within eCommerce, our recent analysis of the IR100 found that the flowers giant has the third highest performance score in the list of leading 100 internet retailers.
The Bouqs Company
The Bouqs Company, founded in 2010, is your eco-friendly floral arrangements and plant gift shop. The boutique partners with environmentally-sound farms that minimize waste, recycle water, and use sustainable growing practices. By supporting local artisan florists, The Bouqs Company offers same-day delivery in as little as 2 hours.
Their website receives a Lighthouse Performance Score of 40—a score 25 points lower than 1-800-Flowers, yet still much greater than competitors, Proflowers and FTD, who receive scores of 14 and 6, respectively.
From You Flowers
From You Flowers offers a complete selection of personal and corporate floral and gift items, including fresh flowers, plants, balloons, and gift baskets. The flowers and gifts retailer receives a moderate Lighthouse Performance Score of 30, less than half of that of 1-800-Flowers.com.
As for shipping, From You Flowers specializes in same-day delivery. Place an order before 3PM in the recipient's time zone and the company guarantees to have your assortment delivered the day your order is placed.
Shari’s Berries, an online retailer of edible fruit arrangements and another brand under the 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc umbrella, offers a superior customer experience, from website to delivery. The berry brand delivers a PWA frontend to users on mobile and desktop for a speedy online journey, that’s been rewarded by Lighthouse with a Performance Score of 50. Speed doesn’t just stop at checkout—Shari’s Berries, like it’s parent company 1-800-Flowers.com, offers same-day delivery all days of the year.
Godiva, founded in 1926, is a Belgian chocolate company known for its chocolate-dipped strawberries, frozen drinks, and soft serve. As a seasonal offer, Godiva is offering same-day chocolate delivery. The chocolatier guarantees their rich dark chocolate and signature truffles will make a Valentine’s Day impression that will last.
Unfortunately, the chocolatier's mobile website may make an impression that lasts a little too long. Google’s PageSpeed Insights indicates that mobile users wait more than 3-seconds for the site to load, with lab and field data showing FCPs of +3 seconds. The website's overall Performance Score is a low 14, with a Speed Index of 16.3 seconds.
Edible Arrangements first opened its doors in 2001 to help celebrate life’s special moments through its wide variety of chocolate covered fresh fruit arrangements. The retailer delivers an optimized user experience through speedy page loads and a wide selection of same-day delivery options. Edible Arrangements comes in second after Shari's Berries with a Lighthouse Score of 45.
Macy’s, ranked as #5 in the IR100 list and the #1 mass retailer of apparel and accessories, has taken its website headless. Macy’s re-architected its traditional, monolithic website to one that uses microservices along with a SPA frontend. The SPA delivers moderate website speeds, with a Lighthouse Performance Score of 21, proving that optimizing the frontend alone will not get you to instant.
Website speed is a full-stack problem that spans the browser, edge, and server. Optimizing the browser through a speedy frontend, along with server-side rendering and AMP support will only get you to 2 second page loads, not sub-second. If you are interested in breaking the 1-second barrier, request a demo to see how Layer0 can help with a full-stack solution.
Eve’s Addiction is a digitally native brand offering personalized jewelry and gifts, including engraved necklaces, bracelets, picture frames, and other items that can lend a perfect gift for your significant other. The jewelry retailer demonstrates its dedication to being a tech-driven, digital-first brand with impressive Performance Scores. Evesaddiction.com receives a Google Lighthouse Performance Score of 47, more than double that of Macy's. Enjoy a superior and speedy customer experience from browsing to delivery, with next day delivery, even on your personalized items.
Over the past 90 years, Zales has grown from a single jewelry store to a major international corporation. The retailer offers a wide selection of fine jewelry options, and currently has a Valentine’s Day special delivery schedule: free shipping with no minimum value for next-day delivery.
Zales attempts to deliver speedy first-loads and browsing transitions by delivering an online mobile experience through an AMP-supported PWA. Unfortunately, the combination of these modern technologies did not make the site faster. In fact, their Lighthouse score is a mere 16 demonstrating, yet again, the need for a full-stack solution, optimizing the browser, edge, and server.
A speedy customer journey cannot be underemphasized. Google favors fast websites and consumers crave instant gratification. After evaluating the list of Valentine’s Day heros, those that will save you from an upset Valentine and a painful online experience are those delivering modern, headless websites: 1-800-Flowers and Shari's Berries.
We’re hardly surprised the retailers offering fast delivery are also delivering fast online experiences. However, there are those that have the right frontends in place, yet still deliver slow websites. This emphasizes the fact that website speed cannot be optimized through the frontend alone. A full stack solution means subscribing to a headless commerce architecture, delivering a modern frontend, and bringing intelligence to the edge to lift cache hit ratios for dynamic content from the low standard of 10-15% to 95% and up.
Most of the leading U.S. eCommerce brands have already optimized the server by taking their websites headless. These include Walmart, Target, and Staples. But only those that have chosen to partner with Layer0 have also successfully brought intelligence to the edge, and allowed them to break the 1-second barrier, time and time again.
If you’re in eCommerce and website speed is a priority, schedule a consultative conversation to learn how Layer0 can help you deliver the fastest user experience possible. We’ve seen the biggest names in enterprise eCommerce experience impressive bottom-line growth: Shoe Carnival received a 40% lift in revenue and Annie Selke outranks Amazon and other multi-billion dollar competitors with sub-second loads on Layer0. Layer0 delivers no excuses—instant eCommerce websites.