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Online holiday sales are up significantly overall, but they missed the train because they refused to buy a ticket.
I suppose it's possible that by accepting a slightly lower sales figure they actually maximized profitability. Still, it does sound a lot like whining to justify a revenue drop when most sites had robust sales.
FTD needs to find a way to add value in the presentation of local florists' own unique styles.
I spent nearly two years trying to get an online flower shop off the ground. The PPC prices are extremely competitive. To this day, I still cannot figure out how anyone can make any money. (Despite this being my first attempt, I have had much success after this painful experience.)
At that time, the "high volume" keywords were between $1.50 - $3.00 if you wanted to be seen. My margin on a sale was in the area of $5.00. So you can imagine what the coversion rates need to be like.
The other problem was that the "unpopular" keywords were just that. Specialty flower names, misspellings... you wind up getting a lot of people looking for pretty pictures - so the negative keywords are key here. (I don't like supporting Sally's school project with my pretty pictures even at a quarter a click.)
Finally, FTD is certainly not the McDonalds of flowers. They are a network of florists, many of which are the mom and pop shops you'll find right in your own town (teleflora is also a network). In fact, FTD prices are higher than the typical 1800s and IMHO are of higher quality.
...growth for the 2005 Christmas season was below expectations due to our decision not to pursue high cost order volume associated with online search. In anticipation of continued competitiveness in the online search environment and to better manage the Consumer Segment business going forward, we have made management changes within this segment including the replacement of our head of marketing.