The Bouqs Co.
Online flower retailer The Bouqs is disrupting and overhauling a global industry. Making it more sustainable and efficient while reinventing the customer experience is their mission.
Q&A with Raine O’Reilly, Senior Technical Project Manager of The Bouqs Company
Could you share how The Bouqs came to be?
The Bouqs was started by two college classmates, John Tabis and JP Menifar. John had a marketing background and JP grew up in Ecuador working with flowers and flower farms. He was really frustrated that so much passion was going into the growing of flowers, but all the science and thought behind things like cultivating the land wasn’t known to consumers. So John and JP decided to fix this.
How do we disrupt, reinvent, and get what we know is an amazing product to customers who don't know? Most importantly, how do we get the message out about how we're different and the incredible things these farms are doing? So that's where The Bouqs Company came from.
How has your business changed since using Workarea?
Since we’ve launched on Workarea, we have a roadmap that we're working to. We can actually plan. For example, we scheduled a lot for our site ahead of Fall and Christmas. Being able to react from a design perspective and marketing perspective, we can partner with the farms in advance and it's kind of making them mature a little bit too.
Workarea has really made it possible for us to be more mature with our decisions, and conversely, be much more agile. When there is a trend we want to react to, we can, without a team of developers. It's all on the website, they can drag and drop. It's mobile and responsive. It's a thing of beauty.
Now we have this tool (Workarea) we can rely on. We’re no longer panicking about the site going down or not panicking about getting a release out because now it's not a very tedious manual process. Working with Workarea just takes those things away.
How are you using Workarea to tell The Bouqs’ unique story?
One of the things that we've started doing is A/B testing. When we first started, we were so excited that all of our South American farms were growing flowers on the side of a volcano. Come to realize, that's not the real thing customers want to learn. Now we A/B test and have the customers tell us what they're really curious about.
So on Workarea, we've been playing around with video on the product detail page as shoppers go through a carousel of images. Is it that they like zooming in on images? What's the mobile experience? How do we customize those experiences to get better conversions and higher satisfaction rates from the customers? But before, we couldn't even do that because we were just so focused on site stability, so that's a huge shift.
“Workarea has really made it possible for us to be more mature with our decisions, and conversely, be much more agile.”
Senior Technical Project Manager, The Bouqs Company
You mentioned site stability was a major concern before migrating to Workarea. What’s the difference today in your team’s ability to get more done?
Well, night and day. I actually enjoy Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. I'm looking forward to them, whereas before we would quote Game of Thrones and say, "Mother's Day is coming," because it was all hands on deck. It’s very expensive when you're hosting your own servers, and you're having to spin up extra servers due to traffic. Plus, the manpower to literally, 24 hours a day for those durations, babysit a site. When you're a startup of 10 people, that's what you do. But when you're funded and trying to outdo these well-established competitors, you need to be able to focus on doing what you do best, which is being strategic in your marketplace. You can’t be worried about whether or not the site's going to go down because you have a spike in traffic or TV commercial running. Knowing that the site is stable lets us be much more strategic.
What specific platform features are you taking advantage of deliver a high quality customer experience?
The segmentation tool with our customer base has been a really cool feature. Based on all the data we're collecting around our customers, we can kind of see who is a “real VIP.” The next move is how do we go the extra mile for them? Maybe this person's looking for one thing, but they don't know that there's this other flower type that might also be something they're interested in. We might be able to deliver it to them quicker too. We can do that just so much more rapidly now.
The ability to be agile and react to trends without worrying about did your marketing person forget to upload a spreadsheet correctly. We’ve crossed the basic things off of the list so we can constantly improve the customer’s site experience.
Any final words about your partnership with the Workarea team?
Another cool thing that I enjoy is the partnership between the team at Workarea and ours. They've been really good about listening to our needs and being a real active partner with us in the journey of the customizations and our unique business needs and requirements. For example, we have a subscriptions model, but we are trying to turn it on its head and offer a really unique experience. So being able to partner with Workarea has been cool because everyone brings ideas to the table. We're talking about really neat technologies and things our business hasn't done before. And again, all of it is based off of data that we got, realizing opportunities that we wouldn't have known before.