1-800-Flowers.com And AI: A Perfect Match

Love is in the air! But if you’ve waited until the last minute to send flowers to that special someone, it isn’t time to panic and run out to the grocery store for carnations just yet. 1-800-Flowers.com is here to save your Valentine’s Day with some new - and incredibly innovative - ways to shop.

According to a recent press release from the company, customers can now leverage their favorite virtual assistants to purchase the perfect gift. Mobile shoppers with Google Assistant-enabled Android devices or iPhones can order via voice or chatbot. Those who opt for the bot can even see product images as they make their selections.

Amazon Alexa users can open the brand’s enhanced Alexa skill with “one-shot intent” and Amazon Pay integration for a more streamlined flow and added convenience.

Shoppers can also turn to Facebook Messenger to make purchases and connect with the brand’s customer care team for help with order inquiries.

Maybe it’s ironic. The brand is now encouraging shoppers to use artificial intelligence to find the right gifts for the most important people in their lives. 

Or, maybe it’s not. A quick look into 1-800-Flowers.com’s history reveals that it was one of the first brands to partner with CompuServe and AOL in the mid-90s, and we all know what happened from there. It became a leading eCommerce destination, one that we all know and use today.

By showing some love to new technologies ahead of the competition, 1-800-Flowers.com was able to cement its position as a market leader and win the hearts of its customers. And that’s just what it’s doing today. In fact, the brand’s push to Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Facebook Messenger come on the heels of other innovative efforts, like Gwyn, its automated gift concierge powered by IBM Watson.

Considering that sales were up 2.2% in Q4 2017 compared to the same time a year ago, it’s safe to say that 1-800-Flowers.com is doing something right. The brand is removing friction from the shopping experience, offering added value in customers’ daily lives.

Of course, 1-800-Flowers.com isn’t the only brand leveraging new technologies to benefit its customers; however, it does present a great use case - one spanning multiple channels - and worthy of highlighting, especially today.

Happy Valentine’s Day!