to embrace new opportunities — which
are happening all the time — while optimizing the channels that are already in
Moving Beyond Traditional Sales
Gift retailer 1800Flowers.com is one
merchant that has embraced the challenge of new technology through both
traditional and DR marketing strategies.
“I think the greatest challenge for
retail in this arena is that you’ve got a ton
of interest in new technology, and you
want customers to have the best online
experience, so which one do we as retailers focus on?” says Kevin Ranford, vice
president of online marketing, mobile and
social media for the Carle Place, N. Y.-
based company. “We believe strongly
in testing and we always test out what
we’re hearing will be the next big thing
in the online experience for customers.
Everything moves fast online. You want
to make sure you’re pursuing the right
online technology so we’re constantly
surveying consumers, asking what online
experiences they like or dislike. They really drive the experience.”
1800Flowers.com makes most of its
sales online and has been a driving force
in the E-commerce world for years, embracing the Internet first in 1992 after ini-
1800Flowers.com launched its Web site in
1995 and has most recently utilized social
media to engage consumers in E-commerce.
The company sees Facebook as a place not
to push products, but to offer users a point of
interaction outside of the sales transaction.
tially driving business through its toll-free
number. 1-800-Flowers launched its first
Web site in 1995, and officially changed
its name to 1800Flowers.com four years
later, and has most recently expanded
into social media and M-commerce.
The company’s foray into direct
response includes mobile apps for the
iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones;
SMS texting and mobile-display advertising; an online store via Facebook; and a
mobile-friendly Web site optimized for a
variety of user devices.
Ranford notes 1800Flowers.com’s push
toward M-commerce has at times felt like
a gamble — especially in the past before