The floral and gift company 1-800-Flowers likes to stay ahead of the curve.

The firm was one of the first businesses to embrace the Internet in 1992 and the first merchant to transact on AOL in 1994. Last year, it became the first business to allow customers to complete a transaction without leaving their Facebook page and created the first Facebook store. The company started taking part in “like” on Facebook, and the first day got 10,000 “likes,” said Kevin Ranford, vice president of online marketing, mobile and social media. This year, 1-800-Flowers has put an increased focus on social commerce, including new and emerging channels; social media, mobile and online video; online (search, e-mail, display and retargeting); broadcast (TV and radio, public relations, contests and charities); celebrity partnerships, including social commerce, and the catalogue.

This story first appeared in the October 27, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Ranford said the company’s main objectives are to be more transactional to drive more transactions; to create places where customers can collaborate online, get advice from trusted individuals, find recommendations, reviews and wish lists, and make informed decisions. The company is integrating Facebook’s “like” and birthday reminders functionality into a multichannel shopping experience.

According to Ranford, 1-800-Flowers launched Facebook and Twitter programs more than two years ago. The company has a strong network of bloggers, and rating and reviews are integrated into the Web shopping experience.

“A whole new wave of mobile marketing will happen next year,” Ranford predicted. “Location-based targeting is superinteresting.”

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