Cognitive concierge helps 1-800-Flowers simplify gifting

Share this post:

Mother’s Day can be stressful. What’s the perfect gift for my mom, wife, and sister? What’s she expecting and how can I best show her she’s appreciated? As a young kid, it was simple. I would draw or create artwork for my mom. Maybe I’d write her a card. As I’ve gotten older, my default tends toward a card and flowers.

Even though I now work in the business of gifting as the CIO for, even I need help sometimes. That’s in part because I want to surprise and delight the people I love. I’m sure you do, too.

Delivering more than flowers

Mother’s Day is the largest floral holiday for the brand. However, customers are sometimes surprised to learn that we offer more than just flowers. family of brands, including Harry & David, Cheryl’s Cookies and The Popcorn Factory, offer a wide range of floral and gourmet gift offerings. Committed to the customer experience, it’s our goal to deliver smiles to the most important people—including mom—for our customers. So, that means finding just the right gift, for the right person for each occasion.

Fighting gift search fatigue

We know finding the perfect gift can sometimes be overwhelming. Many shoppers don’t know where to start. So, it’s our goal to ensure that when a shopper comes to one of our brand sites, we make the experience easy and convenient., Inc., recently launched an online AI-powered gift concierge using cognitive technology to better personalize the shopping experience and recommend gifts in a brand-agnostic way. Shoppers can chat with our cognitive gift concierge, named Gwyn for Gifts When You Need, to share details about who they are shopping for, the occasion and ideal type of gift. Gwyn uses natural language to interact, asking clarifying questions and sharing tailored recommendations from across our family of brands. In this way, shoppers can choose from thousands of gifts without being overwhelmed by irrelevant options.

Simplifying gifting

Our company’s mission is to deliver smiles for our customers. To do this, we need to be more than a standard online retailer. We are constantly innovating to better serve our customers, and Watson natural language processing capabilities is helping us connect in a new way. With Gwyn, we are making gifting easier by recommending products. In the future, we might also be using cognitive technology to help our customers remember anniversaries, birthdays and other important occasions. We’re excited to see all the new and creative ways we can simplify gifting with cognitive technology.


Read the press release for more about Gwyn or watch the below video interview from NRF 2017 for tips from Arnie Leap on gaining the confidence to innovate:






Save CIO

More stories

CIMON, the AI-powered robot, launches a new era in space travel

Outer space is unfriendly to humans. We can only exist in a contained environment with its own air supply, so that means working in very close quarters. Zero gravity means things don’t stay where you put them. Despite these constraints, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) must be highly productive on a very tight […]

Continue reading

AI speeds document discovery, giving law firms a leg up

Here’s some food for thought on where technology fits into the legal profession. First, ask a hundred lawyers why they chose their calling. Then ask 100 clients how they want their law firms spending their time and racking up billable hours. The chances are that neither group mentioned the time-consuming drudgery of the early discovery, […]

Continue reading

AI insights from Behr help consumers pick their paint palette

Behr Paint Company offers more than 3,000 colors in our paint collection. We find that consumers often get confused when it comes to picking the right color for their project. They’re overwhelmed with choice, causing a kind of analysis paralysis. Often, people don’t take on or complete a painting project because of their struggle to […]

Continue reading