Cognitive concierge helps 1-800-Flowers simplify gifting
By Arnold Leap | 2 minute read | May 9, 2017
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 1-800-Flowers.com, 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 1-800-Flowers.com brand. However, customers are sometimes surprised to learn that we offer more than just flowers. 1-800-Flowers.com 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.
1-800-Flowers.com, 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.
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.