FTD enables digital gifting

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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FTD is offering florists a new digital platform.

A collaboration between FTD and a well-known hosted e-commerce platform is taking bloom.

The leading specialty floral and gifting retailer is preparing a new solution for its florist partners, MercuryOnline (MOL). This follows the launch of FTD’s new consumer website, which is powered by Shopify’s e-commerce platform, in September 2021. Designed to provide customers with a modern and more seamless shopping experience end-to-end, FTD reports it has seen a triple-digit basis point improvement in online conversion rates since the new site was introduced.

[Read more: Exclusive Q&A: FTD rebrands; partners with Shopify]

Now, the new Shopify-supported platform for florist partners, MercuryOnline, provides each participating florist with a suite of tools and services designed to meet their specific small business needs. Specific capabilities include:

  • A fast and more search-friendly customer experience, with intuitive tools for site customization. Florists will be set up with site designs intended to draw more traffic and achieve higher customer conversion. 
  • As part of the site customization capability, florists can create custom add-ons for an enhanced gifting experience, adjust delivery fees and cut-off times, and offer in-store pick-up.

The new platform will roll out to FTD florist partners and throughout 2022, with new features being added in the coming months. These will include automated customer email follow-ups, social media integration, digital zoom, capabilities and digital payment integration with ApplePay, Google Pay, and Paypal. 

FTD says it will continue to focus on finding new ways to support its florists and drive innovation, with the goal of eventually productizing its platform.

These e-commerce enhancements for floral partners are part of a larger rebrand effort FTD has been undergoing for the past year. The rebrand includes a redesigned version of FTD’s “Mercury Man” logo and updated branding across packaging, as well as the debut of the new website that is designed to provide an intuitive and streamlined shopping experience. In addition, FTD introduced a focused assortment of arrangements and revamped offering of non-floral gifts.

FTD upgrades technology across the enterprise
Other FTD digital transformation initiatives in the past year have included deploying the SoundCommerce retail data platform, running on a Google cloud infrastructure, to create a “single source of truth” around every customer interaction across every channel. This includes order placement, fulfillment and delivery. to unpack the drivers and detractors of customer lifetime value and profitability. This tailors the journey to each individual customer, providing the best possible experience.

By obtaining a coherent, unified view of each omnichannel customer journey, FTD/Proflowers can more effectively optimize key processes and workflows, which it hopes will boost profitability and improve customer experience. The retailer also seeks to better keep track of the accelerating pace of change in e-commerce trends and consumer shopping preferences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company is also leveraging technology from digital gifting company GiftNow, a Synchrony solution, to complement its physical merchandise with a personalized digital gifting experience for both the gifter and recipient. With GiftNow's platform, gifters can send personalized digital gifts in seconds and recipients can exchange or modify their items before they ship.