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1-800-Flowers guides customers with artificial intelligence

BY CSA STAFF

Consumers know the perfect gift when they find it, and 1-800-Flowers.com is trying to make the search a little easier.

The specialty gift retailer is offering a beta of “GWYN” (Gifts When You Need), an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered intuitive shopping experience across its brands. GWYN is based on the Fluid Expert Personal Shopper (XPS) software platform, which in turn is supported by IBM Watson.

GWYN acts as a gift concierge that intuitively guides customers through their shopping experience to help them make selections. Using IBM Watson's question analysis API, GWYN can interact with online customers using natural language.

For example, a customer might type, "I'm looking for a gift for my mother," and GWYN will be able to interpret their question and then ask a number of qualifying questions about the occasion, sentiment and who the gift is for. The platform then makes a tailored gift suggestion. As customers continue to use GWYN, its underlying cognitive capabilities will enable the platform to learn about their unique gifting needs and wants, refining and enhancing the shopping experience specific to each customer over time.

In the past month, 1-800-Flowers has launched a number of new services designed to create more automated and intuitive shopping experience. These include allowing customers to place orders using the Amazon Alexa voice-activated artificial intelligence platform, as well as blending bot and live customer service support on Facebook Messenger.

The retailer also recently deployed the IBM Commerce on Cloud solution to ease the process of conducting seamless transactions across its brands on Web, mobile and call center channels. With no physical stores to serve as customer experience anchors, 1-800-Flowers is intelligently leveraging leading-edge technology to ensure shoppers can conveniently and intuitively find and purchase the items they need.

"We created GWYN as part of our ongoing commitment to continually enhance our customer experience, providing ease and convenience for our customers to act on their thoughtfulness and deliver smiles to the important people in their lives," said Chris McCann, president, 1-800-Flowers.com. "As a company that embraces emerging technologies, we are thrilled to offer our customers another new and innovative way to engage with us."

GWYN is available for mobile and desktop users shopping 1-800-Flowers.con, Harry & David, Cheryl’s. Fannie Mae, The Popcorn Factory, and 1-800-Baskets.com.

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