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1-800-Flowers expands mobile commerce to Android devices

Florist Inc. has extended its mobile commerce initiative to the Android platform.

The mobile storefront is available as a downloadable application for handsets running on Google’s Android operating system. This newest storefront joins an already-existing 1-800-Flowers mobile commerce store on the mobile Web and applications for the iPhone and BlackBerry.

“Our strategy with mobile applications is to have a broad distribution,” said Kevin Ranford, director of Web marketing at 1-800-Flowers, Carle Place, NY. “So, we started with the BlackBerry downloadable app and an iPhone app a little over a year ago and Android was next on our mobile roadmap.

“It’s part of our bigger strategy for us in that we want all of our existing and new customers to shop mobile, no matter what device they are using,” he said. is a worldwide florist and gifts retailer. The company also produces gourmet gift baskets from brands such as its own Popcorn Factory and Fannie May.

Using the Android application platform, consumers can view product descriptions and full-color images, select addresses from their online account or phone address books and place transitions with password-protected purchasing.

Digby, Austin, TX, is powering 1-800-Flowers’ mobile commerce initiative.

Digby is a developer of mobile commerce applications and provides mobile commerce integration.

With Digby, retailers have access to branded and customized storefronts for the mobile Web in addition to downloadable storefronts for all major smartphone platforms.

1-800-Flowers’ mobile applications target the tech-savvy customer who tends to spend more and do last-minute gifting.

Mobile blooms
In April, the online florist ran a Mother’s Day campaign complete with a mobile sweepstakes (see story).

Mr. Ranford said that 1-800-Flowers has been in the mobile space for about four years. His company has tackled the learning curve more so than other major brands getting into mobile this year.

In February, 1-800-Flowers launched a mobile commerce application for Valentine’s Day.

The application provided iPhone and iPod touch users with access to a variety of the most popular gift ideas, helping mobile consumers to shop for last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts (see story).

The new Android application will not be very different from the iPhone and BlackBerry applications. Mr. Ranford said that he did not want to interfere with the company’s aim of having a universal flow and customer experience on each platform.

Mobile is a major part of 1-800-Flower’s marketing strategy.

“We have made a strong push to be on the forefront of new and emerging tech channels and saw mobile as an important  one many years ago,” Mr. Ranford said. “It’s extremely important to be where shoppers are and because of the increase in smartphone distribution, being on mobile is more important now than ever.

“We’re catering to an audience that prefers to shop via mobile and that continues to grow,” he said. “When you look at the stats, it’s difficult not to get behind mobile commerce. I think it will be something we continue to rally behind and getting in early really cued us up.”