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1800Flowers prioritizes data over mobile for contextual relevance

The 1800Flowers executive’s panel discussion, “The mobile innovation cycle: What’s real, what’s next and what’s begging for disruption?,” with executives from DigitasLBi and Thinknear, looked at challenges of getting mobile marketing right and exciting new trends, such as beacons. While many big brands are diving heavily into mobile, a data-first approach may be an easier target rather than a mobile-first approach.

“The ability to send out automated messages is now capitalized because apps understand contextual information,” said Amit Shah, vice president of online, mobile and social at 1800Flowers, New York. “There is an ecosystem of companies who are taking contextual data and trying to engage the customer that way.

“Customers are willing to respond to contextual messages.”

Data first
The retailer’s executives prioritize data over mobile and believe that mobile can only be done if brands have the right data in their hands.

Mr. Shah referenced the ABC’s of mobile, such as attribution, behavior and conversion, as being core challenges that 1800Flowers currently faces while strategizing mobile.

Finding a balance between the customer’s path to purchase and context is key.

The retailer knows that users do not want to receive non-relevant notifications and works diligently to view the entire customer journey to have in-depth perception to the user’s path to purchase.

While mobile is the right catalyst, Mr. Shah said, brands want to collect feedback and work with high-tech companies to become experts at one-on-one marketing, because there is no other device outside of mobile that provides more in-depth insight.

Sitting down with a company’s internal or analytics team can speak volumes about concise data, lending marketers the ability to get mobile marketing right.

“Ask yourself, ‘Do I know the data map of my company?’ Mr. Shah said. “If the data you’re using isn’t contextual, you’re not doing the right kind of marketing.” 

Moving toward mobile
Restaurant chain Pizza Hut and 1800Flowers recently participated with Visa Checkout for its nationwide NFL campaign, offering promotions and exclusive deals to the platform’s enrollees.

With football being a prime focus of the fall season, Visa Checkout is attempting to expand its presence as mobile payments become more prevalent. A multi-channel approach, Visa’s campaign to promote Visa Checkout takes numerous paths of reach to appeal to a variety of consumers, which in this case, are all tech-savvy football fans (see story).

With’s plan to start accepting bitcoin payments this fall, this reflects the retailer’s search for new ways to reach a growing audience whose financial dealings and purchasing increasingly happen in the digital realm, including mobile.

The Carle Place, NY, company will begin accepting the virtual currency through the Coinbase platform already used by,, DISH Network and other brands across its sites, including, and The move underscores the marketing buzz the mention of bitcoin can generate even though it is an unofficial currency and considered experimental (see story).

These efforts would not have been possible without data showing a strong support of mobile activity.

“A mobile phone can overcome a lot of contextual data,” Mr. Shah said. “We are investing in a lot of data that shows us to stop sending fifty offers and replace those efforts with one offer.

“The small screen tells us to have a data-first mindset,” he said.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York