Woman smelling a bouquet of flowers

Customer loyalty blossoms with analytics

1-800-FLOWERS.COM uses SAS® Analytics to deliver a one-stop shop for customers’ gifting needs

Convenience is big in the retail world. But when it comes to e-commerce, consumers have an array of options. Certainly, a retailer must initially entice shoppers with attractive offers. But to build a relationship – not just close a sale – a retailer must also engage with customers and understand their preferences and buying habits.

Analytics drives every part of the business, and the insights we gain from SAS help us increase customer engagement and satisfaction. We don’t just want a sale – we want a lasting relationship.
Portrait of 1-800-Flowers.com Director of Analytics Swetha Valluri

Swetha Valluri
Director of Analytics

1-800-FLOWERS.COM is doing just that. The online floral and gourmet gift provider doesn’t want shoppers to waste time searching for gift ideas. Instead, the retailer wants to be the ultimate destination for gift giving, no matter the occasion or recipient.

To effectively market across its growing family of brands, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM turned to SAS Analytics, which allows the company to better understand its customers, suggest the right gift ideas and build the foundation for long-term relationships.

“We want to become a one-stop shop for all your gifting needs, no matter who you’re shopping for,” says Swetha Valluri, Director of Analytics of the Gourmet Food and Gift Brands (GFGB) at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. “While we’re known for beautiful floral gifts, we’re also a leader in gourmet food gifts.”

Building on a history of convenience

From fresh-cut lilies to sugar cookies to fruit baskets to chocolate truffles, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM has a vast assortment of gifts. With brands such as Harry & David, Cheryl’s cookies, Fannie May chocolates and The Popcorn Factory, the company’s goal is to make sure its customers never have to – or want to – go anywhere else. And that’s where analytics comes in.

“We started creating a multi-brand experience, and our brands complement each other nicely,” Valluri says. “If roses aren’t want you’re looking for, how about chocolates? Chocolates not appropriate? How about cookies? Or pears? We have a whole spectrum of options. Analytics helps our customers find the right gifts for that special person they’re shopping for. And making that connection helps ensure a great customer experience and repeat business.”

Speaking to customers with one voice

1-800-FLOWERS.COM initiated its online presence in the 1990s and expanded over the years. However, its brands had different backend systems, so customer data flowed into a common environment in different formats. The retailer wanted to move away from silos to seamlessly market, cross-sell and up-sell among its brands. To do so, it needed comprehensive data about each customer’s journey across all channels.

Today, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM relies on SAS Analytics to mine data in its enterprise-wide database. “SAS gives us access to all of the data, and we’re able to coordinate and share code, centralize the process and collaborate more effectively,” Valluri explains.

Additionally, SAS Analytics enables 1-800-FLOWERS.COM to segment customers, send targeted emails to those segments, and see how marketing campaigns are performing. So when the company runs reports, it knows whether to extend a promotion or try something new.

Plate of chocolate-covered strawberries

“SAS really helps us understand customer behavior,” Valluri says. “We can analyze the data and say, ‘OK, this segment reacted very well to this promotion, so we should run something similar again.’ And it drives decisions, like helping us determine what’s coming next season.”

Now 1-800-FLOWERS.COM can answer questions such as, if people buy flowers, what are they likely to buy next? SAS also helps the company differentiate customers by likes and dislikes, products, occasions and other categories. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM can discover more opportunities, such as promoting items that are traditionally out of season or suggesting cookies to someone who just bought flowers.

“We generate reports every morning, and they’re crucial to our business,” Valluri says. “We can make data-informed decisions that answer questions like, ‘Should we leave this picture of chocolate-covered strawberries on the website or replace it with something else?’ Or, ‘Should we send this email to this customer segment?’”

By targeting individuals and their preferences, the company can build longer, more profitable customer connections.

“If someone orders cookies from Cheryl’s for the first time, we can suggest other products they might be interested in,” Valluri says. “Or if someone is a longtime customer and a huge brand advocate, that person will receive an offer based on their preferences and buying habits.

“Analytics drives every part of the business, and the insights we gain from SAS help us increase customer engagement and satisfaction. We don’t just want a sale – we want a lasting relationship.”

1800flowers-logo

Challenge

  • Move away from siloed data to obtain a comprehensive view of customers across all channels.
  • Make big data analytics and resulting insights easily accessible to senior executives and business users throughout the company.
  • Better understand customers’ purchasing needs, channel preferences and buying habits.
  • Tune marketing promotions to effectively cross-sell and up-sell among all its brands.

Solution

Benefits

  • Effectively segment customers to offer the right promotion at the right time across brands.
  • Better understand customers’ preferences by product, occasion and other categories.
  • Measure and increase customer lifetime value.
  • Make sound business decisions backed by advanced analytics to drive revenue and grow the company.
The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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