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1-800-FLOWERS Automates Gift Recommendations

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Still wondering what to get Mom for Mother’s Day? Move over Watson…GWYN can help. GWYN, which stands for “Gifts When You Need,” is an artificial intelligence-powered gift concierge that uses natural language processing to engage in automated conversations with 1-800-FLOWERS shoppers.

Currently in beta test, the interactive platform guides customers through the shopping experience across the retailer’s online brands, including Harry & David, Cheryl’s cookies, Fannie May chocolates, The Popcorn Factory and 1-800-Baskets.com.

The technology is able to ask contextually relevant questions to help shoppers determine the ideal gift choice. Based on the shopper’s last response, GWYN asks follow-up questions about the gift-giving occasion, the recipient’s preferences and the type of impression the shopper is looking to make. This process allows customers to be expertly guided through a personalized shopping experience.

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GWYN is based on the Fluid Expert Personal Shopper (XPS) platform, which is powered in part by IBM Watson. The North Face has tested Fluid’s technology to support product recommendations, but 1-800-FLOWERS represents the technology’s first test in a gift-giving context. That means it needs to take into account not just the shopper’s own preferences and price sensitivities but also those of the gift recipient.

“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 of 1-800-FLOWERS.com in a statement. “As a company that embraces emerging technologies, we are thrilled to offer our customers another new and innovative way to engage with us.”

The personalized concierge service joins other recent efforts by 1-800-FLOWERS to enhance customer engagement, including the ability to order floral gifts on Facebook Messenger and through Amazon’s Alexa.

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