Valentine’s Roundup: Online Florists ‘Heart’ Social, Mobile

Online bouquet retailers have pulled out the stops this Valentine’s Day to give hapless and happy lovers some direction.

Earlier this month, Teleflora launched its Flower Coach iPhone app, which has since been downloaded more than 100,000 times, according to a company rep. 1-800-Flowers.com, which has been growing rapidly on Facebook, is running a number of Valentine’s promotions. And FTD engaged Groupon for a national deal, which went sour late last week owing to consumer complaints about prices.

telefloraTeleflora’s free app helps tongue-tied paramours create a message for their valentine. Users do so by setting a “love tone.” They slide bars for three categories to designate how they feel and what the tone of the message should be: from silly to serious, sexy to sweet and street to Shakespeare.

The app then yields phrases like, “People think I’m a good girl from right next door, but you know I’m the kind of girl that will make you roar,” and, “Is there one fair fairer, the all-seeing sun ne’er saw your match since the world begun.”

The message can then be shared on Facebook, Twitter or via email and users receive an offer to save 20 percent on a bouquet. The message can also be included with the bouquet.

Laurie McCartney, chief marketing officer at Teleflora, says the app will be repurposed after Valentine’s Day for future holidays like Mother’s Day and other occasions. Teleflora also plans to roll it out for other devices in the spring.

Flower Coach was also featured in a Super Bowl ad along with a new partnership with country music star Faith Hill. Hill designed a collection of bouquets and keepsakes for Teleflora.

1-800-Flowers.com, which recently reached 100,000 fans on Facebook, is also running a number of Valentine’s promotions.

In one, users are asked to share – and vote for – love notes submitted on Facebook. In a four-week period from January 21 to February 14, users have submitted notes of no more than 50 words. Each week, the submission with the most votes has been awarded a bouquet. According to the company, 380 people have participated in the promotion.

1-800-Flowers.com also has a “Guy’s Guide” that very matter-of-factly directs gentlemen to the right bouquet with its Flower Finder that asks three simple questions.

And, in another promotion, consumers are asked to “like” the bouquet or gift on the site that they would most like to get or give for the holiday.

Kevin Ranford, VP of online marketing, mobile and social media at 1-800-Flowers.com, says the “like” feature not only enables shoppers to drop hints, but “it’s a great additional lens on what products are going to perform the best.” This gives the firm the ability to adjust its creative efforts accordingly.

What’s more, 1-800-Flowers.com has partnered with ad platform MyLikes to promote its flowers through tweets from celebrities like Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, and Snoop Dogg.

shopkickAnother online floral business, ProFlowers, had a one-day discount promotion with shopkick, the location-based shopping app that rewards shoppers for visiting partner stores.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, shopkick users have been given an opportunity to “help” one of the start-up’s new mascots, Buck, prepare for his date with the other mascot, Kicksie, by checking in to retailers that sell flowers, chocolates and suits, according to rep Katie Carlson. In exchange, shoppers have been awarded additional discounts relevant to the holiday. On Tuesday, February 8, ProFlowers offered a 15 percent discount. Shopkick has more than 750,000 users.

And, as ClickZ previously reported, FTD.com ran a $40-for-$20 deal on Groupon for three days last week, making it the first national deal after the company’s Super Bowl ad brouhaha. However that promotion took an ugly turn on Friday, when Groupon pulled the deal after numerous purchasers complained that prices were unfairly high. People who bought the Valentine’s Day offer were primarily upset because they were directed to the campaign’s site, FTD.com/groupon, where prices were in some cases higher than ones seen on FTD.com.

Chris Heine contributed.

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