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1-800-Flowers.com Adds Bitcoin Payments in Marketing Drive

(@pete_rizzo_) | Published on July 1, 2014 at 14:09 GMT

New York-based floral and gift e-tailer 1-800-Flowers.com has announced that it is now accepting bitcoin through a partnership with Coinbase.

With the decision, 1-800-Flowers becomes one of the largest merchants to enter the bitcoin space, boasting $735m in total net revenue in 2013.

Jim McCann, CEO and founder of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, framed the partnership as an extension of the company's overall focus on customer service, stating:

"As a customer-centric company, we are always looking for new ways to engage with our customers and enhance their shopping experience for all of their celebratory occasions. Bitcoin, together with our other payment options, offers our customers another highly convenient way to help them deliver smiles to the important people in their lives."

The announcement marks the latest major retailer to accept bitcoin following the recent announcements by Overstock, DISH and Expedia, all of whom also accept bitcoin via merchant processing services offered by California-based Coinbase.

In comparison to 1-800-Flowers, subscription TV service provider DISH, Internet-based travel website Expedia and online retailer Overstock, see $13.9bn, $4.8bn and $1.3bn in yearly revenue.

Customer-first approach

1-800-Flowers sees the majority of its annual revenue – 56% – from floral purchases, while 33% comes from its gourmet food and gift basket items.

Still, recent indications are the company is looking for new and novel ways for consumers to make those purchases. In its 2013 annual report, Jim McCann and president Chris McCann pledged to focus on social and mobile initiatives, stating:

"Our marketing initiatives that are designed to engage directly with our customers – increasingly through the fast evolving social and mobile channels, to deepen our relationships with them and help them deliver smiles."

As such, the statements suggest that bitcoin may be a natural extension for the company given these aims. 1-800-Flowers reported reaching 4.9 million customers in 2013, an increase of 2.3 million over the course of the calendar year.

Given bitcoin's ability to attract customers to Overstock and TigerDirect, the technology could also help 1-800-Flowers boost its new customer acquisitions in 2014.

High-tech history

Purchased in the late 1980s by New York area flower shop owner Jim McCann, 1-800-Flowers has long kept a close eye on cutting-edge technologies, using them to grow the company at key intervals.

For example, the company rose to prominence to due to timely advertisements on cable-TV news networks in the early 1990s, and forged early partnerships with CompuServe and AOL.

1-800-Flowers changed its name to 1-800-Flowers.COM when it went public in 1999, and retains the name to this day.

Flowers image via Shutterstock

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