With global reach and high brand recognition, Interflora dominates the UK online flower market. Founded in 1920, the UK-based operation is now a subsidiary of FTD – originally the Florist Transworld Delivery Association, the US organisation those early Interflora florists joined as overseas members in 1923.
Since becoming an FTD subsidiary in 2006, Interflora’s UK operations have expanded significantly with the 2012 acquisitions of Flying Flowers, Flowers Direct and Drake Algar (now rebranded as Interflora’s luxury offering). FTD’s mission statement gives the company’s aim: “To inspire, support and delight our customers when expressing life’s most important sentiments”. Significantly it puts websites in pole position describing Interflora as operating “primarily through our websites, www.interflora.co.uk and www.interflora.ie, associated mobile sites and telephone numbers” while offering “the widest range of products, delivery options, and the highest service levels in the UK and Ireland”.
Interflora had developed a strong online strategy well before the FTD acquisition, launching its first transactional website in 1995. In 2009, Interflora added a mobile site. At the time, Ben Freeborn – then its head of business development, now head of marketing – described mobile as: “An add-on but so was online 12 years ago and that’s developed to become a mainstay of the brand. We have to continue to offer customers access points where we see demand going.” Its first Facebook page also appeared in 2009. Taking that “widest range… of delivery options” message to heart, last September Interflora introduced Sunday and evening deliveries, initially just in London but gradually expanding across the country.
InternetRetailing researchers scored it highly for its extensive range of direct delivery options: from same day and nominated day to nominated time – either a two-hour window or morning, afternoon or evening. Delivery is a key aspect of its online strategy going forward. “Over 10 years ago Interflora led the way with fast delivery by introducing a ‘Flowers in 3 Hours’ delivery service,” Lyn Davies, director of Interflora Consumer, has noted. “Our new delivery services are the next big innovation and will offer customers both the convenience they crave and the opportunity to celebrate life’s most special moments, no matter what day of the week or time of day they fall.” As well as expanding its delivery options, Interflora has improved site search functionality, adding gifts by occasion – including “apology flowers”, “get well flowers” or bouquets for retirement. Its “myReminders” ensures shoppers never need forget those significant dates.