Create the Future. Today

Real flowers for virtual pals

Work & Lifestyle

As people are stockpiling online friends and contacts through social networks, it makes sense to let them be as giving to their online friends as to their offline buddies. Online flower store Social Flowers spotted a business opportunity, and has created a way for consumers to send flowers to their Facebook friends without having to ask for their personal details. How it works? Users install the Social Flowers Facebook application, select a recipient from their friends list, pick a floral gift and pay. Social Flowers then sends the recipient an email and a Facebook notification requesting their address, and the flowers are delivered by one of 30,000 local florists in the US and Canada. Social Flowers aims to extend its service to other social networks as soon as possible. Meanwhile, other retailers should jump on the potential for integrating all kinds of gift giving. A notification of a friend’s birthday on Facebook could be accompanied by a retailer’s special offer for sending chocolates, for example. Or suitors might want to send a bouquet to a virtual paramour. Books for contacts on LinkedIn, photo prints for Flickr friends, etc. One to pursue if you’re in online retail! Key points to keep in mind: ensure both parties’ personal information is safe and secure, and respect the community—don’t peddle your wares aggressively, just make it easy for consumers to show the same kind of appreciation for their online friends as they already do for people they know offline. Spotted by: Ozgur Alaz



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