The gift concierge service that uses artificial intelligence is part of 1-800-Flowers’ technology and service strategy.
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Hointer developed its cloud-based database software and designed its overall technology system in-house, she says. It uses technology from Amazon Web Services to host its software on the Internet, and it works with Internet networking technology from Cisco Systems Inc. to connect its system to retail stores.
Jon Stine, director of Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group and retail consumer products, says Hointer’s system shows how retailers can use Internet technology in new ways to improve operations and boost sales. A recent study by Cisco of more than 7,000 companies across several industries, he adds, found that retailers and wholesalers had the most to gain from new Internet-connected systems. “Retail leaves more on the table than any other industry,” he says. Based on interviews with retail executives on their use of Internet-connected systems, such as cloud-based systems that show sales and inventory levels across a retailer’s stores and web sites, Cisco estimates that retailers will lose out on $99 billion this year alone in lost sales and operating efficiencies.