At a press event, McCann announced that 1-800-Flowers.com soon will expand an existing communications services relationship with Verizon Business, a division of Verizon Communications Inc., to include another unit, Verizon Wireless. "Customers are accessing us with the wireless device," but often that customer is in the 30-and-over age group, he said.
According to McCann, to reach potential customers aged 15 to 30 -- a group that more commonly uses mobile services -- 1-800-Flowers.com's wares have to sell at a lower price and the purchase has to be made more immediate. But that's doable. "We can change our business radically," he said.
1-800-Flowers.com already spends about $25 million a year on IT, one-fourth which goes to Verizon Business for communications products and services. In light of the company's interest in working with Verizon Wireless, McCann said he has talked to Verizon officials about making its services to him "more cohesive" than in the past, bringing together divisions between the wireless units and wire-line and business units.
And it's not just the online floral service that's encouraging Verizon to pool its resources. Several Verizon officials at the corporate level said they see the need to have its various products and services marketed in a combined way, and the company is making efforts to accomplish that. For example, John Stratton holds a corporate chief marketing officer position overseeing Verizon's business, wireless and wire-line operations. Also, Nancy Gofus, the chief marketing officer for the business division, said Verizon is exploring ways to offer services for companies that have home-based workers needing helpdesk support for consumer DSL and other services.