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05/06/2021

1-800-Flowers cultivates cloud transformation

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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1-800-Flowers.com has migrated its enterprise operations to a microservices model based on the Google Cloud platform.

The specialty gift retailer recently completed the migration of its e-commerce platform and other services to Google Cloud. This included moving many workloads from its on-premises data centers to its Google Cloud environment, scaling both horizontally and vertically. 

Since the migration, the retailer has developed efficient processes to launch new brands, improved the customer experience across all brands, and seen significantly increased site traffic. 

Working with Google Cloud, 1-800-Flowers.com was able to move its e-commerce platform to the cloud and standardize site and brand deployment by building one release that could then be repeated across all of its brands. The company built everything in a modular fashion, including microservices and code libraries, so that sites could be easily constructed and replicated for each brand. 

For example, 1-800-Flowers.com utilized the microservices model to quickly launch Shari’s Berries on its platform after acquiring the brand in 2019. Currently, the company has migrated every customer-facing touchpoint for all of its brands to Google Cloud.

1-800-Flowers.com runs its cloud-based applications on the Google Kubernetes Engine and Istio service networking layer. The company has nearly 200 microservices built to help support its entire e-commerce stack across several cloud services running on Google Cloud, and utilizes the BigQuery data warehouse for offline intelligence.

By moving its stack to Google Cloud, 1-800-Flowers.com has been able to move from a session-based to a token-based customer authentication system, which provides enhanced security as well as a consistent, convenient experience across all brands. 

Using service workers and a single-page app, the company can download all the relevant site content to the browser in under two seconds to create an instant-click experience. 1-800-Flowers.com also leverages Google Analytics to measure user interactions and provide personalized results to each customer. 

On the back and, with its legacy system, 1-800-Flowers.com used to release new code once a week or once a month. Now, even during peak periods, the retailer can release 10 to 15 times a day and can deploy and pivot quickly to create new microservices and microsites on the fly—often without having to touch any code. 

And before the migration, 1-800-Flowers.com had only two environments for developing and testing, which made it time-consuming to test updates before they went into production. Now with Google Cloud, the company has several different “journey teams”—which are made up of developers, product owners, and technical owners—all working in several different environments, solving problems, and creating new solutions together. 

“As we look to the future and think about how we help our customers express, connect, and celebrate, we’ll continue to collaborate across teams to deliver solutions that spread smiles,” said Abhishek Sachdeva, CTO, 1-800-Flowers.com Inc., in a corporate blog post. “Specifically, we’re exploring additional use of AI to help us better serve our customers across all our brands.”

The 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. platform features brands including 1-800-Flowers.com, 1-800-Baksets.com, Cheryl’s Cookies, Harry & David, PersonalizationMall.com, Shari’s Berries, FruitBouquets.com, Moose Munch, The Popcorn Factory, Wolferman’s Bakery, and Simply Chocolate.