Same day delivery and personalized gifts are the perfect couple for Valentine’s Day. Despite their differences in age, same day delivery remains young at heart. In fact, demand for the delivery of products within the same 24 hours keeps growing – and changing. Meanwhile, personalized gifts have their own love story. If you’ve ever received a handmade Valentine’s Day Card, you’ve probably felt the type of connection that brands seek to build upon through emotional marketing.

The Flowering of Same Day Delivery

In many ways, the marriage of same day delivery and personalization began in 1884, when the Society of American Florists (SAF) was born. This led to the 1910 founding of the Florists Telegraph Delivery Association, which is now known as FTD®. As America’s first flowers-by-wire service, FTD enabled customers to send flowers to people in different parts of the country. The sending florist could transmit a written greeting in the customer’s own words using state-of-the-art technology; the telegraph. Fittingly, a wholesale florist with the last name of Valentine was an FTD pioneer.

Over time, the telegraph went the way of the horse and buggy. Yet, FTD continued to grow and change. In 1979, The Mercury Network was born so that member florists could communicate electronically. Less than 20 years later, FTD merged onto what was then known as the “information superhighway” with, a website launched in 1994 that now supports e-commerce. Meanwhile, competitors such as 1-800-Flowers and Teleflora emerged followed by today’s innovators such as Bouqs, which has added farm-direct and transparent sourcing to the delivery chain. Many of the major players in this space sell not only flowers and flower bouquets, but also gifts such as candies and chocolates.

Personalized Gifts and the Power of Voice

The floral industry understood that behind every gift is a message.  Their iconic slogan of “Say it With Flowers” has been repurposed for every gift item under the sun.  Ahead of its time, in 2009 FTD launched the  Say It Your Way Bouquet, which used Voice Express technology and allowed the sender to record a personalized voice message that played at the touch of a button. To record the message, the sender called a toll-free number.

Today, Build a Bear – another Voice Express customer – takes same day delivery and personalized gifting to a new level. The retailer is partnering with Shipt, a last-mile delivery solution, so that its voice enabled teddy bears and other customized products are available for delivery on the same day that they’re built. When a customer builds a personalized stuffed toy through Build-A-Bear’s online Bear Builder configurator, there’s an option for same-day delivery. A Build-A-Bear employee can then package the order at the customer’s local store so that it’s ready for curbside pickup.

BOPIS and VoT: Loving the New Generation

In the age of COVID-19, the Buy Online Pickup In Store (BOPIS) model that Build-A-Bear is using is exploding in popularity. The convenience that BOPIS offers, the ease of same day delivery, and the emotional connection of personalized gifting on impulse are all built to outlast the pandemic. By combining BOPIS with the power of voice, brands can further emulate Build-A-Bear’s example. The Voice Express chip inside a personalized stuffed toy contains a special recorded message for a memorable, magical surprise. Now, with the Voice of Things (VoT), brands can fall in love with new possibilities.

Thank you for engaging Voice Express, where we enable brands and consumers to communicate in a direct, unmediated fashion through self-playing media. If you’d like to learn more about voice-enabled technologies, we invite you to read these recent articles.