In episode 304 of Total Retail Talks, Editor-in-Chief Joe Keenan interviews Matt Powell, chief technology officer of FTD, a premier floral and gifting company. Powell discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic created a surge in gifting demand at the company, why FTD is focusing on improving its technology, and how the 110-year old company is reimagining its digital experience for both its florists and consumers. He shares how FTD plays a big role in helping small businesses access online floral demand, how he evaluates and implements changes to the company's tech stack, and how the floral retailer navigates the build vs. buy debate when adding new technology.
Powell discusses how FTD's focus on its user experience impacts how he builds his technology team, as well as how he motivates his team to fuel FTD's digital transformation as a remote leader. He shares how the floral gifting company is utilizing FullStory to enhance its online experience, and why the ability to quickly analyze user experience errors and identify website optimization opportunities is essential. Lastly, Powell discusses what he's focused on to continue digital business growth at FTD, and why he's inspired to help the small business sellers in its ecosystem bloom.
Matt Powell joined FTD as chief technology officer in April 2020, responsible for technology vision, strategy and execution across the organization. He comes to FTD as an operator, product builder and systems thinker with a long history of leadership experience in technology and digital marketing. Most recently, Matt co-founded startup studio Truth & Systems, where he was managing partner and chief technology officer. Prior to that, he served as co-president and global chief technology officer of KBS, where he led the design and development of BMWUSA.com, built a sneaker customization business for PUMA, and helped companies like Apple, Dunkin Donuts, Google, Vanguard, TJX Companies, and Stanley Black & Decker deliver great customer experiences online. Matt is an avid scuba diver, a budding private pilot, and trained forklift operator. He holds a BA in photojournalism from Boston University.