- Robyn Turk |
Sustainability and efficiency have become priorities for retailers this holiday shopping season, with initiatives like omnichannel shopping services or markdowns that promote fashion recycling. And now a new gifting platform offers another solution to streamline holiday shopping between retailer, gift shopper and gift recipient.
GiftNow, a digital gifting service offered by Loop Commerce allows shoppers to purchase a gift online without needing to know the recipient’s preferred size or color, or even the shipping address. The platform is currently used by leading retailers such as Target, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Kate Spade, Uniqlo and Kenneth Cole. Shoppers simply need to select the item they wish to gift, pay for the item and shipping, and provide the recipient’s email address. The recipient will get an email with a link to the GiftNow page, where he or she can select size, color and shipping, or alternatively exchange for another item or store credit from either the same retailer or a different GiftNow partner.
In addition to making the gift buying process easy for the shopper, GiftNow eliminates other common holiday shopping stresses, such as shipping cutoffs or delivery delays during the busy season.
“The platform enables retailers to drive additional sales by accommodating consumers’ last-minute gifting needs and giving buyers the ability to purchase highly personalized gifts and have them digitally delivered immediately,” Jennifer Muller, chief marketing officer of Loop Commerce told FashionUnited. “ With GiftNow, consumers don’t have to worry about shipping cutoffs for the gifts they send, or about possible delivery delays during the holidays, because the recipient receives the surprise instantly. This is a huge advantage for retailers, as those consumers might otherwise abandon their carts due to concern over holiday shipping deadlines or expedited shipping fees. Instead of losing those sales, retailers are able to be competitive and relevant in today’s environment with GiftNow.”
Additionally, GiftNow’s service helps to reduce the traditionally high holiday return rates as recipients can return or exchange their gift virtually before the item has even shipped. This can prevent the retailer from significant costs and logistics challenges that come with returns, as well as promote a more sustainable retail experience.
“By offering GiftNow, retailers are able to drive down return costs and improve margins, while making gift giving less risky and unpredictable for both givers and receivers. It is also proven that GiftNow helps retailers attract new types of audiences, such as millennials or Gen-Zers, allowing companies to expand and grow their target market,” Muller continued. “These new audiences also provide future conversion opportunities for targeted marketing and analytics.”
GiftNow adds a personal touch to digital holiday gifting
Digital gifting has already been used as a solution to sustainable holiday shopping, as retailers have advertised gift cards and turned away from in-store only holiday sales to incentivize customers to shop this way. At the same time, GiftNow aims to build upon this sustainable aspect while maintaining the personal level of individually-selected gifts.
“Gift cards were designed to solve the consumer dilemma of not knowing what would be a good gift for somebody or realizing that a gift was needed too late to get it there on time,” Muller said. “Before GiftNow, gift cards were the only option in these situations. But GiftNow is designed to complement gift cards, solving a very similar problem in terms of worry about risky gifts, or running out of time before a special occasion. Users of GiftNow can now have the same frictionless experience that they have with gift cards with any physical product. It heightens the emotional aspect and makes the entire experience feel more thoughtful.”
Though GiftNow is still a relatively new gifting concept, retailers and consumers are quickly realizing its importance. GiftNow accounted for 24 percent of Christmas sales after the shipping cut-off in 2016, according to one retailer’s case study. Retailers across categories, including fashion, luxury, tech, toys and home goods have integrated the platform into certain products on their e-commerce sites, highlighting ease of service to their customers.
“Surprise someone with a gift they ‘open’ online. It’s as easy as 1-2-3,” reads Coach’s website. “Be a great gift giver. Instant. Thoughtful. Stress-free,” Target wrote on its GiftNow page. Neiman Marcus describes the platform as, “Instant, stress-free giving,” and explained, “Don’t know their size? Can’t find their current address? Not sure which color to pick? Need the gift to get there instantly? No problem. GiftNow makes holidays happier for everyone.”
Images: Pixabay, NeimanMarcus.com