Special Report: E-Commerce & Catalog Technology: A Gift for All Seasons
Holiday ’07: Key Drivers
Here are three gifting tactics that worked for catalogers in fourth quarter of 2007 and can be adapted for year-round use.
1. Gift guides: Merchants who provided deeper gift guides with more recipient categories gained substantially better results.
2. Gift cards: Last year, overall gift card sales grew by 25 percent. Multichannel merchants who enjoyed the strongest results offered more than just a link to purchase them. They allowed online redemption and clearly communicated redemption policies.
3. Gift sets: Marketers who offered gift sets and gift packs — preselected and prewrapped combinations of products based on personality or theme — enjoyed sales gains averaging 3.75 percent of their total sales and ran as high as 10 percent for the fourth quarter.
Guides: Go Beyond the Basics
Robust gift guides provide any merchant selling direct-to-consumer wares an opportunity to help shoppers browse products in a whole new way. During the 2007 holiday season, 56 percent of the merchants profiled in one of MarketLive’s performance indexes offered some kind of gift-buying guide.
Results show that doing so is well worth the effort. Merchants offering gift guides had stronger performance across the board than those who didn’t:
● They averaged 38 percent visits to shopping carts and 68 percent-plus greater conversion, along with 70 percent additional revenue per visit.
● Their one-and-out rates, in which they gauge the percentage of visitors that see a single page and then leave the site, were lower by more than 8 percent.
● The percentage of single-page visits specifically to the homepage was more than 23 percent lower, as shoppers were instantly able to locate gift products through prominent links to gift guide categories.
It’s not enough to offer a gift guide link on the homepage. Go beyond “his” and “hers.” From MarketLive’s research, we’ve found that the most successful gift guides offer packages for an average of four types of recipients — 66 percent more options than those with gift guides reporting lower response.