Special Report: E-Commerce & Catalog Technology: A Gift for All Seasons
Depending on their product offerings, merchants should devise a range of potential recipients. This shouldn’t just be by gender and age, but also by interest. For example, “Bakers” and “Grill Masters” work well for a kitchen goods online catalog. You can even have categories for pet gifts.
Marketers also should offer a range of options for filtering by price. While our surveys show that most gift guides had at least one category for shopping gifts by price (usually for bargain gifts), the top sites went the extra mile, offering a wide range of price points. They averaged 3.75 price-based categories, which is 212 percent more than the bottom five sites.
Merchants should consider the pricing of their entire product offerings and offer several categories to cater to bargain hunters and top-of-the-line buyers alike.
In its gift guide, one outdoor apparel and gear cataloger from our studies offered several price points. It also offered unique recipient categories such as “for the gadget freak.” The gift subset of “stocking stuffers” highlighted smaller items, while “green gifts” put the emphasis on eco-friendly wares that appealed to its environmentally conscious core customers.
The same merchant devised a “top 10” category that drew on the behavior of other customers. This allowed shoppers to see what others were buying while serving the needs of those who trust “others like them” to help steer purchasing decisions. The top gift guide subcategories were displayed prominently on the homepage as well as within the gift guide environment, giving shoppers instant access to relevant product displays.
Based on the gifting strategies that drove success during the holiday season in 2007, merchants should start now to plan for the 2008 holiday season and beyond. Doing so will help you outperform retailers by using successful, event-driven holiday strategies to maximize peak seasons year-round and sustain customer relationships over time.