Tips for Capturing More Gift Sales This Holiday Season
With the holiday shopping season quickly approaching — or already here, depending on whom you ask — consumers will be going online to purchase gifts for family and friends. Is your brand positioned to capture those customers? Gifting represents a $200 billion market, with the average consumer buying more than 20 gifts annually. It's an opportunity that retailers must be prepared to capitalize on.
To help them, Roy Erez, co-founder and CEO of Loop Commerce, a SaaS solution that fully integrates with retailers’ online stores to make every product giftable, offered tips and insights during a session yesterday at the Shop.org Digital Summit in Philadelphia.
A Different Experience
Shopping for yourself and shopping for others is a completely different experience, noted Erez. Therefore, retailers must treat it as such. Gifting is a much more personal and emotional experience for the shopper and gift recipient. To illustrate his point, Erez played a clip from “Seinfeld” where Jerry gave Elaine cash for a gift, which turned her pre-gift excitement into bewilderment.
Retailers must be aware and compensate for the top reasons why gift shoppers abandon a cart, Erez said. Those reasons include being worried about buying the wrong size; being worried about the hassle of trying to return the gift; being worried about the gift getting there on time (e.g., a birthday, holiday); and being worried about choosing the wrong color. Here are some tips to help:
- Add a gift guide to your site. This should be in addition to offering e-gift cards, Erez said. In fact, consumers spend, on average, two times more on gift purchases than they do on e-gift cards. Seek to personalize your gift guide as best as possible, enabling shoppers to filter results by gender, price, product category, size, among other variables.
- Send last-minute emails. Despite the reports of holiday shoppers starting earlier and earlier every year, which are true, there's still a segment of the population that waits till the very last minute to purchase their gifts. Target this segment of your customer base with emails promoting last-minute deals. And if you offer expedited delivery to make sure their gifts arrive in time for the holiday, market the heck out of that, Erez said.
- Clearly explain your returns process — and make it easy. Consumers unsure that they're getting the right gift want to know that the recipient can return it easily.
- Provide gift receipts without the price of the item on it. Sounds simple enough, Erez said, but a lot of retailers aren't doing this.
- Promote one-size-fits-all items. If your products are "sizeless," use this to your advantage. Apparel retailers that you're competing with for share of wallet don't have this luxury.
- Don't stop on Dec. 25. Holiday gift buying occurs beyond Christmas Day, Erez said. Be prepared to serve these customers with special deals and offers. Furthermore, gifting is a year-round opportunity for retailers, Erez noted. In fact, Christmas is no longer the No. 1 gifting occasion; birthdays are, he said.