With holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, gift giving has always been a big revenue opportunity for retailers. According to analysis from Coresight Research, the gift giving market in the U.S. is predicted to reach $816 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 6%.
While the opportunity is clear for retailers, the online shopping experience is designed for shoppers, not gift givers.
Here are three strategies for retailers to streamline the gifting process and create a positive experience for both the buyers and recipients.
Take the Stress out of Shopping for Gifts
Most people know what they want when they shop for themselves. If you’re shopping for clothing, shoes, or accessories, you know what size you wear, your color, and style preferences, and where you want it shipped. However, when you’re shopping for other people, you may not know all these details, so you end up guessing.
What happens if you get the wrong size or color? What if you don’t have their shipping information? It can be stressful…very stressful, and often shoppers abandon carts leading to lost revenues for retailers.
With e-gifting, shoppers can select a gift and send it immediately to the recipient via text or email. The recipient is able to accept the gift as is, or modify it by changing the color, size, or selecting something else. They provide the shipping information and the gift is sent to their preferred location. This process takes the stress out of shopping for others. Gift givers get peace of mind knowing that their gift will be something that is appreciated whether the recipient accepts it as is or modifies the gift prior to shipping.
Create Repeat Buyers With Personalized Shopping Experiences
With e-gifting, retailers can surprise and delight gift shoppers and recipients with highly engaging and personalized experiences. Shoppers can personalize their gift with an interactive text greeting or a brief video message. Some e-gifting platforms deliver a fun and engaging unboxing experience for the recipient when they open their gift followed by the personalized greeting created by the gift giver. And, the recipient can send a thank you note to the sender to show their appreciation.
[Read more: 5 Retailers That Do Personalization Best]
Enhanced personalization helps retailers turn gift givers and recipients into loyal, repeat customers who will shop for themselves or buy gifts for others.
Reduce the Hassles and Costs of Returns
In 2021, returned retail merchandise in the U.S. accounted for 16.6% of total retail sales. There is an obvious revenue concern, and there’s an environmental impact to consider as well. The beauty of e-gifting is that since recipients are able to modify the gift to their preferences prior to shipping, they’re unlikely to return the item. This improves the customer experience by relieving gift shopper stress while saving the recipient the hassle of heading to the UPS or FedEx store or to the retailer. Plus, the retailer saves time and money by not having to process the returned item.
Don’t forget the environmental benefits. One less product returned through the mail system eliminates associated impacts from packing materials, fuel costs, or adding to landfills when unwanted or returned items end up in the trash.
E-Gifting Seals the Deal
For retailers to grow their share of the enormous gifting market, they must make it easy for customers at every step along the customer journey. Using an all-in-one e-gifting platform can reduce friction points in the purchasing process and create opportunities to turn gift givers and recipients into long-term customers.
E-gifting can also have a positive impact on the environment by reducing returns, and helping retailers with their sustainability initiatives. Now is the time for retailers to consider taking gifting innovation to the next level.
—Pari Raccah is the general manager at GiftNow, a Synchrony solution. GiftNow is a gift experience management platform for retailer and corporate gifting.