According to a 2017 Deloitte survey, the average shopper this holiday season will purchase 15 gifts. That’s 15 gifts per person, bought in what amounts to a less than 2 month span. This represents a year over year spending increase of $228 per household.
Shoppers are spending more and more money on gifts, and an increasing amount of this activity is happening in ecommerce. Only 42% of gifts are expected to be purchased in store. That means more people are shopping online, which is great for stores with strong ecommerce presences, but also means nearly infinite options and a lot of uncertainty. This is because the average gift-giver comes to your store with a very different mentality than your average shopper, and it’s not difficult to understand why.
We’ve all gone shopping looking for gifts for friends and family. Most of the time we are considering multiple options from multiple stores, and rarely know for sure what the perfect gift is. This uncertainty of not knowing what your friends wants results in an extremely high churn rate if your business isn’t properly prepared.
We are excited to announce our integration with Gift Wizard which will empower ecommerce businesses to create well-crafted gift-giving strategies and ultimately sell more gifts.
Building a Gift-Friendly Ecommerce Presence
As we mentioned, gift-givers are highly likely to face uncertainty.
Imagine you’re buying a sweater for your cousin. You find a great deal at your favorite ecommerce store and are about to click “checkout”, but you realize you need to pick a size. You’re not sure if your cousin typically wears a small or a medium in general, let alone what size they would wear with that particular store. You’re not even sure what color you want to buy. You’ve seen your cousin wear dark sweaters often but you don’t know if they have a similar shade to the ones you’re looking to buy. Soon enough you’re wondering whether a sweater is the right choice, and not much later you wonder whether you’re even shopping at the right store.
This happens time and time again for gift shoppers. Too much uncertainty leads to a high volume of abandoned carts and sizable losses in potential revenue. Using a service like GiftWizard will help you be sure that your customers pick a gift that they will love and make sure your store is configured to make that process as easily as possible.
Here’s how they do it.
GiftWizard adds a “Send as Gift” button to your website. This button helps to eliminate the uncertainty of selecting sizes, colors, and other variants. Instead, shoppers can simply choose a product their friends and family will love and let the receiver decide the specifics.
The benefits of implementing this button on your website can be both immediate and realized over the long-term. In the short-term, utilizing a “Send as Gift” button increases conversions by 165% for shoppers looking to purchase gifts. Eventually, of those shoppers who receive gifts through the “Send as Gift” button, 35% convert into new customers and repeat purchasers.
Sounds great right? In fact, it sounds a lot like a referral program, with one piece to the puzzle missing. Gift Wizard gives you low cost new customers without you having to worry about “referred customers” making an initial purchasing decision. But what’s in it for the gift giver?
Convincing a shopper to make a purchase for their friends can be much more difficult than convincing them to make a purchase for themselves.
That’s where incentives come into play.
Convert More Shoppers into Gift-Givers
Let’s put ourselves back in the shoes of the gift giver. You’ve found a cool product at a store and there’s a “Send as Gift” button on the website. Looks like a good choice and you don’t have to worry about choosing the exact variants your friend would like, but have you picked the right gift? Maybe a sweater isn’t the right option and your friend would rather have a blanket or a coffee mug.
Even with the “Send as Gift” button there is still some uncertainty left in the gift giving process.
Gift givers are still dealing with several possibilities and offering an incentive to make a purchase can be the push shoppers need to commit to buying from your store.
With the Swell-GiftWizard Integration, you can set up any of Swell’s spend-related campaigns targeted to a specific gifted product with a few clicks. For example, you can set up a simple points for purchase campaign where a shopper earns 5 points per dollar they spend on a gift. You could also choose to reward more active gift givers by utilizing a punch card campaign that gives customers a lump-sum of points once they’ve purchased 3 gifts.
The possibilities are plentiful and, more importantly, flexible to meet each store’s specific needs for the holidays.
How Can You Capitalize on this Integration for the Holidays?
In terms of best practices, we like to think of gift-giving much like we think of referrals. As we mentioned earlier, there are many similarities in the decision making process between those purchasing a gift for a friend and those choosing to share a referral link with friends.
As with referrals, there are two sides to your gift giving campaigns; focus separately on your “referring customer” and your “referred customer”, or in this case, your “gift giver” and your “gift receiver”.
Engaging with the "Gift-Giver"
The most difficult aspect of creating a successful gift-giving strategy is converting site visitors into gift-givers. Gift-givers are typically high quality customers who trust in your brand and are repeat purchasers.
There are two crucial steps to making these customers as likely as possible to engage with your gifting incentives:
Make sure your gift-givers know that they stand to benefit from purchasing gifts through your ecommerce store. If your holiday gift-giving promotion is hidden away in a popup on your website your customers are unlikely to find it. Use a multifaceted outreach strategy to make sure your gifting-strategy is well-entrenched with shoppers.
The primary method of achieving this is through email promotions and social media posts to your current customer base. In addition, you want shoppers who have come to your website organically to have an effective avenue to learn about your gift promotion. We recommend explaining your gifting promotion in multiple locations on your website. First and foremost, you should add it to your rewards page, and to gain initial traction, we also recommend creating a rewards specific banner on your home page to draw people to the rewards page to learn about what your rewards program has to offer.
Treat your gift-giving campaigns just as you treat the rest of your rewards program. A 5 point per dollar bonus on purchasing gifts can be a powerful incentive to launch around Black Friday, but there are two reasons you should switch things up over time. First is that come December 20th, your shoppers who were excited that 5 point per dollar bonus might not be excited enough by an old and stale promotion to revisit your website.
Second is that those customers who weren’t excited enough to purchase a gift initially by your promotion, most likely aren’t going to decide to purchase because of the same promotion one month later. By utilizing a dynamic incentive strategy, you maximize the size of your “net” and attract as many shoppers as possible to your gift-giving campaigns.
Converting the Gift Receiver into a repeat purchaser
Fortunately, optimizing your gift-selling strategy is even easier than promoting referrals in that you don’t need to convince the “referred customer”. They are receiving your product for free and will get to demo your product without having to make a purchasing decision. Ultimately, this boils down to creating a well-rounded shopping experience. The only experiences your “gift receiver” will have with your business are a quick look at your website to choose the specifications for their gift, their unboxing experience when they receive your package, and any follow up communications you attempt.
By using GiftWizard, you’ve already made sure the process of choosing specifications goes smoothly and that they have a degree of choice in how their gift looks.
Now it's time to turn this one positive experience into ongoing repeat purchases through targeted messaging. Reach out to gift-receivers through email marketing campaigns and encourage them to get involved in your loyalty program. Incentivize them to get involved with your social media campaigns and to read articles on your blog.
The idea is for your business is to make your gift-receivers feel like they are part of your customer base. By incentivizing them to take actions that typify your highest-performing customers, you increase the likelihood that these gift-receivers behave like your highest-performing customers.
If you have any questions about setting up our GiftWizard integration for this holiday season, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of our team will be happy to walk you through the quick-and-easy process!