What is often dubbed “the most wonderful time of the year” is also a time that’s fraught with stress for many. Gift shopping and finding the right present are still one of the biggest pain points of the holiday season. Most of your customers will search for gifts early and eventually buy at the last possible moment.
According to a report published by PayPal, the majority (59%) of Americans find holiday shopping to be stressful and they’d rather do a multitude of unenviable activities instead. 1-in-5 Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers would rather go to the dentist and about 1-in-5 Millennials (19%) would rather text with their boss over the weekend!
And when asked about what turns a potentially pleasant experience into a source of stress, 29% of shoppers say that there’s too much to choose from online, while 24% say that online stores don’t provide enough product information and support to make selecting the right gift simpler.
When it comes to gift shopping, customers want brands and retailers to be more proactive and assistive
A report by Zoovu called ‘Humanizing Digital’ found that 68% of shoppers want their favorite brands or retailers to provide them with honest and personal advice, while 44% expect proactive product recommendations and tips when shopping online.
As we enter the most profitable – and busiest – time of the year, we’re seeing more companies using interactive gift finders to provide gift-hunting shoppers with this level of assistance they demand. In fact, last year, we came across several interesting gift finders by companies that are already ahead of the game and are taking full advantage of these solutions.
And it’s clear why:
The interactive, conversational approach of gift guides is proven to increase conversion (+253%), engagement (+76%), and customer satisfaction, as it eases the shopper’s path to suitable gift inspirations.
Gift finders engage shoppers in a conversation, ask a few questions about the gift recipient’s personality, and immediately provide them with gifting ideas, helping even the most indecisive gift shopper on their way to the perfect gift – in a pain-free way.
An interactive gift guide can help your store reach its full potential
For example, Canon, a leading consumer electronics company was looking for intuitive ways to educate and inspire shoppers early in the purchase journey. With hundreds of cameras to choose from, Canon battled choice overload and decision paralysis and wanted to drive conversions and foster brand loyalty in such a crowded marketplace. Canon recognized the gaps in their customer experience and implemented a camera selector to guide shoppers to the perfect products by asking engaging questions. Since the launch of its digital assistant, Canon has overcome its battle with choice paralysis, boost conversions and create an enjoyable experience for shoppers.
Part of the reason why online retail is in such a healthy position is that savvy companies have become much more responsive to their customer’s pain points and are investing time and resources to make the gift shopping experience as frictionless of a path to purchase as possible for their customers.
Creating an excellent gift-finder experience helps your holiday campaign stand out, engage customers and make your store the perfect gift-shopping destination.
While competitors may differentiate their holiday campaigns based on discounts, which lower their profit margins, it’s your opportunity to stand out as a trusted source and attract more customers by offering an easier and more rewarding gift-shopping experience.
When should your holiday gift finder go live?
When planning the launch of your interactive gift guide you may fall foul of leaving it too late.
In 2019, online sales on Black Friday reached $7.4 billion and Cyber Monday hit $9.4 billion, with 33% of sales being purchased via a smartphone according to Adobe Analytics. Cyber Monday 2019 was the biggest online shopping day in the history of US e-commerce-and with the acceleration of ecommerce adoption and usage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this number is likely to grow even more in 2020.
Preparations need to start now in order to take advantage of the week that begins on the 22nd of November. Over a quarter of American shoppers start with their holiday shopping right around Thanksgiving into early December, so be prepared to launch your gift finders earlier. Many consumers do their research and decision-making ahead of the major sale weekend.
As you can see from this graph from Statista, almost $15 billion was spent from Thanksgiving up to Cyber Monday on the 26th of November.
Sleighing the holidays should be treated as a marathon, not a sprint. Download our ebook the “Digital Holiday Playbook” for a 9-step guide to growing conversion, winning the sale, and fostering brand loyalty.
So, get started building your gift finder today!
Worth checking out:
- Learn more about Consumer Behaviors around Gifting to Give Them What They Want
- How brands are leveraging gift guides across different industries to boost sales and increase customer satisfaction
- 10 Crucial Steps to Successful (Not Stressful) Holiday Customer Service