As the holidays approach, many consumers begin to search more frantically for the right gifts, delivering new opportunities for retailers and brands to delight consumers. You’re likely to attract new business and get a lot of new visitors during this period, given that 73% of holiday shoppers see themselves trying out many new websites and stores to search for the perfect gift.
We’ve all been in this situation. Finding and choosing the right gift can be an immensely stressful experience if you don’t have a lot of time and still want to get a thoughtful and creative gift for loved ones. Nobody wants to end up with another itchy sweater or fruitcake.
One of the biggest frustrations online shoppers report is having too many options, a lack of inspiration and too little support. In fact, 29% of shoppers say that there’s too much to choose from, while 24% say that online stores don’t provide enough product information and support to make selecting the right gift simpler.
Piling more static information onto a website cannot be the solution.
Often, shoppers feel lost in the digital environment. They seek ways to access trustworthy, authentic, and personalized guidance in a quick, digital way. These shoppers are more likely to rely on helpful search and navigation tools to guide them through an (unfamiliar) site and towards making confident purchase decisions.
As consumer expectations are rising, it’s up to retailers and brands to raise the bar. Those that simplify the experience and make the shoppers’ lives easier will be the ones to earn loyalty.
More businesses are beginning to act by delivering powerful interactions with interactive gift guides and gift finders. These solutions go beyond mere category filters or curated lists and instead provide for a more dynamic and personalized experience online. They can inspire customers, boost their confidence in purchases and bolster sales while increasing the chances of repeat purchases for themselves in the future.
With hundreds of competing priorities within your company and on your plate, especially around the holiday season, it’s easy to move gift finders onto your “nice-to-have” or “next year strategy” list. However, a gift finder could be the ultimate way to differentiate your company from the competitors in your space. Why not showcase your products in a way that’s more relevant and personalized, making discovery easier and more convenient for your (new) visitors?
“A gift guide is one of the most powerful tools you can have during the holidays. It allows you to showcase your products, inspire shoppers, and stay top of mind throughout the season.”
-Francesca Nicasio, retail expert and content strategist at Vend
In this blog post, we show you how several companies are already successfully using interactive gift finders for different occasions and in the follow-up, we share our best practice tips to create your own gift finders that drive more engagement and sales.
10 Interesting Examples of Interactive Gift Finders by Category
1. Watches: Swatch Holiday Gift Finder
Swatch is a Swiss watchmaker, and a subsidiary of mega-conglomerate Swatch Group, which includes brands such as Omega, Rado, Longines, Ck Calvin Klein, and Tissot. Their entry range brand Swatch was introduced as casual, fun, and relatively disposable accessories that could be worn for a season and then swapped with another model. Hence, the name Swatch for “second watch”.
Given the relatively low entry prices, Swatch watches quickly became collector’s items that hold emotional value when gifted.
Knowing this, Swatch created an interactive Swatch Holiday Gift finder in different languages and for different regional markets to help consumers find the perfect gift for Swatch lovers in their huge assortment. While the finder could ask a few more questions to pinpoint the right item, it’s still a pretty good idea with a very convincing UX that invites users to browse and explore further.
2. Phone Accessories: T-Mobile USA Holiday Gift Advisor
T-Mobile created a gift advisor for accessories, designed to make it easier to choose gifts for people who love technology. You start by selecting who you’re buying for, then you choose what device that person has, what your recipient is interested in (such as sports, travel, fashion, and movies), and what your budget can be.
At the end of the advisor, you’ll see a couple of “gifts straight from the North Pole” that provide ideas and inspiration for gift-hunting shoppers. What’s great about it is that with this quick and easy interactive advisor, T-Mobile engages consumers in critical I-need-some-ideas moments by giving them relevant and useful content.
3. Baby & Kids: Mamas and Papas Baby Gift Finder
Mamas and Papas is a UK-based retailer that supply pushchairs, prams, baby products, maternity wear, and furniture to mothers and fathers across the country. In 2016, they introduced their own gift finder, to help shoppers find the best possible gifts for babies. The gift finder is intended to make finding a gift that’s just right easier for parents and family members alike, by giving them inspiration on which gifts are most appropriate according to age, budget, and occasion.
The finder asks a few quick questions and then offers to send suggestions to the gift giver’s email address. It’s a fantastic practice in marketing, guided selling, and lead generation, sure to make the baby gift shopping experience simpler.
User voice: “I think the Gift Finder is a brilliant idea and having put it through a few different scenarios, I’ve been really pleased with the suggestions and there have been a fair few items I wouldn’t have usually considered which has been great.”
Mamas and Papas Baby Gift Finder
4. Fragrances: Lacoste Fragrances Gift Finder
Lacoste, the apparel & accessories company, did their part for people searching for a simpler way to shop for gifts, by creating a gift advisor for fragrances. The five-question quiz with gamification elements is a fun way for people to choose a product that they might otherwise have trouble with online. After all, you can’t smell the scents through your computer, so Lacoste offered an alternative.
The interactive experience was designed to entertain and engage users while increasing the visibility of Lacoste fragrances. At the end of the quiz, shoppers receive a gift recommendation, and now that they have saved some time, they can start a timed race game to collect as many fragrances as possible while avoiding obstacles.
Lacoste Fragrances Gift Finder (source: Digitaland.tv)
5. Consumer Electronics: Conrad Gift Inspiration Finder
Presenting gift shoppers who don’t have enough time with inspiring ideas is the goal of Conrad’s Gift Inspiration finder. Conrad, a large German online retailer of electronic products created an interactive gift finder that asks users a few questions about the technology-loving gift recipient and uses the answers to dynamically generate a list of gift ideas for any occasion.
It invites shoppers to browse and discover suitable gifts in their huge assortment.
Conrad Gift Inspiration Finder
6. Jewelry: Pandora Gift Guide
Pandora, a global company known for their high-quality jewelry, has a particularly intriguing gift guide experience to offer its customers. First of all, you get different questions depending on whether you’re buying for a woman or a man.
Once you’ve decided on your recipient, you can choose exactly who you’re buying for, what you’re celebrating, and what the person is like to get personalized gift ideas. And if you’re still not sure, you can invite the recipient’s friends to weigh in on your final decision.
User voice: “It’s quite a nice way of picking out a gift – it’s like asking a real person what their loved one is like so you can make a personal recommendation.”
Pandora Gift Guide
7. Donations: Heifer’s Gift Finder
Heifer International created their own “seasonal” gift finder for their website back in 2014. The charity used their gift guide to allow you to select meaningful gifts that would help families and communities around the world receive livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training, enabling them to become self-reliant.
Users can answer a few personality and interests-based questions to receive a suggestion for a gift in the form of a donation.
8. Fashion: Zalando Gift Finder Assistant
Zalando, the German online fashion retail powerhouse, and Google announced their collaboration for the launch of a gift finder chatbot in Q4/2017. The gift finder is designed to provide users with a fun and personalized experience if they need help in finding a gift. The chatbot asks the user a series of questions to identify the perfect fashion gift.
“People are spending more and more time on social apps, and as a customer-centric company, we have to be where the consumer is, to innovate in order to tackle emerging and foreseeable customer needs and pain-points,” explains Nicolas Borg, VP Strategy at Zalando.
The launch is planned in October 2017. We’ll keep an eye on that.
9. Wine and Spirits: Fine Wine & Spirits Business Gift Finder
Fine Wine & Good Spirits is run by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), which regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1933 after the repeal of prohibition and alcohol became legal in PA. The initial purpose of the Board was to “discourage the purchase of alcoholic beverages by making it as inconvenient and expensive as possible.” Restaurants and food operations that are licensed to serve or sell drinks in Pennsylvania must purchase their liquor from the PLCB.
Although the site still has the charm straight out of another century, the PCLB now wants to make shopping alcoholic beverages online fast and convenient. They offer lots of advice and tips on selecting the right beverage, and also launched an interactive gift finder. The 2-question quiz should help visitors decide between wine or spirits, based on the person they’re gifting, whether it’s a co-worker, a boss or a client, and provides “must-have” bottle suggestions for the holidays.
Fine Wine & Spirits Business Gift Finder
10. Marketplace: Curated Gift Finder
And finally, Givee, an online affiliate marketplace, “which guesses anyone’s perfect gift in just a few clicks”. The Warwick University Startup nails it with their interactive personality quiz that asks fun questions to generate a list of personalized suggestions curated to the recipient.
After covering the basics such as age and gender, the gift finder lets you describe the recipient’s personality in more detail.
I have to give it to Givee, although some questions promote gender stereotypes, they suggest some cool and suitable gift ideas that I would have never thought of.
Hope you enjoyed our selection and got some inspiration on how you can support gift-hunting shoppers who visit your site. Are there any exciting gift finders you came across? Let us know in the comments.
Did you know that you can build your own interactive gift finder quickly and easily? Check out the Zoovu AI conversational Marketing platform
Find more best practices on How to Create a Great Interactive Gift Guide.