Tech lets gift receivers decide what they get for Christmas
Getting a gift in the wrong size or color sometimes make the holiday even more stressful for the person who has to return it. On the verge of Black Friday this year, numerous retailers have announced that they are implementing a tool that puts recipients of gifts in control of what they get for the holidays.
The solution is called GiftNow. Prominent retailers have implemented a GiftNow button as a payment option on their websites. When a gift-giver orders something using the option, rather than sending the item directly to the intended recipient, it sends an email with the details of the gift. The recipient can then make changes to characteristics of the order before it ships or even request a different gift entirely.
The list of retailers using GIftNow includes Coach, Gap Inc., Macy’s, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Target.
Gap Inc., which will be offering the service at its Banana Republic and Athleta chains, is adding a further omnichannel twist to the GiftNow concept, according to Multichannel Merchant. At 10 Athleta locations, the company is piloting a GiftNow card to extend the pre-gifting review process into the brick-and-mortar world. At these locations, gift shoppers can select a gift in-store, then have a card sent to the recipient offering the same range of GiftNow options as the emailed version.
The GiftNow service is the latest iteration of Loop Commerce’s e-gifting patented technology platform, which a few big-name retailers began using last holiday season.
While allowing gift recipients to review their gifts before getting them might reduce the personal element of gift-giving, the success of the platform with early adopters and its more widespread implementation this year may indicate it’s something customers want.
And if Gap Inc.’s omnichannel extension of the concept proves popular, it could mean that even gifts bought in-store may become merely suggestions.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the benefits of a service such as GiftNow to retailers? How might it change holiday shopping behavior? Do you see the tool having success in stores as well as online?