Gifting Anyone?

The e-tailing group took a methodical look at how gifting was being managed by online retailers during the past holiday season creating The e-tailing group 2020 Gifting Index, sponsored by GiftNow.

e-tailing group 2020 Gifting Index

Gift giving is a year-round business. While the holiday season receives the lion’s share of attention when it comes to gifts, many retailers realize revenues throughout the year. As the year kicks into gear, we believe that now is the time to look at how your company is performing when it comes to gifting and we have just the right tool. 

The e-tailing group took a methodical look at how gifting was being managed by online retailers during the past holiday season creating The e-tailing group 2020 Gifting Index, sponsored by GiftNow.

In building the e-tailing group 2020 Gifting Index, we collected data over November and December of 2020, during the prime holiday season of the year and researched 20 features across 50 retailers in 7 categories. Those features included many of the things that shoppers experience and consider when making their gift selections, from plastic gift cards to digital gifting, to gift centers that inspire shoppers with creative offers, to corporate gifting initiatives such as loyalty programs that can be important influencers. We also focused heavily on how customer service could impact the purchase of gifts, from standard return policies to shipping and delivery capabilities. 

Gift Pull Quote

We graded retailers from “gift rich” for those who offer a broad range of gifting capabilities, and assigned lower ratings to those where room for improvement could be in order. Now is a good time to consider where you would stand. 

We graded retailers “gift rich” for those who offer a broad range of gifting capabilities.

If you have gifting on your site, ask yourself if you have optimized the experience for your customers. If you are on the fence about whether a gifting presence is right for your business, now might be just the time to test gift cards to see if they resonate with your customers.  Consideration of the following questions is an ideal starting point under either set of circumstances.

Gifters

  • Have you taken a methodical approach to exploring gift features?   
  • Have you added the set of gifting features to your site that are appropriate for your company?
  • Have you tested your own shopping experience to see how it stacks up against your competitors’ and the best in the industry?
  • How sophisticated is the creative execution of your gifting experience?
  • Have you dedicated locations and links to make gifting visible for your visitors?

Non-gifters

  • Are you missing an important opportunity to test gifting on your site?
  • What features might make sense as a starting point?
  • If gifting isn’t appropriate, is there any loyalty functionality that should be in consideration?
  • How have your competitors addressed gifting for their business? 
  • What can you learn and apply to other areas of your site experience for a broader look at gifting functionality?  

Ten Fast Facts

I’m hoping at this point we have piqued your interest. Take a quick look at 10 fast facts from our index and think about where your business stands today and what might be realized before next holiday season.

  1. 96% of the retailers surveyed had electronic/digital gift certificates yet only 16% had the option to add video to personalize the gifting experience
  2. 92% had an onsite gift center with 88% allowing shoppers to find gifts by attribute, such as price or recipient
  3. 66% of retailers had a loyalty program
  4. 36% offered a corporate gift program
  5. 76% had live chat available for customer service
  6. Only 26% had unconditional free shipping
  7. 14% had same-day delivery
  8. The average number of days to return orders post-holiday was 85
  9. 26% of retailers extended their normal return schedule with half of those accepting through 1/31/21
  10. Only 11% of retailers shared their cutoff dates for ground and expedited shipping, with 12/19 being the furthest day for ground delivery

Whether you decide to embrace gifting for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or everyday occasions like birthday or anniversaries, now is the time to educate your company about all of the possibilities. Peruse the e-tailing group’s 2020 Gifting Index and be ready to service your customers with standard features and best-in-class gifting in the coming year.  

Please click here to get your copy of the report.

Lauren Freedman is President of the e-tailing group

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