It’s October, and you know what that means. The countdown to get your stores ready for the holiday season is on.

What is often dubbed the „the most wonderful time of the year” is also a time that’s fraught with stress for many. Gift shopping and finding the right presents is still one of the biggest pain points. Most of your customers will start searching for gifts early and eventually buy in 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 Young 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.

gift shopping stress

When it comes to gift shopping, customers want brands and retailers to be more proactive and assistive

A report by SMARTASSISTANT labeled ‘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

Statistics have been very encouraging of late for e-commerce companies: the 2017 holiday shopping season showed the largest growth since 2011. And although growth is likely to slow in 2018, the early consensus is that it will remain solid.

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 seamless as possible for their customers.

Creating a great 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.

gift finder demo smartassistant

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.

As you can see from this graph from Statista, almost $15 billion was spent from Thanksgiving up to Cyber Monday on the 26th November – So your preparations need to start now in order to take advantage of the week that begins on 22nd of November.

holiday sales stats
Statista: Holiday season retail e-commerce sales in the United States in 2017, by online shopping day (in billion U.S. dollars)

So, get started building your gift finder today!

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