With online holiday shopping reaching new heights, here’s a simple idea to implement now. It could help you generate a lot of business next year.
First, some eye-opening holiday shopping stats from a study Nielsen conducted for eBay:
- Five of six Americans will buy a holiday gift online.
- About two of five Americans will buy at least 20 percent of their gifts online.
- 70 percent will spend the same or more than they did last year online.
- People shop online to:
- Save time (78 percent)
- Get better pricing (51 percent)
- Have a greater selection (43 percent)
- Get easier shipping (40 percent)
- Find more personalized gifts (28 percent)
In round numbers, that’s around 167 million online gift purchases. If the average person buys two gifts, that’s over 300 million gifts. That’s a lot of online gift ordering! Let’s talk about how to grab your share of that next year.
Chances are, you already have, or can obtain from the gift buyers, the following information:
- Gift recipient’s name
- Date of purchase
- Item purchased
You want to implement this reminder program now. Customers are likely pleased with the gifts they purchased and open to messaging about next year. Below, three easy steps to set up a program.
Step 1: Send Thank-Yous and Announce a Gift Reminder Service
Right after the holidays, send email to everyone who purchased a gift from you. It should read something like this:
Thanks once again for purchasing a holiday gift from Company X. We really appreciate your business. Gift-buying can be hectic, which is why we’re proud to announce our Gift Reminder Service for next year.
About six weeks before the holiday season, we’ll send you an email reminder of the people you purchased gifts for, with specific recommendations based on past purchases and price range. We’re sure it’ll make shopping easier and more rewarding. To use this free service, click the link below.
The link contains the customer’s email address or another identifier, and is tied to all purchases. It pulls up a Web page that may look like this:
|Jennifer||Red glass heart||19.95||12/01/04||Wife||Christmas|
|Tommy||Harry Potter DVD||19.95||12/01/04||—||—|
The customer can fill in any missing info.
Step 2: Create a Gift Relationship Table
Now that you have a database populated with the pertinent information, create a table that connects past gift purchases with likely future gift purchases based on next year’s gift lineup, like this:
|SKU 19838: Football clock||Football team blankets
Football player autographed photos
Football blooper video
|SKU 20938: Red glass heart||Heart Christmas tree ornament
Scented red heart pillow
Spa gift certificate
Step 3: Craft the Reminder Messages
The final step is to create a reminder message template, like this (boldfaced items are pulled from the database or calculated):
Last year you purchased two gift items from us and signed up to receive email gift reminders. Well, the holiday season is creeping up on us again, so here’s a recap of what you purchased, for whom, and what our buyers recommend this year.
To help get a fast start on your shopping, when purchasing at least three gifts from us, we’ll throw in free shipping on all of them.
2004 Gift Purchasing Summary
Item: Red glass heart
HEART CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT
WITH JINGLE BELL
[Balance of recommendations”
CLICK TO PURCHASE A GIFT FOR JENNIFER
Pretty nifty, right?
You have plenty of time to implement this system and make it something special. It doesn’t have to just be for holiday gift-giving. As long as you capture gift information, it can be a year-round service. To get ideas for your service, check out what the folks at Personal Shopper are doing.
Next year, you’ll be in a position to recommend relevant gifts and to capture more gift buying! Keep reading…
Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.
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