STORES Magazine - October/November 2017 - 48
The Rise of G-Commerce
American Giant apparel harnesses the power of "right-now" giving
by D. GAIL FLEENOR
s retail continues its internetinfluenced change and customer
demand for "right now" service increases,
a new area is open for business. There is
now no reason to send a shirt that is the
wrong size or give an impersonal gift card.
Gift commerce is here, offering a new type
of personalized transaction and digitalized
merchandise. Retailers can grab last-minute
shoppers literally up to the moment before
a big day - and increase profits through
fewer merchandise returns.
American Giant, an apparel
manufacturer in the United States, sells
its merchandise online. Press is big for
the San Francisco-based company, with
Slate calling the brand's classic full zip
sweatshirt "the greatest hoodie ever
made" and Forbes labeling the company
the "new Levi Strauss."
Last year, American Giant reviewed
its options for online gifting services.
Most companies offer a traditional gift
card program, but the model was less
attractive to American Giant, according
to Jenny Patchen, director of ecommerce
operations for the company.
"We wanted our customers to have an
experience that centered on featuring
the product as a gift," Patchen says, "not
just the monetary value of the gift."
After reviewing proposals from other
companies, American Giant chose
Loop Commerce and its GiftNow
platform, which doesn't use gift cards or
certificates. "GiftNow emphasizes the
product gifted, without sacrificing the
recipient's ability to choose their size or
color," Patchen says.
Gift recipients of American Giant and
other retailers using GiftNow receive a
"package" via email containing a photo
of the present. If sizing is incorrect or
the color isn't suitable, the recipient can
make changes immediately online or
choose another item.
STORES October/November 2017
"While seasonal gifting alone was
our key use case, we are also seeing
existing customers using the platform
year-round. This is driving word-ofmouth interest and incremental sales as
well. It is also introducing our brand to
new customers," Patchen says. "Since
we launched GiftNow in late 2016, our
gifting business quickly increased."
As a percent of net revenue, it has
doubled; on Christmas Eve 2016,
Patchen says GiftNow accounted for 24
percent of site-wide sales. "The gifting
solution drove six times the revenue of
our previous gift certificate solution
from the prior year."
TYING THE LOOP
Loop designed its GiftNow system to
allow retailers to sell gifts online without
sizing, ship without an address and
sell past any shipping cut-off date. The
gifting is possible because "merchandise
is digitalized," says Roy Erez, CEO of
The business officially started in 2012,
although Erez began working on it a
year prior. "Our vision was and is for
GiftNow to be an everyday option in
a few years," he says. He believed that
retailers could use GiftNow to reap more
sales by offering the concept to hold more
customers on their site, rather than lose
shoppers to the great unknowns: address,
size and colors.
"When our company was in its infancy,
we thought it was insane to believe there
was no way to just buy a gift online
without needing all the information, like
sizes and address," Erez says.
Gift cards have no emotional surprise,
something consumers want in a gift.