STORES Magazine - October/November 2017 - 49
From day one of GiftNow's development,
Erez says, Loop had a Duke University
psychology advisor onboard to guide the
company about the feelings customers
have about gifting.
In this age of online gift buying, he says
customers feel frustrated: While trying to
buy gifts, something major is "broken" -
the emotions attached to giving.
"Online stores were not originally
designed for shopping for someone else,"
The Loop process is meant to be
simple and quick. Once a gift is chosen,
the giver clicks the GiftNow button
and enters the recipient's email. The
recipient digitally receives the gift with
a personalized message. The gift is
opened online and can be accepted as is,
customized if necessary or exchanged
for a different present. Returns and
exchanges occur virtually, and the gift
is shipped to the address the recipient
"There is no need for the recipient
to add the gift to a cart, go through
checkout or enter a gift card code to
redeem their present," Erez says.
Loop's platform requires no changes to
a retailer's website, order management
system, payments, accounting or
inventory. The platform has full
enterprise security and it takes less
than four weeks to become a GiftNow
retailer, ready for business with minimal
GiftNow was a certified partner on
American Giant's platform, Salesforce
Commerce Cloud. "A light tech-lift was
critical to our decision and we were able
to launch with very little effort," Patchen
says, "in time for peak season."
Retailers have seen a significant increase
in year-round business by using GiftNow,
Erez says. Eliminating the shipping cutoff
date extends sales for a retailer. "This
concept allows retailers to always be open
for business," Erez says: Retailers can add
an extra 42 days of sales each year with lastminute holiday and birthday gifts.
The biggest day for gifting, surprisingly,
is not Christmas. "Birthdays are always
number one," Erez says. Many givers tend to
wait until the last minute. "Over 40 percent
of all gifts are purchased the day before all
holidays, including birthdays," he says.
Digitalizing merchandise allows a gift
to be delivered on time, followed later by
the actual gift; any product can be sent as
an e-gift. Shipping charges and taxes are
estimated without knowing the recipient's
address, and digitalized gifts can be
delivered within minutes or at a future time
specified by the giver.
The concept also increases the range
of merchandise that can be sent as a gift.
Previously, if a customer wanted to give
a pair of shoes but did not know the
recipient's size, the item would have been
eliminated as a potential gift.
Loop offers another gifting option:
Gift360 is designed for business e-gifting
to clients, colleagues and consumers for
holidays or anytime occasions.
The latest wave in technology is online
personalization, and creating a personal
connection with consumers can increase
the odds of future sales.
"Loop supports us in developing the
relationship between our brand and
our customers by channeling emotion
and excitement, rather than a singular
transaction," Patchen says. "We are
excited in the future to roll out GiftNow's
updates for customers to gift to their
recipients via new methods like text as
well as email."
Virginia-based D. Gail Fleenor has written
hundreds of articles about retail, technology and
consumer research following nearly two decades
as a supermarket research manager.
STORES October/November 2017 49