Choosing the perfect gift can be hard — for the giver, for the recipient (who may not always like the gift, but must be gracious all the same) and for the retailer from whom the gift was purchased, who will likely have to process the return when the recipient decides he or she would rather have something else.
Target wants to make the process a little easier for everyone with the introduction of its GiftNow button for online shoppers. The button allows shoppers browse, buy and virtually send an e-gift, including specifying the date of receipt — but only a virtual version of the gift will be sent until the recipient has seen it and confirmed that the item should be shipped.
If the recipient needs a different size or color, or simply would prefer a different gift altogether, that exchange can be made before any resources are wasted sending the item he or she doesn’t want. The giver is never alerted to the change, either, since the recipient is simply reapplying money already spent on a different purchase.
Everyone benefits from the GiftNow option. Gift givers can choose something personalized and feel they have truly shopped for their loved ones rather than just giving a loaded gift card. Recipients are guaranteed a gift that they truly want and like, and in the correct size and color.
In addition, Target doesn’t have to waste time or resources on unnecessary shipping or processing returns. Annually, merchandise returns cost retailers in the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars, and the big box retailer has found a way to bow out of a large chunk of those losses.
Loop Commerce, which powers GiftNow for Target, Macy’s, Coach, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, told PYMNTS that GiftNow enables retailers to expand their catalogs to categories that were not traditionally giftable — such as shoes — by eliminating the challenge of buying the correct size.
Loop believes this approach could help retailers hold their ground in a season that is increasingly dominated by Amazon, purely because of convenience.