UK Survey reveals: Quality of online gifting experience is spoiling the joy of giving this Christmas
Press Release | 9 Dec 2020
London, UK December 9, 2020: New research* released by global product and service design company Foolproof, a Zensar company, has identified that 43% of UK shoppers are shunning online Christmas gifting options offered by retailers, in favour of a lengthy and convoluted DIY process as digital experiences fall short of expectations. The insight has highlighted that shoppers are not satisfied that retail gifting options will make it easy for them to spread Christmas cheer to the loved ones they will not be able to see this year.
Chaitanya Rajebahadur (Chai), Executive Vice-president and Head of Europe, Zensar said: “During the pandemic, e-commerce has boomed in the region, and retailers have been quick to prioritise their online store models, yet online gifting remains a largely untapped opportunity. Retailers here should seize this moment to innovate and deliver a more personalised approach for their customers that creates immersive experiences for them.”
George Ioannou, Managing Partner, Foolproof added: “Customers want personalised and easy to use experiences from retailers. This is as true for gifting as it is for any retail experience. As we have seen in the constant struggle between high street and online retail, those who build meaningful connections with their customers flourish, while those that continue to ignore the needs of the consumer become obsolete.”
Research reveals over 40% of consumers are looking for a more helpful approach to Christmas gifting options from retailers, with the current experience over-complicating an already challenging festive season.
30% of UK consumers will choose to purchase gifts, wrap them themselves at home, and then send them on to the recipient via a postal service. The study also found that a further 13% of participants are doing the same with physical gift vouchers, in order for recipients to have them in time for 25th December.
These DIY processes signal that in-person and online retail isn’t making it as easy or obvious for customers to purchase gifts and have them sent to directly to the gift recipient. With many of these purchases being made online, this represents a doubling-up of packaging and delivery costs. This is money going to logistics providers and mail services, which could be captured by the retailer at the point of sale, if they could add a little more magic to the online gifting experience.
The research showed that consumer perception of the overall digital gifting journey is that gifting lags behind the experience of buying things for yourself. Of the 70% of people that have tried online gifting over the last six months, nearly 40% of respondents were unsatisfied with the online gifting experience that they have had. Personalised messaging, delivery transparency and gift wrapping being cited as pain points that need improvement.
In contrast, only 28% of those who had sent gifts directly to receivers had found the experience impressive. This underscores that retailers could be better supporting their customers’ needs and are not enhancing the current digital gifting experience quickly enough.
Foolproof believe that these results show that gift-buying is a forgotten part of a retail ecosystem. Retailers could be supporting gift-buying consumers more, by offering a digital gifting experience that better meets consumer needs, such as convenience of delivery to differing addresses, outer packaging not giving away the surprise of the gift itself, gift wrapping and improved personalised messaging options.
According to the survey, specific features UK consumers would like to see when purchasing a gift online that is to be sent directly to the receiver, include:
- a typed personal message (51%),
- having the items gift-wrapped (45%),
- notification of when the recipient had received the gift (33%).
- attaching a personally recorded video message (10%)
- resents gift-wrapped in environmentally friendly wrapping (16%).
Currently, the customer is expected to do the leg work in gifting, and this has to change. It’s time for retailers to assess and improve the effectiveness of their year-round gifting experience. By adding moments of gifting magic, such as video messaging or premium gift-wrapping, a gift can carry that moment of delight in times where physically seeing everybody you would want to is more of a challenge.
For more information about Foolproof, a Zensar company, visit www.foolproof.co.uk.