What value do gift finders add for online retailers?

Gift finders can guide customers through the retail process, making it quick and easy to find relevant items. It’s like having a personal shopper do the hard work.

They can also increase basket size by suggesting add-ons or showcasing higher value items.

Director and co-founder of digital agency Smack Aalia Walker, says: “Sifting through 1,574,811 listings for headphones on Amazon for a Christmas present last month resulted in me walking to the nearest store and purchasing the first headphones recommended to me by the sales assistant.

“The agony of choice or choice overload is increasingly putting off online shoppers.”

The Body Shop’s online gift finder, which it rolled out for Christmas last month, aimed to combat this.

It allowed users to choose a gift to suit tastes, budgets, and fragrance preferences.

The initiative was such a success that it has since been rolled out internationally for seasonal campaign pushes, from Mother’s Day to Eid.

Walker believes that more retailers should consider following this lead, because gift buying certainly is not just for Christmas.

In fact, customers spend nearly double their typical Christmas spend of £499 annually on birthdays and other celebrations, at an average of £850 per person.

Any retailer ignoring this is “missing a trick”, says Walker.

“With a typical online retailer showcasing thousands of products, a tool that allows customers to narrow items down by price range, colour, style, taste or trend, can help cut through the noise,” she explains.

And with 87% of 18- to -24-year-olds wanting brands to entertain, inform and inspire them – carrying that millennial desire for speedy gratification – it’s clear that the right gift finder can reap great rewards, for both the retailer and the customer.