E-gift your love this holiday
Nordstrom shoppers can e-mail gift for recipient to accept, alter or exchange.
Nordstrom Inc., fighting to stay relevant with consumers who are shifting their spending online, is letting shoppers digitally send their presents this holiday season.
The upscale retailer has partnered with gift-card provider CashStar Inc. to let customers e-mail specific items from the retailer’s website to people on their holiday lists. Recipients can accept the items that appear in their inboxes and have them shipped to their doors, exchange the merchandise for something else or accept the value as a gift card.
“As far as gifting goes, there’s this balance of convenience and thoughtfulness, and we’re going to continue to strive to help the customer navigate that,” Sean Burrow, director of gift card at Seattlebased Nordstrom, said in an interview.
Nordstrom is testing the e-gifting platform on its full-line website, Burrow said. The retailer expects the feature to be useful year-round. Nordstrom’s gift-card sales are increasing across all channels and have been exceeding the company’s overall growth rate, Burrow said.
Nordstrom is betting the new option will set it apart from mall-based rivals and help it win over last-minute shoppers who are looking for convenience. Gift cards topped the list of most-requested items by consumers for the 10th year in a row, according to the National Retail Federation. Still, almost half of buyers said they were reluctant or unwilling to buy gift cards because they’d rather wrap up something more personal, according to surveys by Portland, Maine-based CashStar.
CashStar plans to offer e-gifts through other retail partners. One benefit they’re touting to retailers is a chance to reduce returns. About 15 percent of total holiday sales, or $90 billion in goods, were returned last year, according to the NRF. In addition to losing a sale, returns create headaches and expenses for retailers that have to process those goods and determine which can be resold — often at a discounted price.
To compete with online shopping, Nordstrom is offering to let customers e-mail gift items from their website. Recipients can accept or exchange.