The holidays may be over but post-holiday gifts are keeping cash registers ringing. Consumers sending belated holiday gifts, redeeming gift cards (and buying add-on merchandise while they’re at it), or just enjoying those post-holiday sales are sending bodies into stores and fingers onto mobile devices. Smart retailers are doing what they can to capture these consumers, often mixing in full-priced merchandise to reap even larger benefits.
THE 13TH MONTH
Some retail chains call the end of December the 13th Month or the Second Season, based on this rising tide of returns, exchanges and add-on purchases, notes The New York Times in Christmas May be Over But Holiday Shopping is Not. The article noted that five years ago, only 5% of consumers planned to shop after Christmas, according to a Deloitte survey, but now, that number rises to 40%.
And not only did Americans buy more physical and digital gift cards in 2017 than in each of the previous three years, according to payment company First Data, but shoppers with a gift card in 2017 overspent its value by an average of $38, up $10 from last year.
Retailers also entice people to return gifts in person, as they often leave with more than they expected. This return-in-store solution also pleases consumers returning/exchanging online gifts, as many don’t have the capacity or patience to print out labels at home and deal with shipping them back.
Belated gifts also drive later sales.
According to virtual gifting company Loop Commerce, up to 51% of gifts purchased through GiftNow after Christmas have been sent as belated holiday gifts. Further, 64% of the gifts purchased were sent to recipients more than 20 miles from the gift sender. Loop Commerce also noted that these gifts were sent to recipients via text at twice the rate of pre-holiday gifts, further emphasizing the need for immediacy. The results were based on an analysis by Loop Commerce of GiftNow transactions completed between December 25th through December 29th.
Dawn Block, Target’s senior vice president of digital noted: “Gifting is an important year-round activity, and GiftNow is another great way Target can be there for guests – for both last-minute shopping and even when guests are running a little late on things. GiftNow allows Target guests to easily and instantly send gifts, which is especially handy during busy times like the holidays.”