Choosing the perfect Valentine’s Day gift

Alison Wiltshire

25 Jan 2022

So with Holiday Season 2021 done and dusted, your customers might well be sitting back, congratulating themselves on their perfect gift-buying while you are celebrating excellent sales. If so, well done.

Alternatively, you might be tearing your hair out dealing with a flurry of returns that shows that, despite their best efforts, your customers didn’t get their gift purchases quite right.

In the US, shoppers were expected to return up to $120 billion worth of products between Thanksgiving and the end of January, with two out of three shoppers returning at least one gift.

The likelihood is you are somewhere in between, dealing with returns that show some of the purchases weren’t quite right and wondering what on earth your business can do to make present buying easier for your customers and reduce costly returns. With Valentine’s Day looming there’s little time to waste.

The need for indulgence

According to the National Retail Federation, US Valentine’s Day 2021 saw US shoppers spend $21.8 billion on pampering loved ones with gifts; whether they were partners, pals or pets. Three-quarters of those celebrating felt it was important to do so given the current state of the pandemic. The fact that infections are still rife, may mean a similar pattern this year.

How can you help your customers share the love and get their present-buying spot on, however difficult the person they are buying for may be to please? It’s a frustrating process that can test even the most solid of relationships.

How social proof messaging helps

Real-time social proof messaging can make a huge difference to customer confidence in what they are proposing to buy.  It helps them to quickly identify bestsellers, popular and trending items. As a virtual sales associate it helps to answer the questions a customer might normally ask in-store. Such popularity and urgency messaging not only helps to inspire customers to discover the perfect gift, it gives confidence in their choices – but can also warn them when stock is getting low.

Flowers and chocolates are perfect for Valentine’s Day but shoppers may also be looking for something more personal to their partner’s hobbies or likes, which can be hard for the novice buyer.

When such social proof messaging is combined with aggregated review messaging, something that Taggstar offers through its partnership with Bazaarvoice, then such messaging is even more powerful, highlighting for example items that are rated five stars so that customers know what they are buying is the best option.

By buying right first-time consumers – and their gift recipients – are happier with their purchases, building strong loyalty that will keep your customers coming back for more as well as powerful word of mouth marketing around how helpful your site was in the buying process.

And of course the increase in conversion rate and revenue is not to be sniffed at either, with many of Taggstar’s retail customers reporting double-digit increases in conversion rates when using the technology. Importantly, social proof messaging can not only deliver results quickly but can also be implemented quickly, something Martin Bell, Ecommerce Director for Hotel Chocolat, says is vital. “The speed in which Taggstar was able to help us pivot was incredible.”

Social proof messaging is a perfect tool to help inspire weary gift buyers to discover the perfect gift  online, enabling them to make better purchasing decisions on presents that their loved ones will adore whatever the occasion, as well as a perfect way to help reduce those rates of unwanted gift returns. What’s not to love?

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