Festive Hacks 4: Personalised digital gifting – yes please!

Whose is this then?GiftNow from Loop Commerce is a godsend to anyone who a) cannot remember the clothes sizes of their nearest and dearest; b) cannot remember the favourite colours of their nearest and dearest; c) doesn’t really know their nearest and dearest at all actually. It was designed to make online shopping workable for gifting, something that wasn’t previously the case.

What’s the hack? A present buyer can either shop the range on the GiftNow site or look out for the GiftNow button on other retailer’s sites. Either way, once purchase is completed, news of the gift is delivered via email or text message to the lucky recipient who has the opportunity to customise the order before it is finalised.

So if you (bad husband) mis-remembered that pink was the colour of choice when in fact it was black it can be altered before shipping with no hard feelings. Shipping addresses can also be easily changed and the whole process can be scheduled up to a year in advance so stack up the next five important family birthdays now and then sit back and collect the brownie points.

Advantages? For retailers this is a no-brainer. It should in theory cut down a fair bit on the endless, costly, unsustainable and generally grinding business of dealing with returned goods as the end consumer has at least had a fair shot at saying what they actually want. And if it turns out that the present giver does have even the actual item totally wrong the recipient can exchange the gift across the whole GiftNow network of stores and brands.

There will therefore be no more fake joy so everyone can stop practising their overjoyed acceptance faces in front of the mirror right now.

More advantages? It’s way more personal than a voucher or gift card – it shows the person has narrowed the gift down and was at least vaguely listening when their life partner said they wanted a hat more than a jumper. And potentially the donor need never again sheepishly say “The receipt’s in the bag in case you don’t like it”.

Plus, for the lucky recipient, no hassle of returning an unwanted, unloved present or worse gifts consigned to the bottom drawer of shame. The giftee gets to open a digital gift box on the site which is nearly as exciting as opening a real one if the number of people who watch other people open boxes of things on YouTube is anything to go by…

The GiftNow people have ordered everything into easily navigable collections and if an item is now on sale meaning that the original donor overpaid then the difference will be given as credit. If the opposite then the gift will only appear as a suggestion and one can either just spend the money elsewhere or top up – depending on how desired the gift is!

Let’s talk location. Ah, the Achilles heel for the UK customer. It is only available in the States at the moment. But fingers crossed it may emerge over here at some point as I know a few people who could benefit.