Today, RSR Research revealed the results of a benchmarking report entitled, “The Digital Divide: Digital Gifting Among Top Internet Retailers.” RSR analyzed the Internet Retailer Top 100, a list of the top 100 online retailers, and rated each on their digital gift card offering, using 20 critical criteria. The criteria focused on the comprehensiveness of the offering and the selection, purchase and recipient experience. The study focused on digital gift card purchases made in July 2010.CashStar, a market leading digital gifting and incentives company, sponsored the research.
Based on the evaluation criteria, the retailers with the highest overall scores and therefore the most comprehensive digital gift card offering are:
- The Home Depot
- CVS Caremark
- American Eagle Outfitters
- Sears Holding Corp.
Only 50 of the Top 100 Internet retailers offered digital gift cards. Of the 50 who did, there were some surprising misses. This was mostly from retailers whose digital gift card offering didn’t match their brand promise or who miss an opportunity because their younger, tech-savvy target audience is a natural fit for digital gift cards. The biggest digital gifting misses include:
- Sony Style has a “high-tech” brand image, but does not offer digital gift cards
- Apple offers a lot of interesting capabilities through iTunes, but if you’re not already into digital music, digital gift cards are impossible to find
- Urban Outfitters, which trends younger in its customer base, misses out on the digital gift card opportunity completely
- Victoria’s Secret sends email offers to the purchaser – sometimes up to two emails each day, which could be perceived as ‘spam’
“Gift cards are such an important retail staple, yet many retailers’ offerings have not evolved to keep up with the changing needs of today’s consumer. We were surprised that gift card offerings were often hard to find, difficult to navigate, and lacked follow-through for both the sender and the recipient,” said Nikki Baird, RSR Research analyst and co-author of the report. “This is an enormous missed opportunity for retailers, especially as we enter the most critical gifting season of the year.”
“With the holiday season fast approaching, retailers should look at every touch point of their online gift card experience through the eyes of their customers. There are so many areas along the purchase path where retailers have significant opportunity, which could result in money left on the table, as well as dissatisfied customers,” commented CashStar CEO David Stone. “Retailers simply cannot afford to miss this enormous and obvious gifting opportunity.”
To obtain a full copy of the report with the evaluation criteria, please email . To see how your site stacks up against RSR’s criteria, schedule a time for a free evaluation at the CashStar booth (#115) at the Shop.org Annual Summit taking place September 27-29 in Dallas.
About RSR Research
Retail Systems Research (“RSR”) is the only research company run by retailers for the retail industry. RSR provides insight into business and technology challenges facing the extended retail industry, and thought leadership and advice on navigating these challenges for specific companies and the industry at large. RSR’s services include benchmark reports covering the state of retailer technology adoption for topics ranging from merchandising and supply chain, store operations and workforce management, to customer-facing and multi-channel technologies. Custom research reports provide more in-depth views into topics of industry interest, and advisory services help retailers and technology vendors make the most of the insights RSR provides. To learn more about RSR, visit www.rsrresearch.com.
About CashStar, Inc. CashStar is the preferred digital gifting and incentives partner for retailers nationwide. These retail brands leverage CashStar to easily and securely integrate digital gifting strategies to increase sales and customer loyalty. CashStar offers consumers an unmatched personalized eGift experience via email, mobile and social channels. It is the only company to successfully combine an on-demand B2C and B2B digital gifting and incentives platform with innovative multichannel marketing strategies. More than 250 brands are successfully partnering with CashStar to drive incremental sales, increase retention and boost profitability including Best Buy, Chili’s Grill & Bar, CVS/pharmacy, Gap, Pottery Barn, QVC, Staples, Starbucks, T.G.I. Friday’s, The Home Depot, and Williams-Sonoma. To learn more about how CashStar is constantly innovating the way businesses deliver personalized gifting experiences to consumers and partners in the digital world, please visit www.cashstar.com or e-mail .
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