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Nordstrom launches CashStar eGifting service

Originally published by Dan O’Shea on Retail Dive.

Nordstrom is launching a new Product eGifting service from prepaid commerce solutions provider CashStar.

Dive Brief:

    Nordstrom Product eGifting Service

  • Nordstrom is launching a new Product eGifting service from prepaid commerce solutions provider CashStar which allows shoppers to send someone an email notification of a gift being purchased for them from the Nordstrom website, but allowing the recipient to pick out details like preferred color, size, model, shipping address and more.
  • CashStar describes the service as a more personal alternative to gift cards, which gift buyers can use even without direct knowledge of personal details of the individual they are buying for.
  • The intended recipient of the eGift also can change the product being purchased for them, ensuring they get what they really want.

Dive Insight:
CashStar positions Product eGifting as a way to increase sales conversion rates and reduce the likelihood that unwanted gifts will be returned. The company cited National Retail Federation data suggesting about 15% of holiday sales—or about $90 billion worth of gifts—were returned last year.

It seems like a really odd service at first glance, as it attempts to improve on the impersonal nature of gift cards by making the gift-giving process in a way even more impersonal: Buyers who don’t know much about the people they are buying for send off an e-mail, and the person getting the gift fills in all the blanks—or doesn’t even accept the intended gift and changes it to something else they really want. Getting the exact gift you want is not always the most “personal” thing: Sometimes, the thought and the process that went into the buying is what makes it personal. (Yes, we are aware how much this sounds like something from a “Very Special Christmas Episode of Whatever.”)

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