Holiday shopping hacks go digital

Originally published by Bethany Biron on Glossy.

Retailers know holiday shopping can be a major pain, so they’re leveraging digital technologies to help consumers accelerate the process.

Holiday ShoppingBuilding upon emerging technologies that were prominent this year, such as chatbots, subscription services and mobile apps, brands are getting innovative about helping shoppers identify gifts. Here are some of the digital hacks they’re offering:

Email gifting
To mitigate the stress of selecting the perfect gift, Nordstrom is offering the opportunity for consumers to send gifts via email: Recipients are allowed to accept the offer, exchange their gift or opt out for a gift card. The effort is in partnership with CashStar Inc., a gift card provider, and part of a larger effort to bolster holiday sales amid a difficult year for the department store.

Nordstrom also launched a chatbot of its own on Wednesday, accessible through Facebook chat and the messenger service Kik. The Nordstrom bot, developed in collaboration with mobile messaging company Snaps, will be offered only through December 24 to help holiday shoppers find products and make purchases. To pinpoint perfect gifts, users are asked a series of questions, like “Where would you find this person on the weekends?” and “Which emoji relates to this person?” The bot then presents ideas that can be purchased directly through messenger.