In June I attended a retail panel discussion at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). One of the panelists was Monika Kochhar, CEO and founder of SmartGift. Monika and her unique concept and service offering got my attention.
How many times do we ask ourselves, “I want to get a special gift for that special person – what should I buy?” Birthdays, graduations, anniversary, weddings, or just because. The giver sometimes faces anxiety, “Will I make a good choice? Do I really know what my special someone wants? Easier to just purchase a gift card and call it a day.” Certainly a nice thought and appreciated but not that creative, individual or special. Taking that extra step and actually buying a gift has its drawbacks. Never do I send something without a gift receipt, putting the onus on the recipient to return it to the store or pack it up for on-line return if for whatever reason the gift is just not right.
SmartGift transforms that process with its conversational, P2P gifting tech. People can send gifts from participating merchants to each other by text, email, whatsapp, messenger; anyway they naturally communicate. The gift recipients open their presents interactively by swiping off the merchant branded digital gift wrap. They then have the option to customize their gift – pick a size, color, other product preferences or exchange the gift for something else before it is ever shipped. It’s a win-win for everyone. There are negligible returns for the retailer, the gift giver has designed a memorable and immersive experience and the lucky recipient gets exactly what they want. The receiver can send a personalized thank you note and share on social media. Perfect for our connected generation. Retailers can tap into previously unknown gifting data down to the SKU level and utilize SmartGift as a product marketing platform. Think of Christmas all year long; retailers can continue to connect with their customers in meaningful ways that go beyond just giving holiday discounts.
Gift cards will always be available but in our experiential culture, SmartGift has opened up new and compelling possibilities. SmartGift is just that – smart and sensible. I’m confident that customized and personalized gift giving will be a major retail trend for 2018.
What do think of the concept?