Gift wrapping and the hard sell

07Jun11

If you’re purchasing a gift for someone who lives far away, it’s hard to deny the convenience of buying that gift — complete with gift wrapping and a card — from an online retailer. Lately, though, I’ve noticed that one well-known retailer seems to be going a little overboard with pitching their gift options.

While placing an order for a few mundane items, their website presented me with gift wrap options in the shopping cart, plus at least two places during the checkout process. I even had to un-check one of those options, despite never having selected it in the first place. The repeated attempts at getting me to use the gift features made the purchasing process more cumbersome — and would surely border on infuriating for someone who accidentally selected and paid for gift wrapping.

It’s important to let customers know that you offer gift wrapping and other value-added features. But if the presentation of these services starts to feel less like a helpful reminder and more like a hard sell, then it’s probably time to be a little more conservative about how you’re delivering your message.



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