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The Usability Blog
A Practical Guide to User Experience Insights

Gift Card Redemption Can Make or Break Your Online Sales Momentum

Customer Experience Leader Usability Sciences Helps Retailers Optimize Online Functionality to Prepare for Post Holiday Activity

DALLAS, TX, November 27, 2007 — With gift cards expected to be the top gift purchase this holiday season, online retailers not prepared to proficiently handle post-holiday online card redemptions risk losing current and future customers.

“The post-holiday season, following Christmas and extending through January, is known for being an active gift card redemption period,” wrote Sucharita Mulpuru of Forrester in her October 2007 report, “Outlook For US Online Retail: Holiday 2007”. “Online retailers that are ready to capture those customers will likely be able to maintain relatively strong sales, in spite of the traditional 1Q seasonal dip.”

Eric Feige, general manager of Usability Sciences, has compiled consumer data showing that eCommerce technology problems at check-out inevitably lead consumers to shop elsewhere. “Our history of conducting quantitative user research through our Attitudinal Analytics® solution has shown that many retail eCommerce sites do not easily allow consumers to use gift cards for partial or full payment,” remarked Feige. “Online shopping analysis showed that deficient gift card redemption support during the check-out process resulted in abandonment and was the top source of customer experience failure.”

Feige stressed that now is the time for online retailers to review online gift-card redemption processes to ensure a positive customer experience in the post-holiday period. “Although changes to eCommerce sites are generally locked down through the purchasing rush, retailers have an opportunity now to improve the customer experience for gift-card redemption,” he said.

“With only 15% to 20% of site visitors having an intent to purchase online during the season,” he explained, “successful fulfillment of their intent translates to increased purchase amounts, a positive customer experience, and a 60% to 70% likelihood to return and purchase online again.”

About Usability Sciences:

For nearly 20 years Usability Sciences has been helping clients discover the intents, attitudes and behaviors of their customers so they can leverage the power of their online presence across all customer channels. Hundreds of the largest global multi-national, multi-channel companies have chosen Usability Sciences to increase sales and conversion rates, improve brand loyalty, and differentiate themselves from competitors.

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