«  View All Posts

Ecommerce Best Practices|Online Shopping Trends

The 12 Days of Gift Guides

December 13th, 2016 | 6 min. read

The 12 Days of Gift Guides Blog Feature

Zmags Blog Author

Sharing perspectives on the latest trends and tips to help eCommerce brands stay ahead to engage and drive revenue.

Print/Save as PDF

To kick off the holiday season, we're launching our 12 Days of Gift Guides - a celebration of retail's best holiday gift guides. Check in daily through December 13th for our favorite experiences that combine creative + engaging rich content with smart shoppability. Tis the season!

{Day 12}

Nordstrom did a fantastic job incorporating animations into their gift guide. A beautiful top banner glides through colorful and graphic winter scenes. And the pop-up book theme is spot-on and completely on-brand. Scroll down to a scene-slider targeting a variety of personalities, from The Traveler to The Gym Class hero. Because it's such a busy time of year, we’d love to see each personality scene include clickable quickviews for fast shopping. And linking out to an interactive experience instead of a flat product grid will make the transition less of a jolt. The gift guide is absolutely gorgeous, and this should carry through the entire user experience. 

{Day 11} Boot Barn

This is another great example of how integrating quickviews can elevate the shopping experience. Customers can easily click the plus sign (with a great rollover effect) to activate the quickview and add to cart. Without this feature, they would be searching through product grids and lose the inspirational moment. We love their use of country music star Kelsea Ballerini in the experience, providing inspiration and context for the beautiful clothes and shoes. Her presence gives the experience a point of view, and it’s a great way to connect with their customers. But the experience is flat - it’s still missing that level of interactivity that sends experiences over the edge. Gifs and animations will make this gift guide more engaging and dynamic. 

{Day 10} Murad

Murad’s gift guide focuses on making their customer’s shopping list a little shorter, by providing a variety of easy finds for those tricky relatives and friends. From that cousin who practically lives at the gym, to your mom who needs to spoil herself, the experience breaks down exactly what should be in their stocking stuffers. Murad coordinated this campaign page with their Facebook and Instagram digital ad campaigns to drive even more revenue and visibility. Each category links out to additional products, and checking out is easy with clickable images. 

{Day 9} Henri Bendel

Henri Bendel takes a playful approach to the buying guide with a “Shop by Personality” experience, featuring unique gift collections for the Chic Girl, The Sporty Girl, the Quirky Girl, the Glamourous Girl, and the Fashionista. Each collection is completely shoppable via quickviews, as well as a product gallery below the slider. The only thing missing is something to indicate to customers that all of the items are shoppable. This is a creative and engaging style of gift guide that is perfect for the holidays, but can also stand on its own year round.

{Day 8} Aritzia

This is an incredible example of how integrating gifs and videos can make an experience exciting and immediately pull you into the brand vibe. They let the customers see how the clothes wear and move, while making the experience fun and unique. They also break the gifts down by personality – Party Hopper, Class Act, and more. Click on one and you’re taken to a product grid, but the continuing use of gifs keep it from feeling sale and expected. The experience is effortless, interactive, and personable. That said, switching from one personality to the next feels like a traditional commerce filter, as does the layout. To maintain their inspirational vibe, they should switch out the grid format and for a lifestyle format that is effortlessly shoppable. 

{Day 7} Tiffany & Co

We love the use of quickviews and navigation in this experience. The photography is beautiful, effortlessly representing the elegant Tiffany’s brand, and featuring the quickviews allows customers to add to bag without having to leave them on the desktop experience. What makes it even better is how users can navigate themselves from one banner image to another without having to scroll through the experience. Adding another level of interactivity through gifs or roll over effects would make it perfect. Tiffany's also has a great "Drop a hint" feature, allowing sneaky users to send a personalized email to their significant other that links to the product they secretly want. The feature lets you ask for that bangle bracelet without actually having to ask for it, and the gift giver can feel confident that they're getting you exactly what you want. Win-win! 

{Day 6} Tibi

The holidays usually translate to a schedule packed with office holiday parties, New Year’s Eve celebrations, and family traditions… which then translates to a whole new wardrobe. Tibi’s holiday guide lets customers do a little shopping for themselves, and lets them easily peruse everything they’ll need for the holiday season. The clickable top banner features beautiful gift inspiration by category, making navigation through the experience seamless. From festive cocktail dresses to cozy cashmere sweaters, to the perfect party heels, Tibi has you covered. Because when you’re busy getting that perfect gift for everyone else in your life, there’s no shame in buying a little something for yourself too. 

{Day 5} Lucky Brand

This guide takes the guessing out of your holiday shopping with a fun and unique quiz. Answer a quick five questions (because who has time for anything longer?) and discover your gif-tee’s persona. From Explorer to Homebody, Lucky Brand provides a selection of gifts for each. The messaging and graphics are perfectly on-brand with their rustic vibes, and it’s a genuinely entertaining experience. With results for both men and women, it’s a great way to guide customers towards the perfect gift. But, it's a jarring switch from the fun, inspiring quiz to a sterile product grid - an intermediary will ease the transition process. We recommend a dedicated shoppable landing page for each category that keeps customers in the mindset of the personality. 

{Day 4} Godiva

There are so many things we love about this holiday gift guide. For starters, you know exactly how many items Godiva showcasing by the title – ten items. You aren’t scrolling through an endless category page with no end in sight. Godiva then presents gifts for everyone on your list in a visually appealing way.  With gifts for him, her, party hosts, kids, family friends, and more, all the beautiful images activate integrated quickviews for an easy purchase. The only thing we’d change is make the image quickview icons more visible as they can easily get lost. This is a great gift guide for rapid-fire Christmas shopping, letting customers buy for everyone on their list quickly and easily – without ever leaving the experience. When you’re strapped for time (like everyone is around the holidays) an efficient and intuitive shoppable experience can be a lifesaver. 

{Day 3} Madewell

This buying guide has a little bit of everything – adorable gifs to add an element of surprise and fun, staff picks to steer customers in the right direction, and quickviews to enable purchases within the experience. It’s easy to navigate and genuinely fun to peruse - and of course there is a generous helping of glitter. We love this experience for its fun, on-brand presentation, but would like to have seen a departure from the standard product grid layout to have more of an inspirational vibe. 

{Day 2} Brahmin

When you’re scrambling for the perfect gift, advice is always welcome – and it’s even better when it comes from an expert source. That’s why we love Brahmin’s holiday gift guide, featuring commentary and recommendations from fashion bloggers like Sai De Silva and Meagan Brandon. Customers will feel confident that the handbag they bought for their ahead-of-the-trend fashionista friend is just right, and quickviews make it easy to purchase the moment inspiration hits. An added bonus? Customers can take a look at the bloggers’ full outfits for some styling guidance. 


{Day 1} Aerosoles

Aerosoles didn’t just make a gift guide; they show a day in the life of their customer at the holidays and how Aerosoles naturally fits into it. It’s not about the features or shoe specs; it’s about a lifestyle, making a purchase a no-brainer. They even added mock-social campaigns that a customer can ‘like’ or share. Everything is shoppable via quickviews, so it’s not a stressful shopping experience. The icing on the cake? It looks even better on mobile. How often can we say that?!