Shoes have long been a beloved — and, of course, necessary — staple in everyone’s closet. But when it comes to spreading that love during holidays and special occasions, footwear — because of challenges with sizing and fit — hasn’t always sat high on the list of giftable items.
Loop Commerce, via its GiftNow platform, is looking to change that.
The service allows users to purchase footwear and other hard-to-give gifts online without knowing the recipient’s size, preferred item color or shipping address.
It also takes care of a key concern when it comes to online gifting: Users no longer have to worry about catching shipping cutoffs for key holidays or special occasions because their gift arrives to recipients right away, electronically.
The gift-giver selects a style and enters the recipient’s email address along with a personalized message, and the recipient digitally receives the message and gift and can customize it or exchange it before it ships.
So far, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue are among the retailers that have added the platform to their websites. Brands such as Coach, Urban Decay and American Giant have also picked up GiftNow. According to the Loop Commerce website, one unidentified retailer found that GiftNow accounted for 24 percent of its sales on Christmas Day, after shipping cutoff.
Ron Offir, former president of e-commerce at The Jones Group and Loop Commerce investor, said he was drawn to throw capital behind the business because he could sense that it would be a hit for both consumers and fashion firms.
“I lived in a world — especially when I was the president of e-commerce at The Jones Group where we had brands like Nine West, Jones New York, Anne Klein and Stuart Weitzman — where we were oftentimes left out of a nice chunk of the holiday gift-giving excitement,” Offir, who now owns and runs his own retail consulting firm, explained.
In the past, footwear brands would avoid speaking directly to the idea of gifting, according to Offir, because it was such a tough sell as a gift item.
“We sort of pivoted our communication and talked about, how do we inspire fans of the brands to get ready for the holiday in the way that they dress themselves,” Offir added.
Oh, how the tides have turned.