With the holidays being one of the biggest seasons for most e-commerce sites, we see a large number of creative and whimsical campaigns from our clients during November and December. And since we know that 43.7% of purchases are affected by word of mouth (BIGresearch, December 2009), it makes sense that companies would want to leverage the customer voice in their holiday promotions.  I’ve rounded up a few favorites.

Emotional stories help shoppers find heart-felt gifts

The holidays evoke all kinds of emotions, and retailers capture this with Stories campaigns. Beauty products brand Thymes asks consumers to “Share Your Holiday Tradition,” and Burt’s Bees asks shoppers, “Who Is Your Reason for Giving?” Each brand offers a chance to win a prize while honoring something or someone special for the season.   Philosophy links the holiday spirit directly with e-commerce by asking customers to ”Share your Holiday Magical Moment” and including a link to their favorite philosophy products. When a shopper reads a story they connect with, they can immediately link to the writer’s favorite products and buy them.

philosophy Stories with Social Recommendations

Urban Outfitters helps shoppers find the perfect gift

Urban Outfitters came up with the perfect way to solve any holiday gifting woe by launching Ask & Answer Holiday Edition to help UO fans give gift givers ideas for their favorite people. Customers can also link directly to the product they suggest, driving shoppers directly to purchase pages. My favorite question on the site was posted by a mom who  asked “What should I get for my 14 year old daughter?” adding that “she  likes to be a trend setter, she’s always trying something new, and our sense of style really differs.” The answers submitted are sincere, varied, and fall into many different price categories – giving the mom a plethora of choices.

Customer feedback helps givers uncover gift options

Ice.com Top Rated CategoriesCustomer reviews definitely help gift shoppers. Home décor retailer Wrapables helped its customers with a holiday-themed email featuring top-rated gifts, along with discounts on these customer faves.  Urban Retreat’s online luxury hair and beauty store, Beautique.com, sent an email focusing on products that make a woman look great in her little black dress, which included top-rated products to show shoppers which products women love best.  Ice.com has a whole category dedicated to top-rated gifts for him, her, and the top-rated overall gifts. Segmenting top-rated lists adds an even richer experience for the consumer –  if Ice.com had only featured a top-rated gift guide, none of the men’s products would be featured!

These are just a few examples from hundreds of clients; we’d love to hear how user-generated content has helped you find the perfect gifts this season! And if you’d like to see more holiday promotional ideas, click here.

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