Insider tips for building a successful gift registry

Quick Tips to Maximize Last-Minute Holiday Shopping

last minute holiday shopping

We know you’ve been busier than ever, as it’s already been a long holiday gifting season. Shopping started earlier than usual this year, driven by concerns about pandemic-related product shortages and delivery delays—in fact, according to the National Retail Federation, almost 50% of customers started serious gifting activity in October.

With the busy Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday extended weekend behind us, we’re into the holiday home stretch. But believe it or not, there’s still a lot more activity to come, as December is the time we see last-minute shoppers race around looking for those perfect gifts. Some fun facts to keep in mind—and keep you energized during these final weeks of 2021:

  • Industry data from Statista suggests that as many as 15% of all customers have not even started their gift shopping yet—and others have not finished.
  • Our own data shows that almost as many wish lists will be created through the rest of the year as have been set up since the holiday season started in early October.

With all those gifts still to be bought, serving customers and fulfilling orders to meet holiday deadlines will invariably be your full-time effort. So let gift registry and wish list use be the icing on the cake for you—they can ensure gift exchange always ends with a smile. It’s your chance to be the holiday helper that saves the day. Help these customers now, and you’ll give them confidence that you can be their go-to for gifts in the future, when they may need a wedding registry, baby registry, or any-occasion wish list.

last minute holiday gifts

Some Quick Tips to Bring Last-Minute Holiday Cheer

Drop hints… lots of them. 

  • For customers who already have an existing gift registry or wish list, consider this a perfect opportunity to reconnect by reminding them their list can be put to good use as a Holiday Wish List. Encourage them to do a quick refresh, adding new favorite items that are now available and sharing their list for “holiday happy” moments.
  • For other customers, share that a Christmas Wish List is the best way to let friends and family know what they want. We’ve said this a million times before, but a wish list is the perfect solution to avoid those post-holiday returns/exchanges. Not to mention, you can guide them to gifts that are in stock and available, so delays and disappointments are prevented as well.

Beyond that, make it your top priority to deliver on the core features and benefits you already offer, from advice to amenities, services, and rewards programs—the more you instill confidence that you’re the go-to for gift shopping, the more you’ll build interest in using a gift registry or wish list in the future. All the reasons customers shop with you are also reasons to register with you, so it’s a win-win.

  • Advice: Guide customers to popular gifts that are sure to please AND have inventory on hand. They’ll appreciate your guidance. In fact, research shows you can refocus them on a “second choice” they can count on and still keep them happy.
    • In store: Suggested gifts can be visually merchandised or recapped on checklists—both are useful.
    • Online: Quick “suggested gift” lists and/or the use of visual “bursts” on product pages are helpful.
  • Amenities and services: Be sure to spotlight all you do to make any shopping experience easy, hassle free, and time saving—all the more important when customers are feeling a bit stressed and worried about those supply-chain challenges. For instance:
    • Clearly explain your shipping policies and delivery. Free shipping is always welcomed, and it’s a perfect time to remind customers of such programs as “buy online/pick up in store” and curbside pickup.
    • Any and all amenities, such as the use of a personal shopper and live chat online, are especially valued when customers feel time pressure. Overlay any other services you offer, such as gift wrap, and you relieve a lot of stress.
  • Special rewards programs: With holiday spending expected to reach $850 billion overall for November/December (up 7%+), rewards programs can quickly create lots of extra value for customers. 
    • Consider making it easier than ever to qualify for a program, or include extra points and/or other ways to meet “reward” levels more quickly.

Of course, stay in the holiday spirit, maintaining a festive look and feel in your stores, on your website, and in all your customer communications. That will make it a win-win—a merry wrap to 2021 that will position you as their gift source for any events and celebrations they plan in 2022. 

We hope your register rings big with registry sales! And don’t hesitate to reach out if we can be the elf that helps you too. We can always be reached at

Happy holidays!

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