November 19, 2009, 12:00 AM

New online gift cards help The Container Store better target customers

The multichannel retailer this week began offering online gift cards that allow it to track and analyze shopping behavior of consumers and offer more personalized recommendations.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce


Multichannel retailer The Container Store this week began offering online gift cards that allow it to track and analyze the shopping behavior of consumers and offer more personalized recommendations.


The cards are from gift card vendor CashStar. Consumers can choose from several designs, the amount of the gift and the day and time they wish to deliver the card via e-mail. Recipients can then print the cards and use them online or in stores.


The Container Store says it can track and analyze all online shopping behavior tied to the cards and will use the data to gain insight and create personalized recommendations to help drive traffic and increase sales.


For example, if a gift card recipient uses her card to buy travel items, the Container Store might promote other travel-related items via e-mail or recommend such items the next time she visits the site. The online gift card program also offers location information about shoppers, which will allow The Container Store to promote local store events, such as demonstrations or charitable partnerships with local non profits, a spokeswoman says.


“While other retailers are cutting back their investment in new technologies, we see this as an ideal time to invest in consumer-facing programs that will enhance the level of service we provide,” says Lucy Witte, vice president of direct marketing and media at The Container Store. “Now, our customers will have the option of purchasing online gift cards that can be delivered to the recipient immediately-just in time for the holiday gifting season.”


The cards also allow The Container Store to add offers for both the sender and the recipient. During the holidays, for example, customers who purchase gift cards with special Give One, Get One logos will receive a $25 card for every $100 worth of gift cards they purchase.


The Container Store is No. 295 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. (A PDF version of the company’s financial and operating profile can be ordered by clicking on its name.)



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