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Holiday solutions guide 2014

12 challenges people face during the holidays and the brands and retailers delivering solutions.

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Holiday solutions guide 2014

  2. 2. | ‹#› Many people have a LOVE HATE relationship with the HOLIDAYS
  3. 3. | ‹#› Schedules are packed Traveling can be nuts Budgets tend to get blown Family dynamics can be strained Lines can be long Entertaining can be tiring Shipping can get delayed & Gift giving can feel like an endless maze
  4. 4. | ‹#› And yet….
  5. 5. | ‹#› The look on a kid’s face makes it all worthwhile
  6. 6. | ‹#› Even still….
  7. 7. As we produce our own version of the holidays | ‹#›
  8. 8. | ‹#› We could all use a little empathy and inspiration during this time of year
  9. 9. We Need More Than a Gift Guide Stating | ‹#› This is cool Here are the features Buy this Here are the benefits Buy that This is new They will love this
  10. 10. Customers need comprehensive | ‹#› holiday solutions that deal with the dynamics of our everyday lives
  11. 11. With information about the | ‹#› retailers, brands and companies that can help
  12. 12. | ‹#› The average person celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and/or Kwanza will spend about $804.42 this year. Up 5% from last year.
  13. 13. | ‹#› How are dollars being spent?
  14. 14. | ‹#› Babysitter, Pets, etc. $30.43 Decorations $53.68 Food $104.74 Friends $80.00 Co-Workers $26.23 Family $459.87 Greeting Cards $29.18 Flowers $20.30 The Breakdown
  15. 15. | ‹#› This leads to a lot of juggling on top of every day responsibilities
  16. 16. Especially given the average consumer | ‹#› engages with 11.4 pieces of information before a purchase
  17. 17. | ‹#› Welcome to the Holiday Solutions Guide
  18. 18. | ‹#› Here’s what you can expect
  19. 19. | ‹#› 12 Customer Challenges Will Be Covered. Including…
  20. 20. | ‹#› Holiday Cards Put Me Over the Edge Nothing to Wear Time Pressed Auntie & Uncle Give Something Memorable to my Family Prefer to Buy from a List It’s Been a Tough Year Not (Physically) Together This Holiday How Can I Give the Gift of an Experience? Give Gifts That Give Back or Donate to a Much Needed Cause? Gifts that Keep on Giving? Other Ways to Search Online? A Little Strapped for Cash
  21. 21. | ‹#› What’s next? 3 easy columns
  22. 22. | ‹#› Signed, A Customer Holiday Challenge Solutions, options and resources to help the customer with their holiday challenge. A special something about the resources covered. More info: Clickable links to retailers, companies and solutions. The challenge facing the customer.
  23. 23. | ‹#› Let’s get started! (Oh! Now would be a good time to make your screen full size)
  24. 24. | ‹#› Signed, Time Pressed Auntie & Uncle Leave it to the Mouse House to add magic to monetized plastic. offers a few different options for gift cards that make giving and receiving fun. Upload your own photo, add a message and send the personalized gift card in a greeting card. It can be used at Disney Stores across the U.S., online at, as well as select locations at Walt Disney World® Resort, Disneyland® Resort and Disney Cruise Line®. Need it to be emailed instead? For instant delivery to any valid email address, choose the Online Gift Card. Online Gift Cards may only be used at You can also send a Free Video message with your gift to let the recipient know how much you love and miss them. More info: “We’ve been working non-stop and have little time to pick out something for our 5 year old niece and 6 year old nephew who live out of state. Any way to make gift cards more fun for kids in this age range? Any ideas welcome!” Signed, Time Pressed Auntie & Uncle
  25. 25. | ‹#› Signed, Holiday Cards Might Put Me Over the Edge Option 1: Photo or no photo, Costco or Vista Print offers cards for under $1.00 each. Costco offers warehouse pick up or mail delivery. Order a personalized photo gift for the grandparents when you place your card order with options ranging from ornaments to photo books to calendars. For even more design options across a wider price range check out Tiny Option 2: Tons of digital card sites are available if you prefer to create and share a digital greeting: Pic Monkey, Paperless Post, Jib Jab or Just Wink. Option 3: In the true spirit of the holidays, IKEA has been selling boxed UNICEF cards since 1988 and donates $1 to UNICEF for every box sold (only seen in stores). Paper Culture embraces an eco, sustainable business model. They pledge not to cut down any new trees. Option 4: Skip the cards entirely and pick up the phone. Hearing someone’s voice is a great way to connect if you can’t be together face to face. Take the time to call people to wish them Season’s Greetings. You can send greeting cards from your phone using the Just Wink app and also have the option of including a gift card. Paperless Post features a range of designs using their app with both online and paper delivery options. Interested to see a Top Ten Review of various photo card sites? Head to Top Ten Photo Card Reviews where Tiny Prints takes the honor as top spot. The Vista Print & Tiny Prints coupon codes featured on their catalogs don’t expire until the very end of December. Need labels? Check out the Avery Label link. PS: Avery will print labels of all kinds and ship them to you under the new WePrint service. Who needs printer toner! More info: Top Ten Photo Card Reviews Costco Vista Print Paper Culture Ikea (only seen in stores) Pic Monkey Paperless Post Just Wink Jib Jab Avery “I wasn’t organized enough to get my family coiffed, outfitted and smiling for a beach photo session this year (or any year) but want to look at some card options before I take a hall pass altogether.” Signed, Holiday Cards Might Put Me Over the Edge
  26. 26. | ‹#› Signed, Nothing to Wear Option 1: If you live near a Nordstrom, call to book an appointment with one of their Personal Stylists. This service is FREE and the Stylist can have everything waiting for you when you arrive. The appointment will take 30 or 60 minutes depending on the scope of the request. Option 2: Only have 15 minutes? Order some festive bling from Charming Charlie to kick up your basic blacks with a statement necklace or pair of new earrings. Charming Charlie is known for offering affordable accessories in every imaginable color. Option 3: Check out Tipsy Elves, Rusty Zipper, eBay or hit up your local second hand store to buy the most festive holiday sweater you can find. People will appreciate the lit up snowman or dancing reindeer across your chest. Nordstrom and Charming Charlie also offer great gift options for other people on your list too both in stores and online. More info: Nordstrom Personal Stylists Tipsy Elves Rusty Zipper Ebay “I have some holiday parties coming up with no time to shop and don’t want to recycle last year’s go-to outfit.” Signed, Nothing to Wear
  27. 27. | ‹#› Signed, Prefer to Buy From a List Find out if the gift recipients in your life have wish lists online. Many sites have wish list programs such as, and For the beauty products and make-up fans, ask if they have a LOVES list on with a list of all of their favorites. Amazon has a Universal Wish List button where you can add items from other websites to your Amazon Wish List. Toys R Us has a Wish List App where you can scan in store items to your Wish List and share with friends and family. When you create a new Wish List at TRU before November 26th you are automatically entered to win a $1,000 gift card. More info: “My family is growing and spread out across the country. I would love to be able to purchase items from a list to be sure to get the kids/teens in the family what they want and have it delivered on time for the holidays. I also want to know that others aren’t getting them the same thing so they won’t have the hassle of returning something.” Signed, Prefer to Buy From a List
  28. 28. | ‹#› Signed, Want to Give Something Memorable to my Family Heritage Cookbook is a custom cookbook site out of Canada I discovered through putting together a cookbook of my Mom’s recipes. They offer a wide range of cookbook options where you can easily add photos, recipes, and quotes to capture your memories. The site is very user friendly. Various family members can even add recipes virtually from wherever they are located. You can choose from a variety of templates or upload your own custom cover. Minimum order is only four cookbooks. It takes about 10-15 business days to print and about a week to ship via Fed Ex. Even if you give people a picture of the “Coming Soon” book during the holidays, it makes a special keepsake. Heritage Cookbook is top notch in customer service. Virginie was a huge help throughout the entire process. Heritage Cookbook includes a bonus copy with your cookbook shipment and kindly suggests you donate it to your local library. How cool is that! More info: “I want to celebrate our family’s holiday traditions, recipes and stories but am not exactly a DIY Pinterest-ninja. Any ideas?” Signed, Want to Give Something Memorable to my Family
  29. 29. | ‹#› Signed, It’s Been a Tough Year It’s understandable if you don’t feel up to socializing during the holidays like you did before. Try to use the holiday windows as opportunities to enhance your mood through music, laughter and volunteerism. Sometimes putting together a music compilation on iTunes lifts the spirits during an otherwise tough situation or buying a CD from Best Buy for those that prefer that route. Laughter is another great way to naturally bring people together. Research your favorite comedian to see if they have a download of their best performances on Netflix or better yet catch a live comedy show. Giving to others or volunteering is a proven way to lift the spirits. Look into the local chapters of national organizations you are interested in or call your local church to see how you can help. YouTube is also a fantastic place to research funny comedy routines and clips from concerts. More info: iTunes Best Buy Netflix Huffington Post Giving & Volunteer Links YouTube “I recently lost my spouse. I don’t want to isolate from the rest of my family but am having a hard time feeling inspired. Any suggestions?” Signed, It’s Been a Tough Year
  30. 30. | ‹#› Signed, A Little Strapped for Cash this Holiday Season Option 1: If you have been collecting spare coins at home all year head to your local Coin Star vending machine and cash in coins for popular gift cards or eCertificates. NO FEES. Some kiosks even take bills. Don’t have any spare coins but have gift cards you want to turn in instead? If you have a gift card with a minimum balance of $20, you can turn gift cards into cash for a fee. Option 2: Do you have an accumulation of credit card points? With their Shop with Points program, Amazon allows you to pay using select credit card points across millions of products (certain restrictions apply). Option 3: Give the gift of time. A visit, a phone call, a letter and sharing your time mean the most. Always look for sales and special offers during this time of year. Be aware of expiration dates but always search for Promo Codes, Coupon Codes and Special Offers before you hit the stores or shop online. Even if you don’t use coupons all year long, this is the season offers are readily (searchable) and available. More info: Shop with Points “I was out of work for a couple of months this year and am afraid I don’t have the extra cash needed for the holidays. What are some tips that might help?” Signed, A Little Strapped for Cash this Holiday Season
  31. 31. | ‹#› Signed, What are some Gifts that Keep on Giving? There are so many options now for subscription gifts. Option 1: For the kids in your life, check out Kiwi Crate. These hands-on kits provide kids with the materials to create themed projects. Encourages innovation and creativity across a range of gifts: kit subscriptions, stocking stuffers, gifts under $20 and special themed holiday crates. Option 2: Birchbox features beauty products for women and grooming gifts for men with 3, 6, and 12 month subscription gifts available. Option 3: Nature Box delivers an assortment of healthy snacks to your door including 2, 5 and 10 months worth of snacks. Kiwi Crate has the option of adding on extra materials so siblings can join in the fun for $9.95/month. Birchbox develops how-to tips and tricks and DIY content with site visitors. Nature Box has 100+ unique snacks available. More info: Kiwi Crate Birchbox Nature Box “People tend to be bombarded this time of year with gifts. What are some options for gifts that keep on giving?” Signed, Gifts that Keep on Giving
  32. 32. | ‹#› Signed, Not (Physically) Together This Holiday Schedule a FaceTime, Skype or Google Hangout session with your family members and make it fun. Open gifts together and catch up virtually. Share the story of your best holiday gift you received when you were a kid. It can be special when you plan ahead and make it a party. If you FaceTime or Skype over morning coffee, send stuff ahead of time (home baked goods, items purchased at your local Trader Joe’s or some mail-order croissants from Williams-Sonoma). Done! More info: Williams-Sonoma Trader Joe's Skype Google Hangout “I recently went through a divorce and this is the first time I won’t be with my family on Christmas. Is there a way to connect this holiday until we see each other face to face?” Signed, Not (Physically) Together This Holiday
  33. 33. | ‹#› Signed, How Can I Give the Gift of an Experience? Option 1: A gift certificate to Ticketmaster is always a great option because your gift recipient can use it towards tickets to an upcoming concert, theater show, sporting or family event in their area. Option 2: Want an experience that’s a little more specific to your lucky recipient? If they are into food see if their city offers Food Tours of the area or a cooking/wine making/sushi rolling/ baking class through one of the local culinary schools. Option 3: Experience Days offers a wide variety of outings from helicopter rides, beer making workshops, to rides in race cars. Believe it or not, Trip Advisor covers Food Tours in many major cities so check them out for more info. More info: Ticketmaster Trip Advisor – type in Food Tours Experience Days “I think giving someone an experience they can look forward to is more memorable than giving another V-neck sweater. Any input on how I can give someone the gift of an experience this season?” Signed, Give the Gift of an Experience
  34. 34. Signed, How Can I Give Gifts That Give Back or Donate to a Much Needed Cause? | ‹#› Option 1: Krochet Kids is a non-profit organization that started with three brothers, a hook and some yarn. Today, over 150 people in Uganda and Peru are working, receiving education, and being mentored toward a brighter future in creating gifts for men, women and children that give back. Option 2: Operation Home Front helps military families in many ways. Their website provides a comprehensive list of upcoming events and current needs by region. Option 3: Charity Navigator helps you research charities across multiple causes. Krochet Kids allows you to learn more about the individuals who actually make the products you are buying. Each product is hand signed by the woman who made the item. Operation Home Front lists multiple ways to help military families including food assistance, home and auto repair, vision care, moving assistance and more. More info: Krochet Kids Operation Homefront Charity Navigator “I like to give gifts that give back or donate to a much needed cause. Any suggestions?” Signed, Give Back or Donate
  35. 35. | ‹#› Signed, What other ways can I Search Online for Gifts besides Google and Amazon? Start with social media. When you want to search for gifts that produce new and different results, enter a term (or combination of terms or hashtags) in the search areas of Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter and it’s very probable you will find something new or different. The blogging community has grown in a massive way and there are experts out there covering fresh options. In your favorite search engine add the word “blog” or “blogger” to your gift topic search term/s and you may discover untapped resources. More info: Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Google Amazon “I want different gift ideas if I search on sites other than Google and Amazon. Any suggestions?” Signed, Other Ways to Search Online
  36. 36. | ‹#› A Holiday Gift Guide can be more than a list
  37. 37. | ‹#› It’s about solutions
  38. 38. | ‹#› Solutions to help brighten someone’s day and make moments more awesome
  39. 39. | ‹#› Retailers & Brands, Be a Holiday Solutions Guide this season by putting your brand or store experience in your customers’ shoes
  40. 40. | ‹#› Thank you! Click a link below and let’s connect. Danielle Conte @dconte05
  41. 41. Credits • NRF survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics | ‹#› splurge-friends-family-this-holiday-season • Forrester: Consumer engages with 11.4 pieces of content prior to making a purchase http:// • Column graphics/icons and “The Breakdown” circular chart layout © Duarte, Inc. • Baby Photo from and Attribution provided on blog post • Holiday light images & photo of black & white dog provided courtesy of Hub Spot Opinionsexpressedaremyown. Icurrentlyownstockinthefollowingcompanieslistedinthepresentation: Nordstrom, Facebook(ownsInstagram), AppleandDisney. © 2014YoutailRetail, aCleverEdgeMarketingLLCcompany. Meet Toby. The dog who smiles through it all. Remember to support your local merchants. Small Business Saturday is 11/29/14.

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  • Ladonnawilly24

    Nov. 13, 2014

12 challenges people face during the holidays and the brands and retailers delivering solutions.


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