Sephora Tops Omni-channel Digital Gifting Experience Rankings

Sephora has been a consistent performer in RSR Research’s Digital Gift Card Benchmark Study. Now in its fourth edition, Sephora walked off with the top prize.

RSR Research’s study, Digital Gift Cards: Rewriting the Gifting Rules in the Omni-Channel Age, identified brands that are perfecting the omni-channel gifting experience. The study also evaluated the gifting experiences of the nation’s top retailers in key verticals such as apparel, beauty, footwear and accessories, sports and outdoors, as well as restaurant brands.

For this year’s evaluation, RSR focused on differentiating capabilities, rather than the features that have become industry standards, including both mobile and social experiences, to reflect the evolving use of digital gift cards in omni-channel commerce.

What’s more, RSR added criteria around retailers’ prioritization of gifting as a whole, the ability to digitally “thank” a gift giver, and integration with retailers’ loyalty and marketing programs. Based on this year’s criteria, the brands with the highest overall scores across verticals, offering the most comprehensive omni-channel digital gifting offerings, are:

1. Sephora
2. Starbucks
3. The Home Depot
4. Best Buy
5. Dunkin’ Donuts

Sephora, which has ranked among the top five spots for the past two years, finally claimed the No. 1 spot this year.

“We consider digital gifting an integral part of our marketing strategy and are committed to innovation in this area,” Bridget Dolan, Vice President, Digital Marketing at Sephora, said in a release. “We’re honored to be recognized by RSR for our engaging gifting experiences across channels and devices, including mobile.”

For the second year in a row, RSR examined the top retailers and restaurants in verticals where gift cards are highly relevant. Leaders within their respective industries are as follows:

Apparel: Gap Inc.

Apparel Sports & Fitness: lululemon athletica

Beauty: Sephora

Books/Music: Amazon

Computers/Electronics: Best Buy

Department Store: Sears

Footwear & Accessories: Coach

General Merchandise: QVC

Hardware/Building Supply: The Home Depot

Home Goods & Furnishings: Williams-Sonoma

QSR: Starbucks

Restaurant: The Cheesecake Factory

Sports& Outdoors: Gander Mountain

Toys & Games: Toys R Us

“Digital gifting adoption has come a long way in the few years we’ve been conducting this research, with the number of brands offering digital gift cards virtually doubling since 2010 and the experiences improving by leaps and bounds,” Nikki Baird, managing partner at RSR Research, said. “But, as the report points out, there is still work to be done to fine-tune offerings, such as improving discoverability on Web-based and mobile channels. It was also evident this year that brands are starting to think about better integrating gifting and marketing programs—an area where we see a lot of potential to further engage consumers and capture additional sales.”

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