Well the Christmas shopping season has begun and the online retailers have turned on the heat to get shoppers to their sites. Unfortunately, I believe a majority of them have missed a huge opportunity.
The hot topics this year in online marketing have been 1 to 1, Social Media, Social Networking and the Long Tail and although exciting items, they fail in one important area. How do we get my mom to buy "Nip/Tuck Season 1" and not another Dan Brown novel?
I’ve scored 10,000 items on Amazon, bought the niche tracks on iTunes, reviewed items on various sites, and they all do a great job of telling "Me" what I should buy next. But how do you get your wife, kids, parents, or "family unit" to gift you those precious items, so you don’t fake smile as you unwrap your 3rd copy of Titanic? I’ve forwarded my wish list to my parents, only to be reprimanded by my wife that it’s kind of cold and heartless. Bah Humbug. I now "butter them up" before the hyperlink. "I love ya, click below".
Online retailers have built powerful consumer profilers, but have forgotten that people purchase gifts for each other. As a result, those personalized recommendations are inaccessible to everyone else. So to solve this dilemma, I propose "Family Clusters", where sites allow you to link accounts together and share your wish list with friends and family. The next time you login, you can easily see what other people are interested in and what others have already bought. No more silly email hyperlinks to wishlists. Kind of kills the surprise doesn’t it, if you need them to forward their wishlist to you?
So call it "LinkedIn Wishlists" if you want, but please build it so I can avoid returning another copy of James Blunt and get what I really want: Building Your Own Indoor Climbing Wall. Just don’t tell my wife.