Holiday gift shoppers need help finding the right gift. The good news for publishers is, they’re open to suggestions. Here are ways publishers can create tailored holiday gift guides.

A Fall 2019 survey of over 1,000 US adults conducted by Rakuten Marketing found that:

  • 86% are open to at least some brand suggestions to help guide their gift purchasing decisions, and 27% say they “need all the help they can get” to find the right gift.
  • 64% are either very or somewhat likely to buy something because it was recommended to them by an advertisement.
  • 61% will rely on friends/family referrals, while 25% are turning specifically to holiday gift guides to point them in the right direction.

The good news – it’s easy for publishers to create gift guides featuring a mix of products from different retail partners that align with the type of content that they produce on a regular basis.

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Rakuten Marketing’s Curate tool allows publishers to create gift guides in the form of product showcases with products from approved advertisers. Publishers can then publish those showcases on their blog or other site.

“Curate has had a steady usage rate and that’s because the types of publishers using it publish on a regular basis,” says Rakuten Marketing Lead Product Manager Kyle Fish.

Curate allows publishers to create holiday gift guides that are tailored towards the interest of a specific consumer. Rather than requiring publishers to pick products from only a single advertiser, Curate allows publishers to instead piece together a puzzle that creates a clearer product picture for the consumer by featuring products from various categories and retailers that go well together. This, in turn, makes it easier for the shopper to find what they’re looking for and increases the likelihood of a conversion.

“Publishers have full access to their advertisers’ inventory, that they can curate into fully customized showcases that matches the look and feel of their site to better appeal to their consumers,” Fish says. “They have access to reporting data so they can look back at the data to determine what are the best brands or things to feature.”

Keeping the look and feel of a holiday gift guide is especially important for microinfluencers, who have highly engaged audiences that come to them for specific types of content. The Curate tool reduces the risk of alienating those audiences by allowing publishers to customize the content so that it fits in with the content that helped a publisher build their following in the first place.

“If what you feature doesn’t feel authentic, then your user is not as likely to shop from it. The users that are visiting your website, they trust you. If what you feature doesn’t feel authentic, then your user is not as likely to shop from it.  They know that when you showcase a product, that there’s value to them as one of your followers. It has to feel genuine and it is because you curated it for them.”

Curate does more than just help publishers create gift guides that make it easier for a publisher’s audience to find the products they are looking for quicker. It also guards against out of stocks by automatically replacing products that have sold out.

“There’s a whole bunch of options for what happens if products disappear,” Fish says. “You have an option like auto filling. What happens if a retailer’s shoe you featured is no longer available? You can have another item lined up to auto fill that space.”

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