Synchrony is getting into the world of risk-free gift-giving with a deal to acquire Loop Commerce.
It is a bet by the financial services company that the changes in retail are going to keep coming.
Loop works with retailers such as Athleta, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Target to take the pain out of the process of gift-giving, for the giver, the recipient and the retailer with its GiftNow platform.
With Loop, buyers can purchase any product as a gift. But the recipient gets the gift digitally before it is sent off and can change the size or color or choose another gift altogether.
It’s a service that rescues the last-minute gift-giver by separating the giving of the gift from delivery of the item, offers a more personalized experience and delivers data from the giver and recipient to the retailer.
Roy Erez, Loop’s chief executive officer and cofounder, said: “Consumers are looking for immediacy and simplicity, a frictionless and beautiful experience: ‘I need this right now because Facebook just reminded me that it’s her birthday and the two-day shipping is just not good enough or fast enough.’”
Erez said about 60 percent of gifts sent through the platform are accepted as is, while 20 percent of the orders are tweaked, for instance, with a change in size or color. Recipients switch out about 20 percent of the gifts for items with the gift-giver never the wiser.
Gift-givers at target.com, for instance, just need to choose the GiftNow button on any product page to start the process. Loop gets a part of the transaction price.
The process heads off a lot of returns and brings retailers more contact with more customers in a huge and often overlooked aspect of the market.
Deloitte estimates the digital and in-store gifting market already tops $400 billion in sales. Erez said by combining forces with Synchrony, which has its own set of expertise and data, Loop can “pour fuel on this” category.
Synchrony said the deal would make it faster and easier for its partners to incorporate the feature.
Trish Mosconi, executive vice president of business strategy and development at Synchrony, said all signs point to the next decade being a “golden age” with consumers benefiting from innovations that create more convenient and simpler shopping experiences.
Mosconi said Loop has created a “hyper-personalized digital customer experience” that fits into this new world view.
“The customers are really going to continue to challenge our industry and almost dictate to us how we need to evolve and innovate,” she said.
Loop previously raised $30 million from PayPal and other strategic investors. Terms of the deal with Synchrony were not disclosed.