We’re merging the months of November and December together for the next round of the Junkie Awards. Because the holiday shopping push that unfolds over those two months represents the most important time of year for the retail and e-commerce industries, we feel the holidays really deserves to be set apart as their own time period for the purpose of handing out the final Junkie of 2010.
Of course, the holidays aren’t just about turning a profit. It’s a time when e-commerce and retail companies can really get creative with their efforts and do some good for the community as well.
In that vein, our holiday season Junkie Award winner is Wishter.net, whose “You’ve Been Gifted” program is an outstanding example of giving back during this busy time of year.
Wishter is a kid’s gift registry resource based in Wayne, NJ that helps take some of the stress out of buying presents for children year-round. Their Wishter List is a personalized wish list service that parents can create for special occasions and any items that friends or family purchase off that list can result in donations being made to selected schools and other organizations that participate in the Wishter Helping Hands program.
The You’ve Been Gifted program builds on Wishter’s existing outreach efforts and helps kids spread some holiday cheer to other children. The premise is fairly simple: a “Pay it Forward”-type gift program that employs Wishter’s existing platform and technology to get people in neighborhoods and small communities working together during the holidays, all while boosting traffic and building awareness of Wishter’s suite of services to a fresh batch of new users.
As Wishter co-founder Christian Sees puts it: “The holiday season is a great time for children to get into the spirit of giving. You’ve Been Gifted is the perfect mechanism for both parents and children to make it a holiday season full of surprise.”
The process is short and sweet too. Participants prepare a small gift or present, attach the You’ve Been Gifted poster and instructional poem (both available on the Wishter website), and then leave the gift on the doorstep of a neighbor as a surprise. Gift recipients place the poster in their window to ensure they only get “tagged” once and the poem directs them to the Wishter site to print out their own poem and poster. They are then are expected to repeat the process, with the help of their kids, for two other members of the community.
While it’s a novel, feel-good idea, You’ve Been Gifted is also proving to be a savvy marketing tool for Wishter as well. Implementation costs are minimal for the company and every poster displayed in local communities is essentially free advertising for the company and its services. That free advertising has been paying off, too. According to Wishter, December has already become their busiest month for affiliate sales and revenue, while traffic and new registered users are up 190 and 100 percent respectively for the month.
For crafting a program that helps others in a tangible, fun way while also raising their own company profile, Wishter is a worthy recipient of a Junkie Award. Congratulations to Wishter and all of our 2010 winners, and we look forward to recognizing e-commerce and retail excellence with even more winners in 2011!
Previous Junkie Winners:
October 2010: GreenSoul Shoes
Sept 2010: eBay
August 2010: Andrew Cuomo/State of New York
July 2010: Rep. Paul Hodes
June 2010: ACLU
May 2010: Zappos/6pm.com
April 2010: BadCustomer.com