Frankly speaking, isn’t it the best feeling when you discover something that combines all your favorite things? Like that 58% dark chocolate bar that’s vegan and has chili flavor. And isn’t it even better when someone gives you something so spot on like this? Oh how amazing it is when someone gets you that well, and you think to yourself: “this person just moved from being just my friend to being my best friend.”

Those meaningful relationships are the cornerstone of all things good, and they come by showing a deep understanding of others. But understanding others is hard. It takes time and requires knowing people’s taste, their likes and dislikes, their needs and preferences, not to mention it actually needs to fit the bill (yeah, it’s a lot).

In fact, the preference information people need in order to buy for others is the same information retailers need to personalize for customers.

So, if retailers had access to deep preference data for each customer, and knew who purchased gifts for whom, they could strengthen relationships with their customers, and help people buy for others (BFO).

Knowing when people buy for others (we call it BFO) should be every marketers dream. It’s an entire new segment where purchasing actually makes customers feel good instead of guilty! But due to today’s preference information limitations, it is every marketers nightmare.


Retailers deserve to have the tools to determine the BFO segment and build strong, meaningful relationships with and for their customers. The first step is to obtain clean preference data about current customers.

Building relationships with your customers

Turns out, understanding someone’s preferences is just like dating, and if you don’t already master the art of dating you hopefully will by the end of this post (no results assured). If you actually want to understand the other person, you have to ask them and they have to tell you what they like, what they dislike, what they love and what drives them crazy.

Retailers have to engage in a conversation with their customers, in a fun way – no one likes boring conversation. This is the only way to determine if their purchases reflect their preferences or someone else’s.

You don’t want to be the one sending pink yoga pant promotions to a guy who bought leggings for his girlfriend. Or worse, sending diaper ads to a single woman whose friends are all married and having babies (we’ve all laughed at this one before). But if you don’t know who is buying for themselves and who is BFO then you risk being the one doing exactly this.

That email you worked so hard on deserves to be bringing in the dough, not a trip to the blacklist. You’re trying so hard, spending time and money getting to know your customers. It’s not your fault, today’s options just suck.

But you can’t stop personalizing for your customers, you are past the point of no return. The secret ingredient is getting accurate and important information to understand your end users.


Now build relationships for your customers

You can deny it feels good to buy for others. It’s scientifically proven that when people BFO they are also purchasing the experience of bringing happiness to a person they care about.

But it is not at all as easy as it sounds. In fact, buying the right gift for someone is a time-consuming and complicated process (to be honest, pretty stressful too). And just like personalizing your marketing messages, purchasing a gift requires deep understanding of the other person.

Research shows that when people have too many options and no idea what to buy, one of two things happen: they will be dissatisfied with their decision or they will not decide at all.

This phenomenon is called “choice overload,” and one of its causes is preference uncertainty. Basically, when a person doesn’t know their own preferences or the preferences of the person they are buying for, there is a high likelihood they will face the adversities of “choice overload.”

In order to help customers BFO, you must understand the relationship between an end user and someone buying for an end user. If you know dates that are important to these relationships, you can proactively strengthen them by recommending customers when to buy and what to buy for their friends.

However, in order to build relationships with customers and for customers, it is necessary to have the right tools and data acquisition processes. There are currently limited ways to do this, but Dearduck is a fun, easy and secure option!

Dearduck’s white label tools are designed for retailers, and they seamlessly integrate with existing email marketing flow. It’s all customer opt-in personalization and they can share it with friends. Basically, with Dearduck retailers make precise recommendations:

1. To their customers buying for themselves
2. To their customers buying for other people and
3. To the people buying for their customers

Think of it as giving your customers a gift by saving them the time and effort they currently spend stressing over what to buy for others!

If you’re ready to shake your tail feathers, request a demo.

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