Episode 232
November 26, 2021

The Year of Experiential Gifting

Ingrid joins Brian today to chat about Gen Z’rs using a search bar, Black Friday, the different types of holiday gifters, and the gifts they’ll be giving! Listen now!

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this episode sponsored by

Becoming a Gift Influencer 

  • Drips vs. Drops? Drips all the way. Businesses should be providing drips to their customers, constant communication. Whereas drops are the seasonality of pushing your customer. 
  • “I love the always-on drip culture. I do still think there's excitement and like sexiness to a big drop. But you have to make sure that those drops are super, super necessary in the moment, like hitting exactly where they need to hit and then using the drips throughout the year to prepare for the big drops, but then also make sure that you're staying relevant and on top of mind.” -Ingrid
  • The best part of the holiday season is giving! But there’s different kinds of gifters. According to Brian and Ingrid, they’re both gift influencers.
  • We’re going to see more of an experiential gift this season than an actual material gift.
  • “This is a year where people are going to be giving things that get people out and moving and doing things.” -Brian

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Brian: [00:01:27] Hello and welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about next generation commerce. I'm Brian.

Ingrid: [00:01:33] And I'm Ingrid

Brian: [00:01:35] Ha! Tricked to you all. It's Ingrid and I today on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, except for recording ahead of time. So it's not exactly live, but we've got a lot to talk about. So many fun things to talk about, so get ready for a Brian/Ingrid episode. They've they've happened. They've happened before. If you've heard them before, you know that we like to have a lot of fun and maybe and then some.

Ingrid: [00:02:00] Then just make make fun of each other and figure it out.

Brian: [00:02:05] Exactly. Exactly. Like at some point during this episode, you should have your cat like purr into the microphone because that was hilarious.

Ingrid: [00:02:14] Oh, that's inevitable. That's just the ticking time bomb. Jelly Bean is at the ready.

Brian: [00:02:19] She is like, she's a cat person. She's a cat lady wannabe. {laughter}

Ingrid: [00:02:24] {laughter} Yeah, a cat lady wannabe without enough space to have all the millions of cats that I one day dream of having.

Brian: [00:02:33] Oh man, I appreciate that. I have two cats, so I do like cats. I think I like dogs better, but I do like cats.

Ingrid: [00:02:43] Brian, why do you have to be so binary?

Brian: [00:02:46] I don't know.

Ingrid: [00:02:46] It's... They're not against each other. You don't have to like pick one over the other.

Brian: [00:02:51] I know. But I like picking favorites. In fact, we're going to talk about favorites a little bit later. So we'll get to that and then you'll have to pick as well.

Ingrid: [00:03:00] Wow. I love picking.

Brian: [00:03:02] Dogs or cats? {laughter}

Ingrid: [00:03:02] No.

Brian: [00:03:02] Just kidding. Just kidding.

Ingrid: [00:03:03] Never. I want them all. I want them all. And I want them all like cuddling with me in my bed.

Brian: [00:03:07] No, no way. I am so out on that. I'm like animals in my bed... No. No.

Ingrid: [00:03:13] No. I will wash my sheets every day just so I can have animals in my bed.

Brian: [00:03:19] Oh my gosh. Ok, well, let's start things off. So it is Black Friday/Cyber Monday. We have an article going out today, an Insider's article going out, our holiday gift guide. At least, I think it's going to go out. It's this again, we're recording ahead of time, and it's going to have some really incredible things in it. First of which you're participating in and it will be something that has to do with Nuun.

Ingrid: [00:03:48] Yeah.

Brian: [00:03:49] Not too many... I'm not giving away too much here, but it's going to be good.

Ingrid: [00:03:54] Get your glasses ready, folks.

Brian: [00:03:57] That's right. And we're going to have some other really cool things in that gift guide if you... Exclusive offers. So that's what's going to be in there. Like benefits for being Future Commerce subscribers. So Springline Coffee, Nuun, Bar & Cocoa... We're going to have some incredibly...

Ingrid: [00:04:21] Spoiler alert.

Brian: [00:04:22] I know. It might already be out. I might not be spoiling anything. By the time you listen to this, but it will be limited time offers. So if you're listening and it's still BFCM, get over and get that Insider's article because those offers are going to expire.

Ingrid: [00:04:37] Search that Google Inbox.

Brian: [00:04:39] Yes, that's right. That's what I do. That's how I use Google Inbox. I don't actually do anything with email except for search for discounts.

Ingrid: [00:04:50] Oh yeah, dude, there's like this whole. This is tech related, so less like retail related. But still, so there's this whole concept about how, you know, like millennials and specifically actually more so Gen Zers are so used to using search bars that like the concept that we all used to have, or currently have if you're me, of like folder organizations and Dropbox, the way that that's all set up, is just like completely foreign to them because all they do is like, use the search bar on Amazon, on Google, on Gmail and all the stuff. And so they actually have never developed the skill of formatting their folders.

Brian: [00:05:33] Right.

Ingrid: [00:05:33] And I just find that to be really super interesting.

Brian: [00:05:37] They're like, "I can create a folder?"

Ingrid: [00:05:40] Like, "Why would you create a folder?" Is there a question.

Brian: [00:05:44] Search is so good that you don't even have to have folders. There's no reason to have folders. That is super interesting. Yeah, I definitely have seen that.

Ingrid: [00:05:52] It's just a totally different way of using your stuff.

Brian: [00:05:55] I tend to agree. I used to be way more organized with my folders than I am now. And I wasn't that organized before, but now I'm like, just search. It's great.

Ingrid: [00:06:07] Yeah.

Brian: [00:06:08] Think about that in like eCommerce taxonomy as well. How many people browsing? I still use categories and like browse down because I found that, like most sites' search still needs a little bit of help.

Ingrid: [00:06:24] Oh, it's such a low hanging fruit. We all know that that search bar has like the highest conversion rate by far on your site. It used to be, we used to look at it like if you had a high usage rate of your search bar, that it was actually indicative of a problem with your general navigation that like people weren't able to find things. And now I think it's like people are just so trained to just go right in and use the search bar before even attempting anything else that actually, if you haven't optimized your search experience with predictive search and all that stuff, man, you should just go there. That's low hanging fruit harvesting conversion.

Brian: [00:07:00] Yeah, I'd also be like, I'd check your data on what happens once someone uses the search bar. Do they start to go browse through your categories afterwards? Because that usually means that they couldn't find what they were looking for. That's what I do. That's like my immediate thing. It's like I search for something. I didn't get any of the results that I wanted, and I'm like, "Well, maybe things are like just not coming back properly," and then I'll immediately...

Ingrid: [00:07:25] You have way more patience than me. I'm out if I can't find it.

Brian: [00:07:28] Oh my gosh, I am the worst. I'm the worst on websites. Marketers, everywhere hate my guts. They're like IP address, whatever my IP address is, is the worst. They hate me.

Ingrid: [00:07:43] {laughter} Oh no. I mean, I think it's a big opportunity. Fix your search bars, people.

Brian: [00:07:48] Yeah, it's too late, though.

Ingrid: [00:07:49] It's really easy.

Brian: [00:07:49] It's too late now. It's too late. If you're thinking about trying to fix them before Black Friday, it's over. You've already missed the window. I mean, especially since today is the day. By the time you're listening to this, if you try to go in there and fix it, you're going to blow up your site, and it's over. But even as we record this, Alex Greifeld recently wrote an article about what you could do to help get things ready for holiday. And the answer is very little. If you haven't done a really good job of preparing yourself and acquiring customers and getting your existing customers set and ready for this, you're already done for.

Ingrid: [00:08:27] Yeah. Yeah.

Brian: [00:08:28] I'm sure you've experienced this before.

Ingrid: [00:08:30] Oh, I mean, my team looked at me last year when I first came to Nuun, when I was planning for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, like this whole week, it was like July, and they looked at me like I was nuts. And then they were super stoked when we had like a completely record breaking Cyber Week, like off the charts, off the walls, bananas. I'm actually hoping that we can get there like, you know, anniversary that this year. But now they're like, "Ok, I get it. That's why you started talking about it in July. And we thought you were crazy."

Brian: [00:09:06] No, no. In fact, we do with so much holiday content out there, like Black Friday/Cyber Monday content out there right now, and this is something that Alex said in our article as well. It's like, I'm sure that's all and well and good. But like all that content should have happened like back in like February, or maybe not February. That's a little bit of a push, but...

Ingrid: [00:09:29] Depends on your business. But I feel her.

Brian: [00:09:29] In the spring and summer. That's when you should be reading a holiday tips and tricks. Not like in October.

Ingrid: [00:09:41] Yeah, October is when everyone's like, it's truly October is the worst month of all because you're like in that horrible planning for the following fiscal in the current Q4. Hopefully even just for how bad October gets. Hopefully you've done all of your Q4 planning in like Q2. Mostly just because of that like cluster that ends up happening.

Brian: [00:10:04] Yeah, totally. And yeah, it doesn't mean there aren't things you can do. There are some things you can do. For instance, for the brands that ended up in our gift guide, you could totally work with Future Commerce.

Ingrid: [00:10:18] True.

Brian: [00:10:19] That's next year because it's too late.

Ingrid: [00:10:21] Yeah. Or gift cards. We do a little procrastinator special gift card-a-roo, which is great. Also a good thing to do with Future Commerce. That's another like the thing you buy to be able to then buy other stuff.

Brian: [00:10:34] Exactly.

Ingrid: [00:10:34] Yeah.

Brian: [00:10:35] Actually, the thing that you were talking about earlier today was how online at least this is really the wrap. This is actually not even... This is like a tired conversation. We've been talking about this for a while, but you and I were like, "Yeah, you should have a pretty good idea of where you're going to land with holiday already."

Ingrid: [00:10:59] Like right now. Oh, totally. Yeah, the excitement starts... There's no more Halloween basically.

Brian: [00:11:06] No. Halloween doesn't exist anymore.

Ingrid: [00:11:07] Doesn't exist, which is sad. I actually really love Halloween. But yeah, it goes right into like November 1st or even Halloween is already Christmasy, holiday stuff, and you have to do all of November is like when you get that wallet share. Black Friday/Cyber Monday, Cyber Week, all of that is the crescendo. It is the end, my friends, especially online.

Brian: [00:11:32] Yeah, I totally. You know, it's really interesting, too, Ana Andjelic had an article recently about like drips versus drops. Ana Andjelic is former Chief Digital Officer or Marketing Officer at Banana Republic. She did this thing on drips versus drops and like how drops are about seasonality and kind of like pushing on your customers and drips or more like constant communication with your customer. And how we're evolving towards drips and you should be pushing your business towards drips. All of a sudden it's not about one big moment or hoping that that one big moment is what your business is all about. It's like you're providing relevant stuff and having an open conversation with your customers all the time. And that will allow you to avoid drop culture, which is basically what Black Friday is. It's a big discount drop.

Ingrid: [00:12:37] Definitely. Well, [00:12:38] I love the always-on drip culture. I do still think there's excitement and like sexiness to a big drop. But you have to make sure that those drops are super, super necessary in the moment, like hitting exactly where they need to hit and then using the drips throughout the year to sort of like prepare for the big drops, but then also make sure that you're staying relevant and on top of mind. [00:13:05]

Brian: [00:13:05] Yeah, it's more like I think the drops become part of your drip mindset.

Ingrid: [00:13:09] Now we're just rapping. Like we're just going to create a song.

Brian: [00:13:12] We're just gonna rap. I already have a rapper name, as we found out on Infinite Shelf.

Ingrid: [00:13:19] {laughter} Yes. Come listen to episode one if you want to hear Brian's rapper name.

Brian: [00:13:23] That's right. I'm not even going to tell you what it is right now. You've got to go listen to Infinite Shelf.

Ingrid: [00:13:28] Also, we just we just dropped, speaking of drop, the episode with Andrew Forman, the CEO and Founder of Givz. Actually, that is the one thing you can do during... If you have not planned anything and you're sitting here on Black Friday, you've got an idea for both Cyber Monday and actually Giving Tuesday, which is listen to the Infinite Shelf episode with Andrew Forman from Givz, and we will save you, and you don't even have to give us credit with your boss. You can just tell them it was entirely your idea.

Brian: [00:14:00] Yes, I love that. So true. We also put out a guide. Future Commerce put out a guide with Givz recently about what a transaction even means and why donations are like so important in that process. So two pieces that are absolute listens and things to engage with. The Givz guide and the Infinite Shelf episode with Andrew Forman. A must listen. Get over there and listen.

Ingrid: [00:14:33] Yeah. It's good stuff. Speaking of giving...

Brian: [00:14:35] Yes, go ahead. Oh, what a transition. Phillip and I love transitions on Future Commerce. If you've been listening to the show, we always call out when we're transitioning. And Ingrid, just masterclassed us, or me, on that.

Ingrid: [00:14:50] It's like when you're at a bar mitzvah and the DJ just like stops, like finishes the song and then goes to the next song versus just like that smooth transition.

Brian: [00:15:00] Like the fade out and fade in.

Ingrid: [00:15:02] Yeah, give me a good fade out. I'm a sucker for a fade out.

Brian: [00:15:06] I like fade outs. Underrated, in music at least.

Ingrid: [00:15:11] So from Andrew and Givz and all of that awesome stuff to the best part, in my view, and I think in Brian's view, too, but I won't speak for you of the holiday season, is the giving part. Right?

Brian: [00:15:26] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:15:26] What do you think about that?

Brian: [00:15:27] Oh, absolutely. I mean, my favorite thing on Christmas, we celebrate Christmas, is to watch my kids open their presents and it's so fun. It's so fun.

Ingrid: [00:15:41] It's so fun. And so I only have, I have a six month old, so I haven't experienced that yet, but I'm very excited for the point where he understands what holidays and gifting are. But for me, the enjoyment I get out of gifting is in getting to share the things that I love as a person and a consumer with the people that I love and just like getting to change their lives in some really minuscule, probably superfluous, novel way, but still.

Brian: [00:16:12]  [00:16:12]There are different kinds of gifters. There's like the influencer gifters, which is what you are. You like clearly fall into that category, like where it's "I am going to give you something that's going to change your life." [00:16:24]

Ingrid: [00:16:24] That's at least my goal. I hope. I hope that it does. I don't have any control over it, but that's very much the North Star intention. I want it to change your life.

Brian: [00:16:34]  [00:16:34]Then you have like these other gifters who are like, they want to know what you want, like they've got to understand you and make sure that they're giving something that fits your personality perfectly. That's the other kind of gifter. Then there's like gifters that are like, "I just, I want to make this easy." [00:16:50]

Ingrid: [00:16:51]  [00:16:51]Yeah, "Tell me what you want. I'll Venmo you." [00:16:54]

Brian: [00:16:54]  [00:16:54]Yeah, exactly. "I'll Venmo you. It's cash. Just tell me what store you like and I'll send you a gift card." [00:16:59]

Ingrid: [00:16:59] That's my parents. That's my parents. And I think it has influenced me to be the complete opposite person.

Brian: [00:17:08] You're like, you're on the influencer end. They're on like the, "I just give up. I just want to give you something where you're going to get something that you like. I don't even care."

Ingrid: [00:17:15] Yeah. Well, they're just so practical. They're just like, "I don't want to waste a single dollar on something that you don't want. Can you just tell me what you want and actually tell me what your husband and your son want too?"

Brian: [00:17:28] And then you have my parents who are like, "I have to know exactly what the perfect gift is that your kids will want. You've got to tell me. You've got to help me draw it out of them. I need to know what will match their personality." It's the complete, totally different side of that.

Ingrid: [00:17:50] I love that.

Brian: [00:17:51] Yeah, I fall somewhere in between where I'm like, I love giving things that I like that I think someone else might like. Actually, I definitely fall in that category. I'm definitely a giftfluencer.

Ingrid: [00:18:04] Oh yeah. Giftfluencer. I love that.

Brian: [00:18:07] So actually, this would be really fun. So let's talk... So there's like we're both giftfluencers, actually. So what do you like to give? So when you interact with different people, there's different groups of people and you're going to give gifts to them in different ways. Like different types of people. So giving something to your coworker is going to be totally different than giving something to your mother in law. Right? And so I'd love to hear what's out there right now that's like an interesting item to you that you want to give to different people in your lives. Start with coworkers. What's ultimate coworker gift right now?

Ingrid: [00:18:54] Ok, so there are... So there's like coworkers, then there are the people on my team and those are all so different. So I would say the thing that I'm most excited, I hope that my team isn't... They'll probably have had it by now, but I hope my team isn't listening to this right now because this is what I'm going to buy all of them. I'm sure it'll be fine.

Brian: [00:19:15] Spoiler alert.

Ingrid: [00:19:16] Spoiler alert. So if you work for Ingrid, don't listen now. So I'm going to buy all of the people on my team, the Our Place cooking pan, the Always Pan

Brian: [00:19:29] I'm like totally at a loss right now. Tell me about this.

Ingrid: [00:19:33] Oh yes, I get to giftfluence you too. {laughter}

Brian: [00:19:36] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:19:36] So Our Place is this, you know, it's a DTC brand. You can actually, anyway, DTC brand. OurPlace.com. I'm sure something along those lines and they have this Always Pan and an Always Pot. And then they have like other little things, but their biggest hero product is their Always Pan. And I bought it because it is really, really, really aesthetically beautiful. I'm sure you're googling it as we speak.

Brian: [00:20:05] I totally am. This is a beautiful pan.

Ingrid: [00:20:06] It is a beautiful pan. And you know, we all just keep our pans out because like, who isn't just constantly using it? And so it may as well be really beautiful. And it's this like nonstick pan that doesn't have any of the gross chemicals, it's ceramic base, which is great. And it has a lid and it's really light, like really light.

Brian: [00:20:29] Really? It looks heavy in the picture.

Ingrid: [00:20:31] It looks really heavy. I know it looks like the Staub one or whatever, but it's not.

Brian: [00:20:35] Love Staub.

Ingrid: [00:20:35] Really, really love the Staub ones, but they're really heavy. And so I get really lazy about washing them because I have to like, schlep them. I do that with my cast iron, but I'm not going to do that with my more like utilitarian ones. So anyway, the Our pans, and I'm actually the problem is they have so many beautiful colors that I have to somehow like, send those colors to my team and have them vote on what their favorite colors are without letting them know what it's for. So I will be doing that.

Brian: [00:21:01] Oh my gosh. Well, you've already given it all away, so you can just like, show them what you're going to get them. Be like, "Just pick the pan."

Ingrid: [00:21:07] I know.

Brian: [00:21:07] Just be your parents.

Ingrid: [00:21:08] Yeah, they're definitely listening. And that's ok. I'm always like, "You have to listen to Future Commerce." And so of course, they're listening, and now they're going to... Anyway, Happy holidays, y'all. Love you. You got Our Place Always Pans. So anyway, yes, those are... And I think that for all of the reasons people are caring much more about what their kitchen looks like, cultivating all of these unique pieces for their homes. And I think that my team being both sort of utilitarian and pragmatic and practical and also into things that are beautiful, will appreciate these.

Brian: [00:21:45] I think they will. I'm like, jealous of your team. These pans look awesome. Actually, I might have to get one of these.

Ingrid: [00:21:52] It's a super nice pan. So that's my way of thinking about the team and then my mother in law, since you bring up mother in laws is a very, very awesome woman and very philanthropic. And so I do take parts of her personality into, you know, thinking about what I'm going to give to her. And the World Wildlife Federation has these, you can give them donations, obviously, and then they'll send you swag like the way that you would with some other charities. So I'm going to donate in her name to the World Wildlife Federation or Foundation or whatever, and they give you these adorable little animal socks.

Brian: [00:22:34] Oh, that's cute.

Ingrid: [00:22:36] And so they're like, they've got little bunnies on them, and you can pick the animals and you can donate to funds that will help like seals, for example, and then you get these adorable little seal socks. And that's just like such a great combo gift because you get to give something that they can like, unwrap. But then really, you're like doing something nice for the world.

Brian: [00:22:57] I love that.

Ingrid: [00:22:57] I think she would really dig that.

Brian: [00:26:02] I've been given the gift of, like a donation, which I appreciate and I love, but it's super fun to open something too. So to have that go along with it, I think that's awesome. I feel like that's a really fun way to do like digital gifts too almost. I'm thinking, Phillip and I talked about how and we do not need to cover supply chain again, although it sounds like supply chain is not going to be as bad as everyone was talking about. I noticed Brendan Witcher from Forrester was talking about how everyone's prepped up and like has way more inventory than last year, despite supply chain issues, at least at the larger level. And Phillip and I did talk about that quite a bit a couple of episodes back, but we did talk about how digital gifting was going to become a bigger thing, like digital items or items that are certificates or where you might get a physical item later. But I think offering something that's physical, maybe that's smaller, easier to get in stock as a part of that digital purchase, that's a really good strategy, and I haven't really seen too much of that where you go buy a gift card, but you also get sent socks. Like that would be cool.

Ingrid: [00:27:23] Definitely. Yeah. It's like tactile. [00:27:25] There's something very human about wanting to actually open and unravel something, but it can be much smaller, also smaller footprint in shipping and carbon emissions. [00:27:37]

Brian: [00:27:37] That's super good. So you're giving a pan to your team, you're giving the Always Pan, you're giving the gift of a donation for wildlife and cute animal socks to your mother in law. What's another group or identity that you're gifting to this year?

Ingrid: [00:27:58] Well, the guests from Infinite Shelf are going to get gifts. What do they get? Well, we've been getting such great response to the fantastic Future Commerce designed art that we launched with the...

Brian: [00:28:14] It's really cool.

Ingrid: [00:28:14] It's so good. It's so good and actually, like everyone has commented on it, which I appreciate because I know how much work we all put into it and like how many versions we went through. And a million conference calls.

Brian: [00:28:25] It did turn out really well. I had no real hand other than like feedback in like actually designing it. And I just feel super proud.

Ingrid: [00:28:33] Yeah, you should. It's so beautiful. So we're going to just, of course, give some people some swag so that they can rock their cool new Infinite Shelf gear. And yeah, I think it's mostly just in response to everyone loving it. So it's not just like self-serving. People really dug it.

Brian: [00:28:50] I want a T-shirt with that, with your artwork on it. I really do. Like a T-shirt.

Ingrid: [00:28:57] I'm going to send you a trucker hat with it. How about that?

Brian: [00:28:59] You know I'm not a hat guy.

Ingrid: [00:29:01] It just seemed like the most opposite thing for you. {laughter}

Brian: [00:29:03] No, that's not me.

Ingrid: [00:29:05] You and Phillip both have, your hair's too nice to wear hats.

Brian: [00:29:10] Phillip wears hats. I have too big of a head to wear a hat. It's just it doesn't work. It doesn't work.

Ingrid: [00:29:17] All right. Well, then I won't send you a trucker hat.

Brian: [00:29:19] Ok.

Ingrid: [00:29:19] Although I would pay, I would think I might actually pay you a thousand dollars to put on a trucker hat just so I can see Brian in a trucker hat.

Brian: [00:29:26] Put on a trucker hat. It's going to have to be sized properly. That's all I have to say about that. If you found a trucker hat for me that actually fit my head properly, I might wear it.

Ingrid: [00:29:37] Oh, wait, side note. Now I have lots of trucker hat material randomly. There's going to be a Hulu documentary about Von Dutch that goes live, I think right around now. Did you see that?

Brian: [00:29:51] I saw that.

Ingrid: [00:29:51] I'm so excited to watch that.

Brian: [00:29:52] It might be out already. I saw it on like their main banner. I don't know if that was like the coming soon or like the... Yeah, that does look good.

Ingrid: [00:30:00] Yeah, that's getting watched this weekend. I can tell you that much.

Brian: [00:30:04] Nice. I have no trucker hat material. That's what I'll say.

Ingrid: [00:30:06] What about you? Yeah, I'm all out. I'm all out. Who are you gifting to?

Brian: [00:30:12] Well, I've got a lot of people a gift to. I will tell you one time I gave Phillip and his family, and I don't know if I'm going to do this again, but a tower of truffles. It was this huge thing of truffles.

Ingrid: [00:30:33] The chocolate truffles or the mushroom truffle?

Brian: [00:30:35] You know, like chocolate truffles. It was like a truffle thing. And it was delicious truffles. And Phillip said that like when he first got it, he's like, "Oh my gosh, I have to throw all these away. There's no way we're going to eat all these." And then he came back to me, like two years later, this was two years ago I think I sent him this. And he was like, "Let me tell you that truffle tower was one of the most memorable gifts. It's like it just was overwhelming because it was so many truffles, and we ate them all and they were so delicious."

Ingrid: [00:31:10] Oh, I love that. The memorable thing you would never buy for yourself.

Brian: [00:31:14] Exactly. You're never going to buy yourself a truffle tower. Like ever.

Ingrid: [00:31:19] Yeah. Unless you're like from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, that little kid that was really into chocolate.

Brian: [00:31:26] Yeah, like fall into the river of chocolate. That's how much chocolate this was. It was definitely from Costco.

Ingrid: [00:31:33] I love that. That's so good. Definitely from Costco too is so on brand for you.

Brian: [00:31:38] Yeah, it is. All of my gifts are going to come from Costco this year. Now they're not. {laughter} So this year, interesting. So one of my big categories to give gifts to is my children.

Ingrid: [00:31:53] Sure. You have about 100 of them, so I get that.

Brian: [00:31:57] Exactly. And so this year we've decided we're going to do like as much as possible, a zero toy policy, like we're not doing toys. First year ever were like, "That is it. Enough is enough. They're old enough now. No more toys."

Ingrid: [00:32:16] Oh no. No more Santa either? Do they still believe in Santa?

Brian: [00:32:20] No, although best, best thing ever. One time my son was probably five. His older brothers tried to spoil Santa for him because they're yeah, he has three older brothers, right?

Ingrid: [00:32:39] Yeah, that kid screwed. {laughter} No.

Brian: [00:32:40] I know. Right? And he said, "No, he is real. I saw him," and he was talking about the parade that we took him to.

Ingrid: [00:32:51] Aww. That's so sweet.

Brian: [00:32:52] He was like, "No, he is real. I know it. I saw him."

Ingrid: [00:32:57] Oh, that is such a like pure of heart thing. I love that.

Brian: [00:33:01] Yeah. So no, Santa is dead. Toys are dead. We have moved on. We're like, it is going to be real gear for them that they can actually use. Things that are like "This is something I'm going to use for a long time and it's going to make a difference to me."

Ingrid: [00:33:23] Kids, you're all getting socks. You were very, very poorly behaved. You must have been poorly behaved this year because daddy's getting you socks. {laughter}

Brian: [00:33:32] It's no longer coal. Actually, my kids would think coal is really cool. They love art and they're like, "Ooh, charcoal." They literally want coal in their stocking.

Ingrid: [00:33:46] That's adorable.

Brian: [00:33:47] Yeah. So it's going to be things like that. It'll be like art supplies. It'll be like hiking gear. Yeah, actually, really cool technical wool socks. They would be totally into that. My oldest would be like, "Oh yeah, like my feet are going to stay warm when I go hiking with you, dad."

Ingrid: [00:34:03] Oh, that's so good.

Brian: [00:34:06] We try to like, we're trying to get them into like stuff like that. We will... So here's the toys that we might like stoop down towards. So Legos. Legos are a winner in our household.

Ingrid: [00:34:18] Oh yeah.

Brian: [00:34:19] And they are so good. Kids love them. Our kids love that kind of stuff.

Ingrid: [00:34:26] Yeah.

Brian: [00:34:27] And then, yeah, they also love Nintendo. So Nintendo games that count. So Nintendo. Nintendo is like an every household thing, in my view.

Ingrid: [00:34:43] Definitely. It pleases everyone at every age. Yeah, no, totally. I actually really love that because, yeah, you're like giving them the gift of experience, but then you're also giving them the ways that make it a little bit easier, more fun to have experiences. And I think that kids need more experiences these days.

Brian: [00:35:14] Yeah, I think so. In fact, I think that that's going to be something that we're going to see more of when it comes to like gifting in general. I saw an ad recently. It was an Expedia ad, but I actually really liked it. It was like you started out with just a TV on a wall with like a scene that was like a beach, like a beautiful beach at sunset or something like that. And it was something to the effect of "Do you want this TV for Christmas or do you want to be in the scene?" Like, do you want to see the scene in high-def? Or do you want to be in the scene? I was like, I think this is a year where like people are going to be giving things that get people out and moving and doing things.

Ingrid: [00:36:04] Yes.

Brian: [00:36:05] Experiences. Cooking pans and pots and I might have to gift the Always Pan.

Ingrid: [00:36:13] Yeah, yeah. But yeah, if I'm going to... So that's family gifting, it's going to be experiences, in fact, that's we already like we already gifted my family experiences. We're all about experiences in my family. That's a big gift for us this year and then for friends and people that I enjoy with are going to be like probably two things. Like something that I know that they're really like. Like Phillip, I probably get him Tracksmith. Sorry Phillip, I'm spoiling it..

Ingrid: [00:36:52] Spoiler alert.

Brian: [00:36:52] Tracksmith. I think the other thing is I love good wine, and I love gifting good wine, and so that will probably make up the rest of my budget.

Ingrid: [00:37:14] Yeah. Oh man, you are definitely the person that I text when I'm like, "Should I buy this wine? Did we have this at that one dinner? Because I need it again?"

Brian: [00:37:23] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:37:24] Yeah. You're the go to for that. You should write something about like how to gift wine. But yeah, that all goes with your whole like theme of experiences that are not just material items. What about if you, with the the gift of wine you give them a topic or something to talk about over the wine? So you're kind of like truly gifting like the end to end experience.

Brian: [00:37:52] I love that too. Someday, I'm going to launch a restaurant and it's going to be like just all about coming into having incredible conversations and enjoying incredible wine and food and making an evening of it. And it will all be bespoke and it won't be open all the time, but it won't be catering. It'll be like only open if you're going to have a long evening of conversation. That's going to be the restaurant, the concept of the restaurant that I open some day and I've got a bunch of love for it already picked out and so on. So that'll happen when I retire or maybe before.

Ingrid: [00:38:30] I love that. Well, the Future Commerce dinners are coming to be sort of like practice for you in that. I love the Future Commerce dinners.

Brian: [00:38:37] In fact, I might plug that right now. We plugged that on a recent episode. I'm going to plug it again. This coming year, talk about experience and gifting experiences, get ready, pay attention. We're going to be letting people know about when we have dinners and you can request an invite. That's something that's coming in 2022, and I cannot wait.

Ingrid: [00:39:00] Oh man. You can't wait. I can't wait. There's nothing like an FC dinner. They're so much fun. Just genuinely the most interesting conversations, the most brilliant people. I've met so many people that I've ended up, of course, using their services or whatever. Of course, that's a great byproduct. But in general, there is just I look back on my phone and you're like, you know, in photos and you're just like scrolling or whatever. And there are so many great memories of those moments and nights evoke for me that the second you guys are like, "Let's do something here," and I'm like, "Yes, let's do it," and I just look forward to it like all month.

Brian: [00:39:39] I look forward to it all month too. Doing dinners is like my favorite part of the job, like the best conversations. You know what? Someday we're going to take mics to some of those dinners. Of course, it does kind of change the atmosphere, but someday I just want to capture like what happens at those dinners because it's super fun, and it's always like you said, those dinners have resulted in some of the best conversations I can think of, like we go deep and wide.

Ingrid: [00:40:07] Totally. Yes, like four hour long, amazingly wine soaked and like fantastic food dinners where like you just sort of take the ordering pressure off. Everyone shares things if they want to. Yeah, it's super, super fun. And I've learned so many things and I've had my mind opened to so many things. It's been it's been awesome.

Brian: [00:40:28] Well, and I have as well from you at those dinners, so that's amazing. And here we are, soaking in the awesome dinners we've had. You should have them too. So like, as we open that up, we'll send out emails. We'll be putting out things on the podcast. And if you want to have an evening like that, let us know. And I think, oh gosh, dare I even say this now, but we might... We're working on something. Aren't we Ingrid? Doing maybe a little happier or local in Seattle here? So I don't think we'll have the details by the time this is live, but I'm hoping to put out some details on that soon, and it will be relatively small. So we'll let you know more about that shortly.

Ingrid: [00:41:11] Yeah, small and intimate and all about Infinite Shelf,

Brian: [00:41:15] Infinite Shelf. Infinite Shelf. Infinite Shelf is so exciting. The roadmap ahead of guests that you have. You have someone coming, I know is coming, that I've always wanted to interview and I'm like...

Ingrid: [00:41:30] Taylor?

Brian: [00:41:31] Oh, I mean, Taylor, definitely. I've tried to get Taylor on Future Commerce for a long time, and it's has never worked out. That's one of them. And then there's another one coming that I don't even want to mention yet.

Ingrid: [00:41:42] Yay.

Brian: [00:41:43] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ingrid: [00:41:44] I'm very, very lucky and grateful for all of the people that want to come on and talk with us. I think that the way that we're approaching the show, in the fact that it's human centric and there's just so much richness to exploring what we do for commerce and for retail, but through the eyes of the human experience that people are really excited about and want to talk about and want to listen to. And so I love that we've struck this chord and it really has been pretty easy to get some really exciting guests.

Brian: [00:42:17] Totally, totally. Yeah, no, I think you have. I think it's incredible. I listen to every episode, of course, and they're all really good. Back to gift thing because I just had a thought. So I can be a bit of a value monger when I purchase online as also is documented on Future Commerce. And I'm kind of the worst, marketers' worst nightmare when it comes to shopping. And so I was curious, for you, if there was one item that got super discounted on Black Friday that you could buy for yourself... Because this is something we've talked about in the past before on Black Friday. Future Commerce has discussed how, like a lot of shopping that happens is actually for yourself as well.

Ingrid: [00:43:08] Oh definitely.

Brian: [00:43:08] So if there's one item that you could see at like a 30 percent discount or like some crazy discount and you'd be like, "You know what? I'm doing it. I have been holding off and it was just a little bit like I couldn't justify it, didn't feel like I could justify it. But now, like now that it's like this, whatever the discount is, I'm going to go get it." What would that item be?

Ingrid: [00:43:32] Oh, this is a juicy question, because it's so revealing.

Brian: [00:43:36] I'm so excited about this.

Ingrid: [00:43:36] You're going to... Get ready for the same question back at you.

Brian: [00:43:39] Ok.

Ingrid: [00:43:39] I mean, it's just revealing in the sense that I am a skin care junkie. I am obsessed with like any kind of like new fangled something or other. It is on its way to my home already. There's just... So I love skincare and there is a... And I love like really, really techie skin care. So not just like creams and serums, although I can wax poetic about those all day too. But like, I love the innovation space within skin care, and there is a tool that is mostly used at like the better skin spas or whatever, but that you can buy for your home and it's a microcurrent skin solution. There are these two little like wands and you like magic wand, electrify your skin.

Brian: [00:44:39] What?

Ingrid: [00:44:39] Yeah, you know, it's just the grossest weirdest...

Brian: [00:44:41] What's it called again?

Ingrid: [00:44:43] It's a microcurrent skin... {laughter}

Brian: [00:44:46] Hold on. I'm googling this.

Ingrid: [00:44:49] They're like stupid expensive. And it happens to be... It's like the good, and really, you do pay for what you get with this kind of thing, so you need to spend, they're like fifteen hundred dollars.

Brian: [00:45:01] So what's the premium one? Like, what's the one that's like...

Ingrid: [00:45:05] Oh, I have to find it. And they're not marketed to consumers, like they're marketed to facial places.

Brian: [00:45:11] They're starting to be actually, I'm looking at it right now.

Ingrid: [00:45:14] They are. Like on Amazon. Yeah. So they're expensive. And I would one thousand percent splurge on a microcurrent skincare thing if they were like 50 percent off. And I'm like, yes.

Brian: [00:45:27] Interesting.

Ingrid: [00:45:27] And you're only allowed to use them like once or twice a week. But it's meant to like exercise... It's like a gym toning machine for your face.

Brian: [00:45:36] Cool.

Ingrid: [00:45:37] And an Ingrid wants that.

Brian: [00:45:40] That's cool. Looking at these right now, I had no idea that this existed. It's so funny, actually. So this is so weird, but my dad actually worked at Clarisonic, which was like back in the day...

Ingrid: [00:45:53] Oh yeah.

Brian: [00:45:54] That was like the next level.

Ingrid: [00:45:57] Innovation.

Brian: [00:45:57] Yeah, it was like, obviously, now there are tons of brushes for your face, but like when it first came out, there was nothing like it on the market. And I feel like this is sort of like entering the same way. Although this is already pretty broad market. I'm seeing all kinds of versions of this now.

Ingrid: [00:46:15] There's all sorts of versions and you can get them for really, really inexpensive, but you really got to get like the really good, good good one because some of them just like heat up the top of your dermis. And that's just not like... You got to get the really, really good one shoot.

Brian: [00:46:30] That's cool. This is a cool gift.

Ingrid: [00:46:34] The most unlikely thing. But that and something that's much more accessible. I'm a complete sucker for super super, super fancy luxurious sheets.

Brian: [00:46:45] Oh, really?

Ingrid: [00:46:47] I love a good set of sheets. Yeah.

Brian: [00:46:49] Do you know SFERRA?

Ingrid: [00:46:53] Of course.

Brian: [00:46:53] Oh, yeah. So there are a couple hotels in New York that use SFERRA, and I know which ones they are because it does make a difference. {laughter}

Ingrid: [00:47:06] {laughter} It does. It really does. Speaking of fancy hotels in New York, there's a one in the Catskills that actually has their own sheets that this is also like deep into things that I care about knowledge that are made in Portugal that are unique specifically to that hotel. And those are the sheets that are on my bed right now. And they're like, they're perfect.

Brian: [00:47:29] Whoa. That's amazing. Yeah. I haven't stepped up my sheet game that high yet. I think maybe I need to go get some sheets from Portugal now.

Ingrid: [00:47:37] Yeah, I'll send you the link.

Brian: [00:47:39] Cool. That sounds good. Sheet game is something that I need to get better at, I think.

Ingrid: [00:47:47] Love a good sheet. Makes a big difference. Well, this was so fun.

Brian: [00:47:49] It was fun. Thanks for coming on, Ingrid. I had a blast as usual. We would love to hear, audience, what gifts you want to give this year and what would compel you to buy something that you wouldn't normally buy. What kind of offer? What kind of discount? What kind of thing would spur you to make a purchase? Or maybe you don't ever want to see a discount on the things that you love ever and you want it to stay premium. I'm curious what kind of gift giver you are as well.

Ingrid: [00:48:25] Yes. Oh, and send us your stumps. Like the people that are really, really stumped and need ideas for gifts.

Brian: [00:48:33] Yeah, or just give them something off the Future Commerce gift guide. Check it out. That will also be a good place to find gifts. If you're a Last-Minute gift giver that will be a good spot to look. So with that, thanks for listening. Go listen to Infinite Shelf. Go subscribe to Future Commerce at FutureCommerce.fm. It's all there. We love you. We'll talk to you again soon.

Ingrid: [00:48:58] Happy holidays!

Brian: [00:49:00] Bye.

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