WishClick Takes The Uncertainty Out Of Gift-Giving - InformationWeek

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WishClick Takes The Uncertainty Out Of Gift-Giving

As Christmas fast approaches, millions of Americans are submitting to the annual ritual of procrastination, clogging the malls to do that last-minute shopping for friends and relatives who often already have--or don't even want--the gifts they receive. But naturally, there's a Web site that seeks to alleviate that problem, and not just for Christmas, but for all gift-giving occasions.

In its second holiday season of operation, WishClick.com Inc. lets visitors create wish lists from a stable of 40 retail partners, including Brookstone, FogDog Sports, and Pacific Sunwear. The lists can then be E-mailed to friends and relatives for convenient point-and-click gift-buying. And if list-makers can't find what they want on one of those sites, they can download a plug-in that lets them add items from nonpartner sites. A noble gesture, considering that WishClick makes its money only on purchases made from a partner site after linking from a wish list.

A year ago, the site didn't go beyond this listing function. This year, however, it has added a human touch called the gift goddess, who will research gifts for those who are stumped and come back a day or two later with ideas. And we're not talking some impersonal search function. The gift goddess is an honest-to-goodness person. "Every request is individually researched," WishClick CEO Scott Sangster says.

For Pacific Sunwear, WishClick has proven to be a welcome source of revenue. The retailer, which sells apparel and accessories for teens at nearly 600 stores nationwide, had built its own rudimentary wish-list function when WishClick approached the company last year. Ron Ehlers, VP of information services, says Pacific Sunwear's youthful clientele have latched onto the WishClick concept, compiling separate lists for parents, friends, and extended family. Says Ehlers, "It's really compelling for us because of our customer base."

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