Best-in-class ninjas are known for their mercenary combat skills and legendary sneakiness. But, did you know that you hold the same ninja-like powers in the palm of your own hand? When it comes to gift-giving, your smartphone is your secret weapon this holiday season. In it, you hold the power to research, shop and pay for the perfect gifts – completely under the radar of your family or the office snoop.
Need proof? We thought you might; ninjas are skeptics by nature. Shopping like a ninja is easy when you follow these six tips.
1. Be a social media sleuth
Perhaps you don’t know enough about the people you are shopping for to know what they’re interested in. Fortunately, your smartphone gives you all the ninja-like sleuthing power you need to Facebook-stalk your loved ones and get a detailed overview of their likes and dislikes. Pinterest is another useful resource, since users “pin” things they like for anyone with an account to see.
2. Cut out the middle man
Ninjas are known for their speedy reflexes and laser-sharp instincts. Fortunately, you don’t have to be an actual ninja to use the “buy now” buttons on Facebook and Twitter. These features streamline the gift-buying process. Rather than taking the buyer to the retailer’s website, these “buy now” buttons allow you to complete your purchase with a few clicks. Instagram has a similar feature called “Like2buy.”
3. Browse gift guides
If you know where your giftee likes to shop, visit the websites of those retailers and look for “curated” gift guides – collections of items the retailer has identified as great gifts. Lululemon.com, for example, features an entire section of these gift guides, with multiple categories for different types of people. RealSimple Magazine is another helpful gift-guide publisher. These online resources give you nearly superhuman abilities that would otherwise take years of training to acquire.
4. Choose a common theme for everyone
Significantly simplify decision-making by selecting a theme that everyone can appreciate. For example, nearly everyone on your shopping list can make use of a food-related gift. Ninjas must consume nutritional foods that boost their mental alertness, but your gift recipients can probably afford to splurge a little. Harry & David offers decadent chocolates and gourmet food gifts that are sure to be loved by all.
“Experiential” gifts are also widely appreciated. Check out the show schedule at Metrotix and purchase tickets to events that you know your loved ones will enjoy. If you do not live near your gift recipient, you can give him or her a gift card to Fandango. Fandango gift cards can be used to purchase tickets to local movie theatres. The Fandango network includes 26,000 movie screens nationwide.
Personalized gifts are universally loved. Why? Because they are uniquely crafted with the recipient’s values and personality in mind. PersonalCreations.com (formerly RedEnvelope) offers a vast array of items for easy personalization and ordering right from your phone or computer. Your ninja-like instincts will guide you in choosing just the right gift, and because you can shop from anywhere in the world, you can perform this task without detection. Ninja shoppers, however, should take note: although you might be a stealthy personalizer, these types of vendors often require more time than the average retail shop to produce and ship personalized items. Budget some extra time if you decide to go this route.
6. Don’t forget the loyalty program
No matter where you shop, if you have many gifts to buy, it pays to participate in loyalty programs. Macy’s, for example, offers Plenti Points, which reward shoppers with incentives to shop at partner establishments. Advanced ninja ranks can be obtained by leveling up in these programs (and you might get some cool discounts too).
Although not exclusive to ninjas, stealthiness is key to holiday-shopping success. Follow these six tips and unlock your inner-holiday-ninja today.