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Amazon Adds Address-Free Gifting Feature Ahead of Holidays

Amazon on Monday (Oct. 4) debuted a new feature that will allow U.S. Prime subscribers to send gifts to friends and family members without knowing their addresses, instead relying on mobile phone numbers or email addresses to help with delivery.

Instead of choosing the delivery address, senders can instead pick “Let the recipient provide their address,” then add the person’s email address or mobile number. The recipient will get a gift message by email or text that allows them to accept the gift and add their preferred delivery address. Recipients can also exchange the gift for an Amazon gift card and buy something else without notifying the giver.

Amazon is also making it easier to share holiday gift lists with their entire families with a function that lets everyone in the household access the roll call, organized by recipient.

The new features follow Friday’s announcement that shoppers can now ask Alexa to tell them about the day’s latest deals on Amazon, helping them plan what to buy and build a shopping list.

Read more: Amazon Ramping up Alexa Voice Shopping With ‘What Are My Deals?’ Campaign

Last month, Mastercard projected that U.S. retail sales during the holiday shopping period this year (Nov. 1-24) would grow by 7.4% from 2020 and by 11.1% from 2019. Digital sales are projected to grow by 7.6% year over year and 57.3% compared to 2019, while in-store sales are expected to grow 6.6% compared to 2020.

Mastercard Senior Adviser Steve Sadove told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster that the holiday shopping season could start earlier than normal this year due to supply chain and labor issues for both sides of the retail equation, pointing to Oct. 11 as the kickoff of what Mastercard is calling the “75 Days of Christmas.”

Related news: Holiday 2021: Pent-Up Consumer Demand, Test of In-Store Experience for Retailers

Shoppers also shouldn’t expect to see deep discounts, he said. Almost every retail category is expected to see a double-digit rise in sales during the holiday shopping season, with luxury projected to see a 93% year-over-year increase and jewelry set to see a 59% jump.

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