Shopping by electronic word of mouth makes a difference

So here’s my modern day dilemma. I am in Australia. My sister lives in California.  I can’t be with her for her birthday (sad).  So of course the question comes up “What should I do for her birthday?”.  Weighing more on my mind is the fact that this date is the first one where our mother won’t be around to ring and wish her well.  Birthdays are important to my sister.

So what do I get her?

A thing would be nice.

But she has lots of things.  

A book could be good.

But I send her books all the time (that’s my addiction) and she told me to stop.

Mailing a package from Australia might do the trick.

No that would take time, packing and postage – all detracting from what she could get already in California.

What would be better than another thing?  

An experience!  But what kind of experience. Well for anyone who knows what it is like to be as she calls it the ‘CEO of her household’ then a break would be great. I can’t of course offer babysitting, that might get expensive.

The answer....a gift card for an experience that makes her feel better.

The challenge though is how to know what experience to choose. Even more challenging is figuring out what service provider is reputable, quality and worth selecting.  Usually I like to have an experience and then recommend based on mine.  

Call in the old standby referral service

So the next place to go is of course word of mouth.

Here my dilemma continued. Who’s word of mouth?

Then it hit me!  I met her neighbor. I liked her neighbor. I know my sister and family do too. So I think I could trust her. Even better she does this amazing website where she regularly formalizes word of mouth by professionally blogging on travel ideas. (If you want to check her out see  She's the SoCalGal.)

Tick the list for credibility and trust.

A phone call is the last resort when it's after midnight, her time

But how to contact her. We are on different time zones. She travels of course. She has family. Then it hit me again (my head was hurting by this stage).  Contact her via Twitter.  I remember I recently added her to my follows and luckily she followed back. Easy.

One DM later and we are sorting out places to go. I asked for what I wanted and she instantly had a couple of great suggestions. I then go to the websites of the suggested places and not only do they offer exactly what I am looking for they also have gift card options with delivery.

The easy choice

So which one did I choose? The one with the easiest online ordering process that offered the quickest delivery.

The special day arrives.  I hint to my sister she might want to look out for a little package.  Half a day later I get the email I hoped. Happy happy happy!!!!  I of course enjoyed a real conversation with my sis by phone, even if I did call her at 1:30am my time :-)

So just another note to signal to the world of commerce, social media and website designers out there – make it easy for me to make someone special in my life have a great day!!!  If you do then I help keep you in business and share the love.  Then I can spend more of my valuable time sharing quality time and connection.

So go share the love everyone.


Note to people who want to push their products/services at me rather than build my trust first:  Just because I write this post does not mean I will follow, enrol, sign up or whatever because you just want to sell me something.  Again the point here is I trust the personal referral :-)

Jenn Shallvey