WHY YOU SHOULD CREATE A GIFT SECTION IN YOUR ONLINE SHOP
The shortest answer is: to attract more market.
But you must be wondering… can we actually consider gift sales as a separate market? The answer is: Yes, we can! It is a separate market. If you think about it, you offer products for those who want them for themselves and also for those who know someone who would want them! This fact clearly expands the range of potential customers.
I invite you to draw your own conclusions: According to Technavio, the global gifts market was around $62 billion in 2019 and it should reach $68.45 billion by 2024.
Looking at this data and how easy it is today to deliver worldwide, it can be worth it to focus on planning gift-targeted strategies to grab a peace of this market.
Nevertheless, your marketing strategy will depend on the grade of specificity of your products, among other factors:
If, for instance, you sell products that most people would like to receive, you have a potential gift shop! You could aim for this market as well as you do to your regular prospects.
In the case that your products are very specific or they require a certain technical background, as for example bikes market, they won’t be easily bought as gifts. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t sell products as gifts to mainstream buyers who have bike-fan-friends. You can sell related items (also along with a gift card) such as mugs or shirts for bike lovers, so it could be a “solution” for gift buyers who don’t know exactly what to buy related to a certain topic because they are not specialists, but they would not want to give a plain gift card on the topic (bikes in this case).
That said, let me ask you one thing: Are you consciously attacking the Gift Market?
You will know you are doing so if you are implementing specific sales strategies for gifts and, above all, if you are measuring the percentage of gift sales out of your revenue. Many shop owners still don’t, but luckily it can be easily solved.
Another good reason to give focus to gift sales is that you can hit a double target in one shot, the buyer and the recipient. The late can be converted into “customer status” if you make a good job by giving him/her a great gifting experience and if you take the chance to apply marketing strategies inside the package (for example a good discount for first time purchase). This could be a great moment to create engagement with someone who did not have the intention to look for your shop but who now suddenly holds your gift in his/her hands with a smiling face. It can be a very powerful moment.
2.THE GIFT BOX SECTION AND HOW TO DO IT:
A great way to attract gift buyers is to create a gift box section, though it is not the only way to boost gift sales. You can make a gift box of almost any topic, but some typical topics are skin care kits or food experiences as wine and crafted food. But as said before, you can use any topic, you only have to be creative. For example book stores could include a book, a mug and an original bookmark). Whatever you think of, please bare in mind that it needs to be easily sold, it should not only be cute or a great gift for yourself. So…
-Prior to buy the goods for your gift boxes, it’s not recommended to buy too many items which you don’t know if they will be sold. It is safer to have new products available in short time at your suppliers at the beginning.
–These need to be easy to find inside your shop, specially if the buyer doesn’t know what to buy. Make sure the gift box section is visible when entering your home page. You can also include gift boxes in the gifts section if you have one.
-You should also offer different packs as per buyer’s budget. Let the buyer choose. It is very good to have cheap options but you should have more expensive options, too. Gift boxes are often bought by several persons and a cheap gift box might not be suited for all gifting occasions. Sometimes the buyer is looking for something to match around a specific budget, not more and not less. Check this example below:
–A full box of products is very appreciated. Not all items need to be expensive, but it is recommended that the box looks full. If (some of) the products show for themselves the value of the box you only have to adapt the size of the box to the products it contains. It seems to be obvious, right? Well, not all shops understand this simple fact, compromising this way the gift experience. Smaller boxes will also be cheaper and the gift impact will be much better. And this brings me to the next point:
–The gift needs to fulfil the gift experience expected. Using a good packaging, a good wrapping (even a bow), etc makes an impact, it is the quality of your service what is being shown. A tip to improve the experience would be to send a printed greeting card along with the gift. On the back you can print your logo and marketing hooks to try to convert the recipient.
–This section is ideal to attract companies looking of gifts for their customers or employees. Think of them when creating your gift boxes, make them choose easily, offer them some option to show their logo on the gift or tied to it. Succeeding here can make a great impact in your shop’s revenue.
-Mind the added costs when transforming the products into a gift: the gift boxes should be “beautiful” as well as they should show quality. The bow is also a cost, the wrapping paper, the printed greeting card if included and, very important, the extra time to prepare the gift box is also a cost. Someone will have to do it, thus you have to add this working time to your cost breakdown prior to calculate your desired profit margin.
3.PREPARE YOUR WEBPAGE TO BE A GIFT SHOP (TOO):
Take care of the SEO:
You will bring more traffic to your web and, from it, more sales opportunities.
–Write your own product gift box descriptions (I explain this below in the copywriting section). They should not include copy-pasted sentences from the supplier or any other web), Google could penalize your website because of this duplicated content. Distance yourself from your competitors using texts so you don’t have to do it lowering your prices!
Keywords and the “buyer’s journey”:
Gift buyers can come upon you while being in one of the three stages they can go through. This is why it is important to know how to “hunt” them in every stage. The keywords written in your products, blog or website in general will take them to your store (if you have paid attention in SEO). There are words and sentences you can write in order to attract buyers from any of these three stages. However, once you attract them to your store, you need to make them go up to the third stage if they enter from any of the other two. You will understand the concept immediately. The three stages are:
- Awareness stage. Buyers are looking for the topic they want to “solve”, in general. In our gifting case it could be “gifts for women in wedding anniversary”.
- Consideration stage. The buyer knows already what solution they are looking for and he/she starts to look for more specific solution. In our example it could be “jewelry gifts for wedding anniversary”. Another example is shown in the image below, where the buyer knows already that he/she is looking for: a “zero waste” kind of gift.
- Decision stage. They know how to solve their “problem” and he/she is already looking for different products to compare them before taking a decision. The buyer could be looking for a sentence that you have in your product page, such as “silver necklace for wedding anniversary”. All the potential buyers that land in your webpage at this third stage, if your product and price suits them, have almost purchased. You need to solve their questions (shipping scope, returns policy, etc) and make them feel confident and safe in your shop.
By saying this I want to emphasize the importance of the words and sentences in your home, blog or product sites. It takes time to work on this, but it is definitely worth it.
As you can see in the image above, I googled “zero waste gift” and this is what came out (cookies,location, etc. affect this result). The first 4 results are blogs/content about zero waste, the fifth is actually a well known marketplace. On the right, we get paid advertisements for gift boxes. So, what do we learn from this?
The potential gift buyer in stage 2 (consideration stage) will probably go for the 4 first options to finally see what kind of zero waste product he/she could buy. The one being at stage 3 (decision stage) might click on those first options but most probably he/she will go for the shop directly so he an compare products. Then, if you have a blog in your website where you talk about zero waste products and you also have a good SEO, you could be in this first page on Google. This is a success! It’s first contact with a potential prospect. You might not sell now, but you are closer to him/her, and you will appear soon in front of his/her eyes if you have ad campaigns going on.
And what about the right side of the first page? It is full of zero waste packs and boxes. Why is it? Because many shops are promoting through paid campaigns their “giftable” zero waste products, which they have grouped into gift boxes. Again, if you write the correct words in your url, in your posts, in your products, and if you create a gift(box) section, it will help you be more visible. Also if you pay well oriented campaigns, of course!
The importance of copywriting:
Some people underestimate copywriting because it looks somehow…”intangible”, but I consider this a mistake. During my career in different jobs such a purchasing director or at customer service, I learnt that WORDS and TRUST are key to closing deals, it can be in written form, or face to face, or on the phone. First you need to be found (through SEO, paid campaigns or words of mouth), then you need to be seen as trustworthy, and then you need to show the value of your products and shop policy advantages. And this you get through WORDS. Mostly written by you, and also written by happy customers (the so-called social proof).
Most important is that, before writing any text related to the gifts, you bare in mind what solution must the prospect be thinking of when searching on a search engine: maybe he/she doesn’t know what to buy yet (write for stage one), or maybe he/she knows the kind of product already but he/she needs to know which is suitable for the gift occasion (write for stage two). Or maybe the prospect knows exactly what he/she would like to buy (write for stage three).
To sum up: if the prospect likes the product and the price, and your shop looks TRUSTWORTHY (it looks professional, if you show and there is positive social proof) and you answer positively about all the extras (free returns, free shipping, gift wrapping possibility, etc), he/she won’t have many reasons not to buy from you. So add value with WORDS.
–Indicate shortly what purpose is the product for. For example “ideal for teenagers/anniversary/eco-lovers” or “they will love finding this gift under the Christmas tree”. They should create pleasant images in their minds about the effect or the gift.
-I insist, please do not use suppliers descriptions for anywhere in your website, you need to make your own descriptions. For ALL PRODUCTS. This is a great opportunity to work the uniqueness of your brand. Try to show why they should buy to you instead of buying to others while you answer the main questions the prospect might have when entering your shop. You don’t have to write long texts, they just need to give useful information. And needless to say, don’t make up things in order to sell more 🙂
An example for good practices when showing value and working SEO is the shop www.ecco-verde.com:
If you take a look at the header, it answers the typical questions of the prospect regarding returns policy and free shipping minimum order (a great hook to increase the value of the purchase order).
It doesn’t have a gift or gift box section but you can find the very “giftable” products and gift boxes by looking into the search box.
The description of the product is good (more than purely functional) but it could add more value by explaining for example the kind of occasion this would make a perfect gift, such as “ideal for people who are interested in sustainability, recycling or is ocean-protection-friendly”. All these words not only help the prospect decide, they also make your shop appear more easily in the google search engine!
–Include opinions from people who have bought the product already, it helps conversion a lot. In order to get customer reviews, it is essential that you encourage your prospects to write one. You can also offer some benefit to do so.
A great example for this is the shop www.thefacetheory.com. They have hundreds and thousands of reviews in many products (1.814 in the product below!). Furthermore, they take good care of the copy and they also have a very good returns policy and several methods to make payment more easy. In the description of the product, they do not only mention the ingredients but they explain what the ingredients are good for. I’m sure this converts! They are doing a great job.
If you want to improve your copywriting on your shop but you don’t know much yet about this area, I highly recommend you the Youtube channel of Alex Cattoni. I would recommend you some books about copywriting but I think it’s better if you start watching some videos and then you move on into other resources you discover on the way 😉
–Organize your online shop o gifts section: Add tags to the description of all giftable products and gift boxes so potential gift buyers can find them inside your website. Some examples are: “gift”, “gift box”, “anniversary”, “birthday”,”children” “man”, “woman” etc.
-Though commented earlier, I would like to write here separately that your web needs to answer quickly to all doubts and potential wishes of your prospects. Think about this every time you add information in your website (a discount pop-up, shipping costs info, returns policy, etc).
4.MARKETING CAMPAIGNS AND WHO ARE THEY FOR:
-You need to analyze who is your target customer (the one who will buy your product), gender, economic status and age, among other factors if required, to use this information to target the audience the campaign will hit. Social Media are very good channels to promote gifts and their platforms are normally prepared to target the prospects very well. We won’t explain here how to implement marketing campaigns but you can find a lot of free info on Youtube or Google. Before you create your first campaign, you need to know that it is not always worth it (profitable) to just run advertisements, you need to learn what would work for your products and you need to target properly. You can start by trial and error but, depending on your budget, I would think of hiring a marketing supplier or follow some strategies from a free online course to start.
And this is all for this first post. If it inspired you or it made you re-think on how you are delivering value and attracting “gift prospects” to your online shop, I’m more than happy! 😀
Please leave a comment and tell us what you would like us to write about related to gift sales! 😀
See you soon!