With the new year here and well underway you can finally plan ahead for upcomgin holidays! It is time to prep and spruce up your online store – put your best foot forward to leverage shopping fever as the public catches the browsing bug.
Gift giving has been inextricably tied up with holidays since the beginning of time. In fact, implementing season-specific marketing strategies is one of the most dependable ways of ramping up sales on your e-store.
However, simply offering discounts or offers for your products is no longer enough. Given the rate at which e-commerce is expanding, you need to have some strong cards in your hand to make an impression before the holiday rush.
One way of doing this is by pruning your website specifically for the gifting perspective, rather than just marketing the gift-worthiness of your products. Confused? Let me explain.
Selling Gifts vs Selling Products
The one significant difference between gif shopping and traditional shopping is that people are often looking for products that have an added, meaningful touch. This could be father’s day mugs, personalized swag, holiday sets, etc.
Selling gifts instead of simply selling products has the potential to bring two customers to your store instead of one.
The first is the gifter, who has browsed your e-store and found the perfect gift to give. The second is the giftee who receives the gift, is blown away by the thoughtfulness and visits your e-store to check out the other interesting gifts he can gift in turn. Talk about chain reaction!
So, now that we have established the importance of directing your marketing efforts towards selling gifts instead of products, let’s see how can you make your e-commerce store gift-season ready!
Making Your Online Store Gift Ready
There are lots of ways to prep your online store for the year ahead, but here are a few key tips to get your started for gift shoppers.
1. Plan Out Holiday Promotions & Events
First pullout your calendar and take note of the upcoming holidays you want to target. This may sound obvious, but it’s a key part of planning big marketing events as well as anticipating inventory needs. Think about which holidays make sense for your store to specifically create gifts centered around.
For example, Valentine’s is probably a day you won’t want to miss. On the other hand, unless you’re a brewery or a store that imports Irish products there’s a good chance St Patrick’s day is one you can skip. You get the idea.
2. Integrate Gifts Into Site Navigation
One of the cardinal rules of gift selling is, make them easy for your audience to find. You may have the best ideas for the greatest gifts in the world, but if they are secreted away in a corner of your website nobody is going to find them.
Take a cue from major gifting sites like 1800 Flowers and keep your gifts front and center. Adding your current gift promotions where they’re accessible in your menu makes it easier for the buyers to quickly find what they are looking for and make the purchase. Simply create gifting categories and add them to your main menu.
To make the search even more user-friendly, you can even sort the gifts into specific categories such as by Recipient, Occasion, Age, Brand, Price Range, Offers, etc. A great way to add this to your website is with the SearchWP advanced WordPress search plugin. SearchWP automatically supports advanced, faceted search via taxonomies (like categories, tags and even product attributes). When creating your WooCommerce products just remember to add relevant product attributes (color, brand, ingredients, etc) and tags (age it’s a good gift for, general interest, etc).
3. Set up Dedicated Gift Pages
If you are not the kind of person who wants a sticky banner looming over your Homepage advertising your gifts, you can always opt for the more subtle but equally effective way of setting up dedicated Gift Pages. These can be fixtures on your site per the occasion and can be accessed by shoppers all round the year.
The categories we discussed above can be applicable here as well. In addition, you can even consider setting up a dedicated page for your seasonal offers on product bundles with gift packages for various occasions.
4. Promote Personalized Bundles
One way to make gift shopping easier is by creating gift bundles in advance for specific individuals. You can take the current trends and popular products trending in the market and add them to the bundle making it attractive. In addition, a personalized touch, based on who the gift is for, goes a long way in clinching the deal.
Remember the ready-to-order ‘Gift Box for Mum’ you checked out for Mother’s Day? This idea is along the same lines. For the quick shoppers, there is nothing better than a bundle they can order in easily and quickly and which includes practically everything they are looking for.
You can undertake some market surveys to get a clearer picture of the generic preferences and affordability before you create personalized bundles by age or occasion. Don’t forget to offer a substantial range of options for customers to choose from and you’ll literally see the gifts flying off your virtual shelves!
Bonus: Custom Bundles
Along the same lines, you can offer customers complete freedom to create their own, personalized gift bundle. With WisdmLab’s Custom Products Boxes you can offer gift boxes of various sizes, a pool of products to choose from, and a defined price range and sit back to let customers design their individualistic package. You can use typically persuasive measures like bigger the box better the discount, or offering an irresistible incentive to increase the sales.
Another idea is to get into the mindset of the shopper and decide your pricing strategy accordingly. Is the shopper looking for a bunch of scented candles or a complete aroma kit? The former has fewer options but gets a flat discount, while the latter gets more options but has per product discounts. Experiment with popular products and revise the choices made available accordingly.
5. Create Gift Cards
Inevitably there is someone in all of our lives that is difficult to shop for. Which is why gift cards were invented. Gift cards can be tricky to add to your store, but with the free YITH Gift Card WooCommerce add-on it’s a breeze. This free plugin adds a new product type to your WooCommerce store so you can create cards for various amounts. When a customer orders a gift card they’ll have the option to add the recipient’s email address for quick delivery. The gift amount is then applied via a coupon code at checkout.
6. Offer Gift Wrap at Checkout
One of the best gifting up-sells you can add to your store is gift wrap. Try the free WooCommerce Gift Wrapper plugin – it adds easy options for wrapping types and gift message at checkout. These are a simple way to add a personal touch and turn any purchase into a gift.
7. Create a Newsletter for Special Offers
Lastly – create a newsletter! A newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with past customers throughout the year, share new gifts, notify them of holiday promotions or even send them personalized offers based on past purchases.
We really like MailChimp (which is FREE for newsletters up to 2,000 subscribers) because it is easy to use and there are tons of free integration options like WooCommerce MailChimp to add a newsletter to your store. This plugin in particular adds subscription options after they place an order. After that you can create welcome emails or a full on email drip campaign.
There are many ways to prep your online store for the year but hopefully these tips will help you get ready for gifting. Offering easy to find gift pages, bundles, gift wrapping and more are tried and tested strategies to target the gifting market.
What do you think of our strategies to make e-stores gift season-ready? Any tips you would like to share? Feel free to drop a comment below!