In a very interesting bit of news, America’s top discount retailers are also the top destinations for gifts.
In a Chain Store Age news blurb that focused on the Gifting Report 2007 from Unity Marketing, Wal-Mart was chosen by 42% of shoppers for gift purchases, followed by Target with 31%.
According to the report, the typical gift giver spent $2,643 on gift purchases in 2006, with an additional $78 spent on gift cards, wrapping paper, ribbons and other gifting accessories. This is an increase of a whopping 13.5% over the average amount spent by gifters in 2005.
Although Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Father’s Day are the top-ranked gifting holidays, occasion gifting seems to be the hot trend with non-holiday occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, travel souvenirs, friendship gifts, etc. driving the increased spending.
The most important stat to come out of the report? In 2006 consumers spent an estimated $300 billion buying gifts, which is roughly 10% of the total $3 trillion consumer retail market, according to the report.
So how do you make your store a destination for non-holiday gifts?
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
This whole gifting trend will only escalate. New homeowners, new babies, new marriages, new jobs and job promotions, dinner parties, new neighbors and vacation care packages are just some of the reasons people buy gifts.
In days of yore, we used to make the gifts ourselves. But now, with everyone’s hectic lives, it’s easier to just go out and buy or create a gift.
So you have to capitalize on the trend. Get proactive.
People buy gifts in one of two ways.
1. They buy something that they take away as a gift.
2. They create a gift
You can capitalize on this in a number of ways.
Pre-make gifts – If you sell the types of products that can be bundled together, then bundle them. Make it easy for customers who are looking for a gift to walk in, see something, pull it off the shelf and buy it. Make sure it represents your customers’ needs, which may not necessarily be the same as your tastes. If you don’t have products that you can bundle, choose a few products that may be given as gifts and display the products in open boxes or other vessels to let people know they can be given as gifts.
Bundle gifts in a vessel that’s relevant to your business – I worked for a beauty retailer and we packaged everything in giant natural sponges that were about 12 inches high and wide – it was a unique way to display the products and caught people’s attention.
Create a gift tag with your store’s logo on it – this serves a twofold purpose: It means the customer doesn’t have to buy a card and it also promotes your business.
Create gifts at multiple price points – gifts come in all shapes and sizes. You may want to spend $20 on a candle for a housewarming gift and $100 on a baby gift. Make sure you’re displaying gifts at a number of different price points.
Display gift ideas – place the gifts around your store any place you have space. You don’t need to create a gift center so to speak. Just be able to show your customers your different gift options.