Posted by: Laura Hills, Vice President of Marketing
John Keiser, president of the Gift and Home Trade Association based in Marietta, Georgia acknowledges that the recent economic challenges weeded out the serious gift retailers from those people who had some extra money and thought it would be a neat idea to open up a gift store around a central theme. For gift retailers, thinking outside the box and increasingly thinking beyond their brick and mortar locations has been crucial to their continued growth and success. According to Nancy Lee, president of MyRegistry.com, a NJ based free online gift registry for weddings, baby showers and other occasions, “…it is becoming essential for even the smallest gift stores to have a web presence. Without a web presence, gift retailers can be completely overlooked.”
Gift stores typically cater to wants rather than needs and cautious consumer spending along with changing demographics have greatly affected gift buying habits. The gift industry has been heavily affected by online shopping as more people turn to convenient, readily available online options to fill their gift-giving requirements. This has required retailers to establish a recognizable brand identity across multiple channels to continually attract new customers as well as repeat buyers. Being able to offer one-of-a-kind quality merchandise not commonly found in larger retail stores along with providing exceptional customer service in an engaging shopping environment, whether online or in a store, can make a gift retailer the go to source for the many gift-giving occasions throughout the year. Even target destination venue gift shops, such as zoos, colleges, national parks and museums have created online eCommerce sites that offer their products to wider audiences without ever leaving home.
Whether your gift business focuses on a central theme (pre-made gift baskets, chocolates, flowers, specialty foods, unique clothing and accessories, etc.) or provides a variety of items, once you have created and sourced the products that you will offer, it is essential to create a website that attractively and accurately displays the items, provides selling features, appealing graphics and pictures or videos along with interesting descriptions to attract interest. Running a multichannel gift business that includes an eCommerce store in addition to your brick and mortar storefront can present unique challenges. Ask any gift store retailer and they’ll tell you that opening their gift store wasn’t the hard part – staying in business is.
At Dydacomp we’ve worked with many SMB gift retailers and, through their experiences, have learned what has been most effective in helping them grow. From these experiences, we have put together a paper entitled: “Food & Beverage Gifts of Distinction – Best Practices in Specialty Food & Beverage Retailing” offering suggestions and references that can help you reduce costs, increase efficiency, improve the shopping experience and get your message out across multiple channels. Click here to download this whitepaper.