Have you ever struggled to find a gift for someone? I know I have. Whether for a loved one or a colleague at work, it’s not always easy to pick the ‘perfect’ item.
One of the main problems is the sheer amount of choice out there, and then there’s the time component. Most of us don’t want to spend forever looking through catalogs, visiting stores, or searching online for the ideal present.
The good news is you can solve this problem by creating gift guides.
I probably don’t need to explain what a gift guide is, but you might not realize that they provide more than just a handy round-up for buyers.
Let’s look at some of the advantages in creating gift guides below.
Why Should You Create Gift Guides for Your E-Commerce Site?
Besides making it easier for your customers to decide which of your products to buy, gift guides serve many other purposes. Here are a few more benefits of creating a gift guide.
Gift Guides Boost Brand Awareness
As gift guides are helpful in inspiring purchases, consumers are likely to share them with their networks.
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Additionally, a gift guide helps you to target a specific audience. For example, say you specialize in selling hiking gear. Non-customers searching online may discover your guide and find exactly what they’ve been looking for.
As a result, you’ll enjoy a boost in brand awareness and spread the word about your business.
Gift Guides Can Increase Sales
A well-designed gift guide is an effective tool in helping you increase sales. When you publish regular guides on your site (For example, for Valentine’s Day, public holidays, and anniversaries), you give searchers a reason to visit your site and buy a product.
Additionally, you can attract extra sales by sending out gift guides in your newsletters. That way, not only could you benefit from selling your products, but you can earn affiliate income, too. For example, if you sell luxury pampering products, you might want to sign up for an affiliate program with Sephora or Fragrance.net. That way, you expand your range and receive commissions for any products sold through your links.
Further, by analyzing your mailing list, you can segment your customers and target your offers more accurately for increased conversions.
Gift Guides Provide Blog and Social Media Content
A gift guide provides you with engaging content for your blog, and they make excellent social media posts. As a result, you can maintain high engagement rates with your target audience.
In addition, gift guides help you achieve many of your marketing and sales goals. How?
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- You can target these collections to specific demographics or occasions, helping businesses showcase their products and provide gift ideas to customers.
- Gift guides can also improve customer engagement and loyalty by providing a personalized shopping experience and building better relations with your target customers.
- Featuring these gift guides on social media can increase post reach and drive traffic to your website, ultimately leading to increased sales and revenue.
Now you know how a gift guide can enhance your business. Let’s look at how to create them.
How to Create Unique Gift Guides for Your E-Commerce Business
In this section, I’ll walk you through some strategies for crafting gift guides designed to appeal to your target audience and showcase your products. Let’s dive in.
1. Identify Your Audience
Audience research is one of the most critical steps in creating a gift guide. You can’t market to your audience effectively if you don’t understand them. That means creating detailed customer personas like the one below.
These profiles enable you to make personalized recommendations, which your customers are more likely to buy.
Here’s how to create a persona.
Collect Demographic Data
Demographic data refers to your target audience’s physical attributes. Examples include:
- marital status
- geographic location
By delving into your data, you can gain insights into who your customers are, the social media platforms they’re on and tailor your marketing message to resonate with them. For instance, you can create hyper-targeted campaigns that appeal to specific demographics, personalize your content to match their interests or needs, and improve your overall ROI.
Understand Your Audience’s Psychographic Data
Psychographic data is information about your target audience’s:
- personality traits
Both demographic and psychographic data are essential to understanding your customers’ needs, pain points, and aspirations.
As a result, you can tailor a relevant gift guide by offering personalized product recommendations.
Choose Items to Include in Your Gift Guides
Once you understand your audience, choosing the products to include in your gift guide gets easier.
Choosing the right products to include in your gift guide can take time and effort. However, as an established business, you’ve already got the tools you need to start selecting items.
Look at Your Sales Data
The most effective way to choose items is to look at your sales data. Some of the biggest companies in the world, like Coca-Cola, Netflix, and Revolut, put their data at the center of their businesses.
Why? Because data provides insight into:
- buying trends and habits
- popular products
- unique segments
Besides your own sales data, you can also leverage tools like Google Trends to identify emerging opportunities in your niche.
Ask Your Customers
Another effective way to determine what to include in your gift guide is to ask your customers. You can use tools like surveys, polls, and quizzes to gain valuable insights into your audience’s preferences. Alternatively, you can create polls on your favorite social media channels.
Consider Creating Gift Bundles
Not sure what to include and exclude in your gift guide? Then consider creating gift bundles like the one in the image below.
Gift bundles are an excellent way of showcasing your product range. For your bundles to be effective, you must get the right mix. To select products for a great bundle, choose:
- complimentary products from your product range
- products you’ve succeeded in cross-selling
- fast-selling products with slow movers
Also, consider collaborating with other brands that target a similar audience to yours to get your products in front of a wider range of customers.
Here are some tips for putting bundles together:
- Attract your customers with visually appealing gift bundles featuring your best products in a specific category.
- Offer exclusive products and deals only available in gift bundles to entice your customers to purchase.
- Personalize your gift bundles with custom packaging, messages, and wrapping options to make them stand out.
- Make gift bundles easy to find and navigate by creating a separate category or page on your website.
- Use persuasive product descriptions and high-quality images to showcase the items in the gift bundle and highlight their value.
- Offer complimentary gift wrapping and fast shipping options to enhance the customer’s shopping experience.
- Create limited-time gift bundles for special occasions, holidays, or seasonal events to create a sense of urgency and promote sales.
- Remember to segment your email list and send targeted promotions and offers to the right groups of customers who are more likely to have an interest in gift bundles.
Consult Your Suppliers
The success of your gift guide lies in identifying the right products for each season. However, you don’t need to do all the groundwork yourself. Just ask your suppliers.
They know which products are hot and what’s trending. Ask them which products are moving fast in their inventory or those they anticipate to be buzzworthy.
Once you have this info, you can determine which products suit your audience and tailor them accordingly.
Craft Headlines for Your Gift Guides That Evoke Emotions and Inspire Action
Like all other types of content, your gift guide depends on a powerful headline for success. Take your time to craft one that:
Evokes the Readers’ Emotions
Gift buying is usually an emotion-driven endeavor. When your customers shop around for a gift, they mainly do so for someone they have an emotional connection with. Hence, they want to purchase something that has an emotional impact.
That’s why your gift guide headline must evoke your target audience’s emotions.
With a well-crafted headline, you can compel your audience to engage with your content and take meaningful actions.
To craft such a headline, use personalization. For example, speak directly to your customer by using the word “you.”
Also, focus on using powerful and persuasive words that trigger an emotional response. Try using words that convey a sense of urgency, like “now” or “limited time,” to create a sense of excitement and urgency.
Inspires Readers to Take Action
Your gift guide headline must inspire readers to take action, preferably purchasing one of your products. To do this:
- use active voice and avoid passive voice
- use power words like exclusive, limited edition, or gift.
- paint a picture of the benefits of reading your gift guide. For instance, you could explain the problems the products could help to solve or highlight the unique features.
Find Quality Product Images
Poor images such as low resolution pictures cause uncertainty, according to the Kansas State Collegian. They can also lead to trust issues and higher return rates.
Want to grab your customer’s attention when they click through to your gift guide? The best way to do that is to use high-quality product images.
Here’s an excellent example from Brightland’s gift guide for Mother’s Day:
High-quality images also help:
- Give instant information: Humans are visual creatures and process images faster than text.
- Make your gift guide easy to scan: Images are an excellent way of helping your readers scan and absorb information.
- Images encourage sharing: People love sharing helpful stuff they find online. Those who love your gift guide are more likely to share it if you use high-quality photos.
You can get images from your suppliers. Alternatively, you can hire a professional photographer for some unique images.
However, if you have a limited budget and are going it alone, here are some tips for creating great-looking pictures:
- Consider the layout and arrangement of your products when composing your gift guide image. Use props and backgrounds to create visually appealing and balanced compositions.
- Experiment with different angles and perspectives to create interest and highlight the unique features of your products.
- Optimize your images for the web by reducing file size without sacrificing quality. This can help ensure fast loading times for your gift guide page and provide a better user experience for your audience.
- Use relevant branding and typography to tie your gift guide image into your overall brand identity and help it stand out.
- Consider using a consistent design theme or color palette across all your gift guide images.
Determine the Format of Your Gift Guides
Gift guides come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. As you plan on creating your gift guide, you must determine the best format. Examples include:
- blog post
- social media posts (like Instagram or Facebook posts)
- Pinterest images with links to your store
How do you know which content format to use for your gift guide? Well, that depends on a couple of factors, including:
When deciding which content format to use, look no further than your existing audience. Check your blog and social media analytics to see which content types perform well with your buyers, or survey them and ask for their preferred formats. Once you know the answer, you can target them with more content they love.
The Platforms You’ll Market Your Gift Guide On
Where you’re marketing also matters. Some types of content work better on some platforms than others. For instance, if your gift guide is image-rich, you might find sites like Pinterest and Instagram work well. You might even want to give TikTok a go.
Finally, your niche is another essential factor that impacts the format you should use for your gift guide. For example, if you’re in a visual niche, your gift guide may not need as much text as one in a niche where info plays a more significant role in driving conversions.
Market Your Gift Guides
With your gift guide ready, it’s time to show it to the world, but how do you get people to view it?
Here are a few tips to help you market your gift guide to the right audience.
One of the best marketing channels for your gift guide is social media.
There are around 4.89 billion social media users according to Statista, and it’s likely they’ll be nearly 6 billion social media users by 2027. That tells you the appetite for social is huge and will only get bigger.
You can also use social media to hyper-target your campaigns with PPC ads. This strategy can get your gift guide in front of prospects who are more likely to convert. However, it can also be costly if you don’t get it right.
Send It to Your Email List
Another excellent marketing channel for your gift guide is email. Although it’s one of the oldest and most basic digital marketing channels, email is still one of the best for marketing. Here’s a great example of how to use it.
One of the best advantages of email marketing is that most people on your list are already interested in what you have to offer. Therefore, they will likely know others interested in being gifted with your products.
Another advantage of email is that you can segment your email list, creating personalized messaging. Consider making a personalized gift guide for each segment, increasing the chances of conversion.
Search engine optimization (SEO) still applies to marketing your gift guide. While basic, remember to implement best practices like:
- keyword research
- adding tags to your images
- strategic linking
- focusing on user experience (UX)
Make it easy for your customers to find your gift guide when they’re looking for ideas. Having an effective SEO strategy is exactly what you need to achieve that.
Creating your gift guide is only half the battle. Getting it in front of the right people is the other half. With your well-designed gift guide and the following marketing tips, you increase the chances of driving sales.
Successful Gift Guide Examples
You’ve got everything you need to create a gift guide. However, if you want some more inspiration, here are some gift guide examples to look at.
The department store does a brilliant job of dividing its gift guide into recipients, price points, and categories. This approach limits search time and allows ease of navigation.
It also shows that gift guides don’t have to be seasonal; you can use them as a product round-up throughout the year.
This last-minute gift guide focuses on the sense of urgency shoppers often feel when they’re looking for that elusive perfect present.
The page uses high-quality images with plenty of white space and adds affiliate links underneath the images so shoppers can click through and buy.
You could also go niche, like the example below.
The above guide targets men who enjoy the outdoors, and uses a simple, but appealing color scheme.
Like the Macy’s gift guide, it categorizes items for ease of use, and to reduce search time.
What should be included in a gift guide?
Begin by considering your target audience. Who are you creating this gift guide for? What are their interests and hobbies? What price range do they typically shop in? Once you clearly understand who you’re trying to reach, you can start assembling a selection of products that will appeal to them.
Once you know your audience, it’s time to start curating your products. This means researching and finding items that fit your theme or category. For example, if you’re creating a gift guide for coffee lovers, you might want to include things like mugs, coffee makers, or gourmet beans.
Also, focus on things that are popular or on-trend right now.
Why are gift guides important?
Gift guides are important because they provide insight into trends, allow recommendations for specific groups, and build brand awareness. Offering insight into current trends in gifting is particularly helpful when buying gifts for those hard-to-please friends or family members.
Guides also provide recommendations that cater to different age groups, interests, or hobbies, making it easier for you to find something unique and special for everyone on your list.
Lastly, more brand awareness helps increase sales, while also serving as great social media content.
How do you promote a gift guide?
The most obvious place is your email list. However, why not repurpose your content and use it as a blog post, social media content, and record a YouTube video?
Creating a gift guide is a must if you run an e-commerce business. They don’t just boost your sales during holiday seasons; gift guides also help raise your brand awareness.
Gift guides are the perfect marketing tool as they attract high-intent shoppers.
That’s why including them in your marketing strategy is a good idea. However, for them to work, you must ensure yours is unique and well-crafted. Use the tips above to create your first (or next) gift guide.
Have you ever used gift guides to boost sales on your e-commerce?