As we approach the holiday season, many businesses make the mistake of assuming that gift buyers will simply purchase their normal portfolio of products and services.

The marketing of gifts, however, is different than the marketing of items for self-purchase.

Gift givers typically have several concerns:

  • They want to stay within a certain preconceived budget, both for the individual recipient as well as overall, for all gifts.
  • They are not sure of what the recipient wants/needs so they need help with the decision process.
  • They want to check gift buying off their To Do list so they want the buying process to be as quick and easy as possible.
  • Often, the giver wants the gift to communicate thoughtfulness, or some degree of personalization.

So to boost your gift sales this holiday season, consider the following gift marketing tactics:

  • Create packages for each of the “budgets” the buyer may have in mind. The safest bet is to use the pricing tiers established by industry leaders:
    • General consumer (Amazon Gift and under $25, $25-$50, $50-$100 and Luxury
    • Luxury goods (Neiman Marcus): $100 and under, $200 and under, $300 and under, Indulge!
    • Corporate gifts ( under $10, under $25, under $50, under $100, over $100
  • Use the words “popular gifts,” “best-selling gifts,” “top gifts,” to help in selection. If appropriate, break out several categories for specific demographic segments such as “Gifts for Her” or “Golfer Gifts” or “Gadget Guy Gifts.”
  • Packaging is especially important. Create “baskets” to create the impression of a “bigger” gift. Unique gift-wrapping also helps create the sense of thoughtfulness or luxury.
  • Make it feel personalized with engraving, personalized certificates, or cards.
  • Make it fast and easy to purchase with one-click shopping, accelerated checkout and free shipping.
  • Early in the holiday season, provide perks to close the sale before the overall gift budget has been depleted. Provide a “discount” (especially on multiple purchases) so the giver feels better about his or her choice -- and so you get a larger share of the gift budget.
  • Later in the holiday season, offer rush deliveries and even free shipping where appropriate to help incentivize and appease last minute shoppers.
  • Offer flexible payment options like lay-away and credit cards.
  • Offer bulk pricing for volume purchases of corporate gifts.
  • Don’t forget to offer “lazy man gifts” or gift cards to your online or retail store. These are well known to be the most profitable of all sales, as they cost little to deliver and have a high chance of non-redemption.

What tactics are you using for gift marketing this holiday season? Share in the Comments section below.

About the Author(s)

Jeanne Rossomme headshot

Jeanne uses her 20 years of marketing know-how to help small business owners reach their goals. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she held a variety of marketing positions with DuPont and General Electric. Jeanne regularly hosts online webinars and workshops in both English and Spanish.

President, RoadMap Marketing