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The business of gifting: how to attract gift shoppers to your online store

Business · 4 min read

The business of gifting: how to attract gift shoppers to your online store

Does your e-commerce website have a gifting section? If not, you’re missing out on a huge sales opportunity. From personalization to product recommendations, read on to discover our top tips to entice gift shoppers through your online doors.

The global gift industry is booming. It’s currently worth an estimated US$62 billion – with a forecast to hit US$68.45 billion by the end of 20241. Even better? A generous slice of those sales are being made online.

Post-pandemic, shoppers’ priorities have switched from necessities to spoiling loved ones. “The pandemic has created a lot of anxiety,” consumer psychologist, Chris Gray, recently told Forbes2. “We’re reminded the world is not permanent. By giving gifts and things that are enduring and are a lasting expression of care, it helps us soothe a bit of that anxiety.”

Throughout the year, there are lots of holidays where people will be heading online to look for the perfect gifts – from Mother’s Day to Valentine’s Day, from Ramadan to Christmas. But, in a crowded market, how can you ensure it’s your business they shop with? Read on for our top tips for e-commerce gifting.

personalized flower pots with the word home on each one

1. Make it personal

There's a reason we’re putting this first on our list. Personalization is hugely important in the gifting sector – in fact, 85% of consumers say it is the biggest factor that determines the perfect gift3. Buyers want to be able to customize their gifts to make them extra special for the recipient – and they’ll be willing to pay more to do so.

Here are some nice touches your e-commerce business could offer:

  • During the checkout stage, allow the customer to include a message to the recipient
  • Let your customers create their own gift “bundles” by selecting several products from your site to be put into a special hamper for the recipient
  • Depending on the products you sell, you could offer to engrave, embroider or brand them with the recipient’s name or initials

Put your thinking hat on and get creative!

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2. Optimize your website for gifting

Ensure that visitors to your e-commerce website know right away that you sell gifts. Put a dedicated “gift” tab on the home page for quick navigation. Within this, allow customers to filter by popular search categories, such as “gifts for women”, “gifts for men”, or “romantic gifts”.

3. Share gift ideas

Did you know that product recommendations account for an average of 12% of retailers’ total online sales revenues?Often shoppers will head online to buy gifts without knowing exactly what they’re looking for. That’s why creating dedicated gift guides is an important strategy for your business.

Going back to our previous example of allowing customers to search for “gifts for women” or “gifts for men”, you should ensure each category has its own page of product recommendations (with lots of HD photos!) Over time, you can leverage your customer data to fine tune the pages based on what customers are clicking on and buying, and then ensure your best sellers sit front and center.

variety of black and white gift boxes

4. Suggest extras

Cross-selling is a great way for you to give your customers some extra gift ideas whilst earning you some bonus sales. For example, if you’re selling a necklace, why not suggest the matching bracelet at the point of sale – with a special discount if they’re bought together. You could also display a “customers who bought this item also bought…” product list next to the item they’re buying. This sales tactic is proven to improve conversion rates.

5. Marketing: be prepared

As an e-commerce seller, you should have a calendar marked with all the holidays where people exchange gifts. In the week or two before one of these occasions, send your email subscribers a list of gift ideas and a special discount code – a nice touch to make your most loyal customers feel valued.  

Shout about your holiday campaigns on social media, too: many people look there for gift ideas and inspiration. And, if you ship internationally, don’t forget to research other markets’ important holidays – for example, the UK has a different date for Mother’s Day than the US, giving you the opportunity to cash in twice.

6. Offer gift wrapping

This is your opportunity to deliver the “wow” factor and give the gift recipient a truly special, memorable experience. In fact, getting the “unboxing” moment right is so important to your brand that we’ve dedicated an entire article to it. From sustainable boxes to customized tissue paper – and all the glitter in between! – here’s how to make an impact with your packaging.

man riding a motorcycle

7. Shipping – think speed!

Be clear about the order cut off time for each of your delivery options – a delay will be extra disappointing if the purchased product is a gift. Partnering with an Express specialist like DHL means you can be sure of fast delivery – and your customers will be able to track their orders right up to the moment it arrives at the gift recipient’s door.

So, your gift guides are prepared for the holiday rush, but is your e-commerce website? Here are the 22 golden rules you need to follow to convert more sales. Happy selling!

1 - SaveMyCent, April 2022

2 - Forbes, June 2020

3 - Truly, January 2022

4 - Sleeknote, November 2021

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson Discover content team

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