This past week I’ve been buying little bits and pieces for Christmas gifts and scouring some of my favourite on-line handmade shops has got me thinking about what I look for and what encourages me to buy at this time of year. Here are my top 10 tips (in no particular order!)…
- Stream-lined? it’s a given that we always want to see clear, well lit product photos and good descriptions – but have you made absolutely certain that your checkout process is as stream-lined and easy as it can be? I want to be in, make my purchases and out knowing exactly when I can expect to receive my goods and how much I’ve paid for them.
- Free shipping is a huge drawcard and can definately encourage larger purchases particularly if you don’t usually offer it. Perhaps you could even lock it in to a certain purchase price, eg ‘spend over $40 and receive free shipping’ or ‘buy any 2 to receive free shipping’.
- Giftwrapping – who doesn’t like to receive a beautifully wrapped package – especially if it saves you the time having to do it yourself when you’ll have lots of others to do?! If you already giftwrap as part of your service, how about offering special Christmas themed wrapping?
- Sets – I cannot tell you how much I love sets! Sets of nice-smelling things in particular but themed things too, eg a soap dish with a soap – perfect, I’m in! A reversible kids sunhat with matching bib – oh yeah! A camisole with matching lounge pants – you got it! Necklace with matching earrings – done
- A range of pricing – do you stock things at different price points. People are looking to buy for their significant other, extended family, neighbours, friends, and …. teachers, and don’t forget those secret santa gifts.
- Flash sales – are great for both the customer and seller – customer gets a great deal, seller can clear out excess stock. I would advise keeping them simple, quick (one hour on your website, or Facebook shop front (or photo album). Promote both in advance, on the day, and just before the sale to maximise exposure, and get your friends/fans to share the news too.
- Discount vouchers tied to a purchase will encourage a customer to return, eg ‘spend $30 or more to receive a 20% discount on your next purchase’.
- Gift vouchers – we all have hard to buy for people and gift vouchers are essential for these types! Design a beautiful gift voucher for sending out (or an on-line equivalent) in denominations to suit your product prices and your customers wallet, eg $20 might be your customers requirement when purchasing a thank you for their neighbour, but $100 might be more their price for a partner.
- Gift Guides – promoting other people is a wonderful idea and as well as showcasing your own item(/s), you have the feel good factor of helping out your creative friends, and your customers find items to suit everyone they’re looking to buy for = win/win/win . You can do gift guides easily in Felt (their showcase feature), and Etsy (treasuries).
- Giveaways – there tend to be a lot around at this time of year and people are very busy, so I would suggest keeping entry rules really simple but also make sure you are taking your customers where you want them to go, eg, answering a question about a product on your website/on-line shopping area.
So these are my quick tips – have you any to add?
And for some great gift buying – you can’t go past our New Zealand Handmade Members – click here to go to our shop showcase page.