The holiday season is a perfect time to take inventory, in life and in business. Designing a holiday gift guide is an excellent opportunity to examine your company’s values and what your brand stands for. However, deciding what products to include in your company’s gift guide can be tricky. To help with this task, here are the three most important factors to consider when composing a holiday gift guide.
When narrowing down items to potentially include on your gift list, ask two questions: “What is my brand,” and “Does this product reflect my brand?” In purpose, the gift guide presents products to your customers that they need and that you offer exceptionally well, either in price, quality, accessibility or all three. Choose merchandise that does this well.
If your brand is clever, choose clever products for your guide. If your brand is family-friendly, all items in your holiday guide should be as well. Additionally, the products selected should fall into pre-designated categories that reflect your brand. For example, Cabela’s gift guide is divided into gifts for marksman, hunter, home, cook, angler and more categories that are representative and indicative of their brand.
Though you want to offer the merchandise that your customers want in your gift guide, you also need to realize that you can’t please everyone all the time. Start the gift guide with an array of products, since at the start of the season, customers are assessing all their options. But, as the season continues, customers’ considerations shift from a wide range of merchandise to a few select products offered at a “can’t miss” price. This merchandise should begin to appear mid-guide.
In the final sales days of the holidays, shoppers have only a couple products, intended for specific family members or friends, that they are still on the move for. A strategic placement of such gifts throughout the gift guide could catch the attention of those last-minute shoppers flipping through (or scrolling through) it a few days before the sales doors (or sales sites) close. A good holiday gift guide will promote merchandise that has general appeal, a few items at a “can’t miss” price, as well as a couple niche items specific to grandma, uncle or a friend.
Use past performance as a guide for what to highlight in your gift guide. The merchandise that customers purchased from September through November will probably be the same items that shoppers continue to buy through December and these precise products will be what drive your sales come year’s end. With shoppers demonstrating a demand for this select merchandise, stock them well and feature them boldly. In your inventory, these products should be your heavyweights; in your holiday guide, they should be your centerfolds. Naturally, this merchandise should not only appeal to your specific customer base, but should also leave your brand echoing in their ears.
A good holiday gift guide will offer both pre-planning and last minute customers several options but drive them into the guide toward your most profitable and best-selling merchandise. A great holiday gift guide will do the same, except carefully chosen product will leave your customer wih a better understanding and appreciation of your brand.