Are you looking to increase revenues in a way that enhances rather than distracts from your core business? Want to upsell your current products while staying consistent with your brand? Would you like to send your current customers out the door with something new and unique, and attract new customers to your store?
Would you prefer not to spend a whole lot of money while doing all that?
Then here’s a smart business strategy: add a new revenue stream with gift baskets.
GO FOR GIFT BASKETS
“Gift baskets” is a catch-all term that basically refers to packaging products in a creative, visually appealing way. You might use a basket, yes, but you might also use a crate, gift box or bag. There are no limits to the ways that you can use the gift basket concept to come up with creative ways to showcase your products.
1. Encourage multiple salesIn a Forbes.com article titled “What’s the Secret to a Successful Coffee Shop?” Peter Baskerville, founder of 20 café and food businesses, stated that, “A coffee shop will never make enough money to pay the bills from coffee sales alone. Coffee may be the prime motivator for customers coming to the business, but they must leave with multiple sales if you are going to be successful.”
Whether you sell coffee, beer, cheese or other delectable products, you are always looking for ways to add items to the customer’s receipt. Gift baskets give your customers another option, another item to take with them when checking out—not replacing your core line of products, but expanding upon them.
2. Grab the gift buyer and meet customer needs
According to marketing expert Brandon Gaille, 2014 data from Packaged Facts shows that there has been consistent growth in the gifting industry (5%), resulting in an industry valued at around $3 billion. Wouldn’t you like a piece of that action?
Gift baskets allow your business to capture the gift buyer and provide convenience to your customers.
Picture this scenario: one of your brewery’s regular customers is racing home from work and is due home to prepare a celebration meal for a friend who has just been promoted. He knows he only has time for one stop. He wants to pick up a growler, but he also wants to get a gift for his friend. Such a dilemma—unless he knows he can take care of both needs with one stop.
He pops in your door, orders a growler of his favorite IPA and finds a You Rocked It! gift basket for his friend that includes beer, snacks and cool beer glasses (with your brewery’s logo, of course). Dilemma solved, loyal customer rewarded.
This is something you know oh, so well: meeting their needs is how you create loyal customers. Gift baskets can help.
3. Make your business stand out
Have you given thought as to how you can expand perceptions about your business and products in the minds of your customers? About how you can stand out in the crowd of businesses that your customers encounter every day?
In the wine business, for example, that can be tough.
Elizabeth Slater of WineIndustryAdvisor.com points out the crucial importance of showing customers how your winery is different from other wineries. “Without differentiation consumers will have a hard time remembering your business… After consumers have been to six or seven wineries during a day of tasting, they have a hard time recalling all the wineries they went to or what they tasted where.”
Showcased prominently in a tasting room, gift baskets could make your winery stand out from all the others if, for example, you:
Show the versatility of sherry in cooking by putting yours in a basket with a recipe for Vegan Gravy along with mushrooms, soy sauce and fresh thyme;
Toot your winery’s horn (discreetly) by highlighting an award in a creative and educational way. You might pay homage to the Persian roots of your award-winning Shiraz by tucking a bottle into a basket with pomegranates, walnuts and a book of poems by the 14th century poet Hafez;
Highlight the attributes of a specific wine in a visual and memorable way. Maybe build a basket with a Muscadet packaged with lemons and herbs to emphasize those aspects, or a Cabernet Sauvignon with plums and black cherries in cedar chips.
You get the idea. Gift baskets like these will be sure to catch the winery visitor’s eye and make your place memorable, no matter how many other establishments your customers visit.
4. Jazz up the place
A well-designed gift basket, or a row of them, adds some visual “wow” to your shop, as much décor as product offering. Such high style displays, particularly if visible from the sidewalk, may draw new customers in, encourage them to hang out in your shop a little while, and spend a bit more money while they’re there.
Don’t forget to take photos of your gift baskets—they make ideal images for your website and social media.
5. Show customers who you are as a business
Gift baskets allow you to promote your brand, show customers who you are as a company, and educate about your product in a creative and “non-salesy” way.
6. Boost sales during traditionally slow seasons
Suppose your gourmet foods store doesn’t sell big in the run up to Valentine’s Day, except with chocolates, and you just figure that your customers don’t think mustard, olives and tea are romantic.
7. Tap into trends
As a specialty store owner or employee, you have deep knowledge about your products, something that gives you an advantage over general retailers. You also keep up on the trends as they affect your products. Gift baskets give you another avenue to tap into those trends.
Here’s another trend to tap while you’re at it: gift baskets for men. A couple of hot new gift basket companies, Man Crates and The Bro Basket, noted this trend and jumped on it, providing a variety of gift “baskets” that cater exclusively to the interests of men.
8. Give you a new way to network and build community
You know that being involved in your community is good for the soul and the bottom line. With gift baskets you’ll be ready to celebrate a gallery opening in your neighborhood or the dedication of the new wing of the Children’s Hospital.
9. Get your customers thinking
Let’s say a customer who works for a good-sized corporation comes in the door because they’re hungry, thirsty or just wanting to browse around. He/she spots your gift basket display and gets to thinking, “Hey, the holidays are coming, and I’m supposed to come up with gifts for our clients and employees, and, well, these look pretty amazing.” And soon you not only have a sale and/or order for gift baskets, but you know your business will come to the attention of a whole bunch of potential customers, via an oh-so-welcome gift.
10. Create an experience for your customers
Specialty stores who are able to compete with big box stores and that really huge online shopping outlet (Do we even have to name it? No, we don’t) do so because of their on-the-ground connection to people.