Why Gift Guides are the Gifts that Keep on Giving for Ecommerce Businesses

7 minutes read
The festive season is more than just a time of twinkly lights, turkey and tinsel. It’s a crucial period for businesses, big and small, to make the most of the seasonal surge of shopping activity.

Gift guides are much more than seasonal catalogues — they’re a powerful way to supercharge sales, boost your brand’s visibility amongst new audiences and strengthen the bonds you’ve built with your existing customers.

So, here’s our take on why gift guides are the gifts that keep on giving for ecommerce businesses…

The Power of Personalisation

Gift guides offer a chance for personalisation. But why does personalisation matter? It’s proven to work, with research showing that 61% of people expect brands to tailor experiences based on their preferences (Google). In a digital world where consumers are bombarded with endless options, a well-curated gift guide can cut through the noise and deliver a tailored shopping experience. By segmenting guides into specific categories such as ‘Gifts for New Mums’, ‘Gifts for Dinosaur Lovers’, ‘Gifts for Golfers’, ‘Gifts for Grandads’ or ‘Eco-Friendly Gifts’, businesses can cater to the specific needs and interests of their customer base. This personalisation helps create a connection with the audience, making them feel understood and valued.

Driving Decision-Making

Too many choices can lead to decision paralysis, where shoppers are so overwhelmed by the range of options available they’re not sure what to pick. That’s where a well-thought-out gift guide comes in. It makes choosing easier by showing off a collection of popular or trendy products. These guides nudge customers in the right direction, making shopping easier and less overwhelming. It’s a win-win: customers have a smoother experience, and you might see more sales rolling in.

Boosting Visibility and SEO

Gift guides are an excellent tool for improving online visibility. They offer rich content for SEO, packed with keywords that potential customers might use in their holiday shopping searches. By optimising these guides for search engines, businesses can improve their site’s ranking, drawing in more organic traffic. Plus, the shareable nature of gift guides, especially when accompanied by attractive visuals and valuable content, means you could reach new audiences thanks to people sharing with their social or professional networks.

Leveraging Data for Insightful Curation

Creating a gift guide isn’t just about picking your favourite products or to try and shift leftover stock; it should be backed by data. Analysing sales data, customer preferences, and browsing behaviours can provide insights into what products to include. This data-driven approach ensures the products you choose are those that customers are most likely to be interested in. It’s not just about showcasing products but about showcasing the right products to the right audience at the right time.

Encouraging Larger Basket Sizes

Gift guides have the potential to increase average order values. By showcasing products in sets or bundles or suggesting complementary items, businesses can encourage customers to add more to their carts. This tactic boosts sales and provides customers with more value, as they can get a more complete shopping experience with less effort.

Building Brand Loyalty

Gift guides can play a significant role in building and sustaining brand loyalty. By offering thoughtful and well-organised shopping aids, businesses show they care about their customers’ needs and time. This consideration can go a long way in fostering a positive brand image and encouraging repeat business.

Staying Top of Mind

A well-marketed gift guide keeps a business top of mind during the holiday season. Mention it in your marketing – from blog posts to e-newsletters and social media posts to help your brand stay visible and relevant. What’s more, the versatility of gift guides means they can be repurposed across various platforms, maximising exposure – the gift that keeps on giving. 

Enhancing the Customer Journey

Gift guides can enhance the overall customer journey by giving time-poor shoppers a more streamlined and enjoyable shopping experience. They serve as a guide through the sea of options available, making the process less overwhelming and more enjoyable. This positive experience is important for customer satisfaction and encouraging repeat visits.

Creating a Year-Round Tool

While gift guides are particularly useful during the holiday season, they’re not limited to the festive period. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween and other celebrations happen all year round, and customers are always looking for gift ideas. Don’t forget, everyone has a birthday and many couples celebrate their anniversary each year, so by creating gift guides for milestone birthdays or anniversaries or by updating and repurposing gift guides for different occasions throughout the year, businesses can keep their content fresh and relevant and engage with their audience all year around.

I’m gonna take this guide and make it evergreen

(One for the Will Young/Pop Idol fans there. If you’re under 30…never mind just keep reading). You could include the latest trends and ‘hot’ picks or create a gift guide with evergreen content. That means focusing on timeless, versatile products that appeal year-round, not just seasonally or apply year after year. This approach means your guide stays relevant and useful regardless of the occasion, making it a go-to resource for customers whenever they need gift inspiration. 

Building Partnerships and Collaborations

Gift guides offer a unique opportunity for partnerships and collaborations. Featuring products from partner brands or influencers can broaden the reach of the guide and introduce the business to new audiences. This collaboration can benefit both partners, driving traffic and sales and building relationships with retailers who may return the favour.

So, we’ve seen some reasons why you should consider creating gift guides, but how do you create one, and a good one at that?

Here’s a short and sweet step-by-step guide to creating a great gift guide:

Step 1: Understand Your Audience

As we’ve mentioned, before you start choosing products, it’s crucial to understand who your audience is. Analyse your customer data to gain insights into their preferences, past purchasing behaviour, and demographic information. This will help you tailor your guide to meet their specific needs and interests.

Step 2: Gather Product Insights

Use your sales data to identify top-selling and trending products. Consider including customer favourites and items with high ratings or reviews. This step gives your guide a better chance of featuring products already proven to resonate with your audience.

Step 3: Curate with Diversity

Diversify the products in your guide. Include a range of items across different categories and price points to cater to a wide audience. Remember to include both budget-friendly options and premium items to cover all sizes of purses and depth of pockets.

Step 4: Create Engaging Categories

Organise your products into intuitive and creative categories. Beyond the usual ‘For Him’ or ‘For Her’, think about unique categorisations like ‘Eco-Friendly Finds’, ‘Tech Innovations’, or ‘Gifts Under £20’. This makes your guide more engaging and easier to navigate.

Step 5: Design for Impact

Invest in high-quality visuals and a professional-looking layout. Your gift guide should be visually attractive and easy to read. If it’s an online guide, ensure it’s responsive and user-friendly across all devices.

Step 6: Write Compelling Descriptions

Craft enticing product descriptions that highlight the features and benefits of each item. Use a tone that aligns with your brand voice and resonates with your audience. Remember, the goal is to entice and inform.

Step 7: Leverage Social Proof

Include reviews or testimonials next to products where possible. Social proof can influence purchasing decisions, as it adds credibility to the products featured and creates FOMO, especially amongst younger shoppers.

Step 8: Optimize for SEO

Carry out keyword research to find out which keywords to include to improve its search engine visibility. Think about the terms your customers might use when searching for gift ideas and incorporate them naturally into your content. But don’t fall foul of keyword stuffing, Google will frown upon it and readers will know when you’ve tried to bung in terms here, there and everywhere. It’s all about using them organically so the text still flows. Remember, you’re writing for real readers, not just robots. Think of it as audiences andalgorithms.

Step 9: Promote Across Channels

Once your guide is ready, promote it across various channels. Use email marketing,social media, your website, and any other platforms where your audience is active. The key is to help your guide reach as many potential customers as possible.

Step 10: Measure and Adjust

Finally, track the performance of your gift guide. Analyse metrics like traffic, engagement, and conversion rates. Use these insights to make adjustments and improve your guide for future campaigns and for when the next Christmas/Mother’s Day/special event rolls around.

Final Thoughts

Gift guides are much more than just a holiday catalogue. They’re a multi-faceted marketing tool that can drive sales, enhance customer experience, and build brand loyalty. By leveraging data, and personalisation, ecommerce businesses can turn their gift guides into a tool that keeps on giving, not just during the holiday season but all year round.

When it comes to standing out online, staying ahead of the curve is key. Gift guides offer a way to do just that, providing businesses with a creative and effective way to engage with their customers and drive growth. So, as you plan your content marketing strategy for 2024 and beyond, remember to give gift guides the attention they deserve. They are the gift that keeps your business growing.

Get going with your 2024 gift guides!

Though it might be a little late for whipping up a Christmas gift guide, don’t forget Valentine’s Day swiftly follows the festive season, followed by Mother’s Day, Easter, and more. So January is the perfect opportunity to prepare those gift guides and keep the momentum going. Need help? We can craft compelling copy that captivates customers and boosts your sales. Plus, we can help you determine what type of gift guides would work best for your business so get in touch today to get the sales-boosting ball rolling.