Retail

Inspire Shoppers and Increase Sales with Holiday Gift Guides

Create a gift guide (or two) to help boost your bottom line this holiday season.
Photo Credit: The Lakeside Collection

Author: Cassie Scott

Gift guides are the perfect holiday marketing tool. Retailers can advertise specific items that inspire customers and help them make buying decisions. Those purchases also increase profit for business owners. Win-win!

Use these tips to create a revenue-generating holiday guide for your customers this season.

Creating easy-to-use gift guides will attract all customers, new and returning. Photo Credit: Havana Outdoors

Select Themes

Consider who will use the guide and carefully create the content. It’s best practice to make multiple guides that appeal to different people, but one all-encompassing guide is great, too. The Shop Files blog suggests retailers make guides for gift buyers, not just direct customers. Your guide should appeal to all holiday shoppers and make it easy for people who don’t frequent your shop to purchase a product. To be successful, select a theme that makes people feel like anything they buy from your guide is sure to please.

Create guides for different audiences with these examples:

– “Gifts for Beginning Archers”

– “Gifts for Traditional Archery Lovers”

– “Archery Gifts for Him” or “Archery Gifts for Her”

– “Youth-Approved Archery Products for Christmas”

You can also organize guides by price. For example, “Gifts under $10” or “Gifts under $50.” These guides are helpful for people who have budgets or spending limits for gift exchanges. Also, according to The Wall Street Journal, 40 percent of holiday shopping happens in the last 10 days before Christmas. Therefore, a gift guide catering to last-minute shoppers might be a huge success.

 

Identify Products

Do your research before selecting products to include in the guide. Check last year’s sales reports for hot-ticket items. Ask your friends, employees, customers and family members for their input. You can also get insight from your supplier. Select a mixture of popular products at various price points to match your theme. Showcase individual products, but add bundles to the guide. Bundles show customers which products go together and subtly increase product sales simultaneously.

Create an eye-catching page that showcases your products. Photo credit: Unsplash

Organize and Design

Then, carefully organize and design your guide as a PDF. If you or your staff are comfortable designing a guide, great! If not, hire a freelancer to complete the task. Nicole Kohler, writer of “How to Create a Useful Holiday Gift Guide,” recommends using reputable designers from Guru, Upwork and 99designs. The cost will vary depending on your goals and vision. Kohler encourages retailers to make specific requests and suggest changes or ask for revisions if they’re unhappy with the product. Just be aware that multiple revisions might increase the price. Therefore, plan your guide thoroughly before you submit the creative.

You might also consider making a video gift guide instead of – or in addition to – a static PDF or Microsoft Word document. Videos might help your guide stand out against competitors. The video doesn’t have to be fancy or of Hollywood quality, just make sure the person on camera is clear, easy to hear and doesn’t move or talk too quickly.

 

Determine Distribution

Next, consider how to distribute your guide to holiday shoppers. Will you print the guide and mail hard copies to locals? Will you hand out paper copies to in-store customers? If printing costs aren’t in your budget, sending a digital guide by email is a sound strategy. You can also post the file on your blog, website or social channels using proper search-engine optimization techniques to push traffic to your business. If you go that route, try linking the content to specific items on your website so customers make on-the-spot purchases. If you created a video, post it on all of your online platforms. You can link within the video, too. Decide what distribution method is best for your company and start marketing.

Gift guides should make shopping easy for your regular customers, as well as those who aren’t familiar with your store or archery products. If nothing else, creating a guide – or multiple guides – might entice customers into your store so a sales representative can help them select the right gift.

For more information on creating a gift guide, contact Kurt Smith, ATA’s director of industry relations, at (717) 578-0736 or kurtsmith@archerytrade.org.

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