By Alicia Watkinson | Consultant

With Christmas around the corner, online shoppers are ready to spend generously on loved ones – with a little nudge from you.

Love it or hate it, Christmas is near and no matter how diligent you are, there is always someone on your gifting list that you inevitably get stumped on. Whether you’ve drawn the most awkward pick for the office Kris Kringle or it’s for your supposed long lost great aunt that’s visiting for the first time in 11 years; sometimes it just seems like an impossible feat. 

Well, put that discounted chemist beauty gift back down and give a warm welcome to the saviour of the holiday season – holiday gift guides. Adapted from dedicated gifting areas commonly seen in department stores such as John Lewis, Myer, Harrods and Selfridges, you can now find online gifting hubs on popular e-commerce websites, from Net-a-Porter to ASOS.

With thoughtful curation, gift guides can be a profitable avenue for your online business

How to Create a Successful Holiday Gift Guide

Online ‘gift guides’ often follow a hub format, not only suggesting one gift edit, but multiple. Common themes are price, gender, age and style, allowing customers to narrow down their gift search, which is key to a gift guides success. 

When deciding on which edits of product to include within a gift guide, businesses should be clear on exactly who they are aiming the guide at, as well as who their customer may be buying for.

A great example of this is www.mrporter.com. Within their Christmas gift hub they have 3 different price specific categories, under $150, $150 - $500 and over $500 which gives customers a way to shop gifts within their specific price range. Mr Porter also cleverly use existing sub-categories as additional edits such as wallets and cufflinks, highlighting additional product ranges without having to create additional content.

 

How to Create a Successful Holiday Gift Guide

However, there are often common pitfalls across gift guides, such as irrelevant product, product ranges are too vast, prices do not match the call-out and confusing product flows. These can often hinder the customer experience and confidence in the brand, for example seeing a $500 priced product in an under $150 category is not giving the customer the range of product they were expecting, and therefore diminishing the confidence the customer has in the process.

What you need to consider to when creating your gift guide
Who are you aiming your gift guides at?

When deciding on which categories to include within your online gifting area, it is key to ensure you are capturing the full needs of your customer as well as showcasing the range of products you have. 

Having multiple pricing edits, Christmas specific edits such as ‘stocking fillers’ and common gifting categories are easy ways to show your best product offering, in addition to addressing your customer’s main considerations when shopping for Christmas gifts.

Do you have the right products for each of your gift guide categories?

Even though your customer would probably be looking for ‘stocking fillers’, if you do not have cheaper stocking product within your range, it would be best not to include this as a category in your gift guide. This also applies to price point categories, if you have a small product offering within a certain price range, it is best practice not to call this out, as you want to give your customer a larger range of options to choose from.

Are the products you’ve included within your gift guide category truly relevant?

Gifts can really be anything you want them to be, it is as common to give a pair of socks as it is to give a loved one a television, however as customers we probably do not want to find these two within the same gifting edit. 

When curating product to sit within a gifting category, having a cohesive range is key to keeping customers engaged. This is especially important with wider gifting categories such as ‘women’s’ or ‘luxury gifts’. The broader the category, the easier it is to dump as much product into it as possible. However, it is vital to consider the product you are showcasing. Yes, in a women’s gift edit you could have a Calvin Klein sports bralette, slippers and a necklace, however this range is not cohesive. Try and stick to one similar theme, and if this is not achievable due to the range of product options you have (often common for department stores), presenting the gifting edit as a ‘story’ will best showcase your range.

Who’s the head honcho when it comes to reviewing the gift guide?

Gift guides are very popular with online Christmas shoppers, so it is common for multiple departments within the business to want their product in as many categories as possible. However, this often leads to very large edits and incorrect population.

After creating your Gift Guide, ensure you have allocated someone to review these pages frequently during peak trading season. Gifting guide categories are meant to be edits of your best and most relevant gifting product, pushing everything that could potentially be considered a gift provides no different an experience to just browsing a category. Gifting hubs need to stand apart from the main online shopping experience and really deliver a clear and easy shopping experience.

Having someone frequently review the gift guides, means that the above issues can be monitored and corrected when needed to ensure that the Gift Guide is consistently of a high standard.

Takeaways

Okay. Deep breath, the end is near. 

In summary, for you to get the best response and engagement from your holiday gifting guide throughout your peak trading season, make sure that it is:

  • Easily navigational within a mega menu
  • Placed visibly on the homepage
  • Sticks to a common theme across any complementary marketing activity including EDMs

Have any gems of wisdom or further insights that we haven’t touched on? We’d love to hear them; sharing is caring.

If you would like Practicology to assist you with your gift guide strategy, please contact us today