As the world gears up to go gifting crazy in the run up to the festive period it’s easy to forget that a present isn’t just for Christmas.
While Christmas is of course the biggest single gifting opportunity for retailers (over a third of all gifts in the UK are bought for Christmas*) there are a plethora of other occasions within our calendars that we buy presents for.
The gifting market in the UK alone is worth £40bn a year* – and its growing. As consumers dip their toe once more in to post-recession retail pool, this growth is set to continue, and retailers should be ready.
Although Christmas is the busiest time in the calendar for any in-store execution manager, they must surely already be thinking about life after Santa Claus. The next big opportunity in the retail calendar will be Valentine’s Day, closely followed by Easter (the fastest growing gifting opportunity in the US), Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and of course birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.
The interesting thing about gifting is that those buying for these specific occasions are not often the target consumer for the brands that are being sold. There is therefore a question that retailers need to answer – how do you secure a sale with someone who will never actually use the product they’re buying. For example a daughter buying a coffee machine for Father’s Day, or a husband purchasing a fragrance for his Valentine?
We know that by adding value in any retail exchange can significantly boost sales. And gifting occasions are the perfect opportunity for retailers and brands alike to secure those all-important purchases.
In the past we’ve provided staff across the UK to gift wrap Nivea skincare products as part of a Father’s Day promotion in high-street shops. This gives the brand stand out in-store and offers added value.
iD Brand Ambassador in-store in the run up to Father's Day gift wrapping Nivea Products to add value to the customer experience.
Having face-to-face contact with your target audience is key, but engaging with those that hold the purse strings at strategic points throughout the year is often even more important, and I think brands can go even further to integrate this approach in their marketing at point of purchase.
We know that having a human presence in-store greatly increases brands exposure and uplift in sales. If brands can engage and create a great customer experience consumers are more likely to buy. There are many ways in which brands and retailers can work together to create this, whether it is in-store demonstrators, added value technology such as an in-store app, gift wrapping services or a combination of tactics, it’s important not to be blinded by the Christmas fairy lights and forget that December isn’t the only time that consumers buy gifts.
*Marketing Week, Feb 2013