DTC Gifting
0 min read

Gifting Is the Way to Grow: How to Nail Your Gifting Strategy

October 30, 2022
Blog post hero image

Giving someone a gift is an act of kindness and thoughtfulness that happens beyond the bounds of Christmas or birthdays. It seems like a new reason to gift and celebrate crops up every month. Sweetest Day, push presents, and “just because” are now on the list of gifting occasions, and with every more giftable moment tacked onto the calendar, the more reasons your shoppers will have to head to your store to buy those perfect presents.

This surge of gift giving isn’t because we’re all suddenly philanthropic folks with unlimited funds, but is more a result of these extra reasons (or no reasons) to brighten someone’s day. The coronavirus pandemic also led the way for this gifting trend in place of the in-person gatherings that were on hold for so long—the search term “online gift” was up 80% YoY in 2020.

A Think with Google graphic showing a green arrow pointing upward with the text "80% increase in global searches for online gift in 2020 compared to 2019."

According to psychologist Chris Gray, gift giving is important both economically and emotionally. He says it’s a “lasting expression of care.” Personal gifting is a market bigger than $100 billion (and that may be a conservative estimate), and it’s expected to post 6% CAGR through 2024.

In a related consumer survey, nearly half of consumers said that “they were likely to buy fewer but better things.” That often translates to spending more, especially since the survey also suggested that consumers believe gifts should be meaningful and communicate to the recipient that they are valued.

It’s clear that consumer behaviors have shifted toward the giving spirit, and a smart ecommerce entrepreneur will find ways to tap into this trend and encourage customers to make their store the favorite gift shop for every occasion.

But how can you position your products as thoughtful gifts? And beyond that, how can you leverage gifting as a key growth strategy for your store?

With online gifting important to so many people, it makes sense to get ahead and make an easy and enjoyable gifting experience for your customers a hot priority in your ecommerce strategy.

How to Position Your Products as the Perfect Gifts for any Occasion

Gifting has been an overlooked and undervalued customer experience since the dawn of ecommerce. Most often, when someone searches for a gift online, they’re met with a bumpy journey full of hassles, like getting addresses from recipients and managing the logistics, or settling for a gift card.

But like we mentioned above, “settling” isn’t what shoppers want to do when they give a gift. People want to give meaningful gifts that show recipients they’re valued and cared about—not another impersonal gift card.

“Gifting is not just about expressing care for another person, but there is a lot of identity wrapped up in what someone gives to another person. It says something about you, that you are a thoughtful and caring person.”

— Chris Gray, Psy.D. of Buycology

As people shop online for gifts, you have the opportunity to showcase your store as the premier gifting destination. The more shoppers associate your brand with gifting, the more they’ll come to your store first for any event. Nailing this gift-centric positioning and taking a bite out of the gifting trend requires a couple key components.

First, you need to create an experience that helps shoppers see your brand as a shopping stop for meaningful presents. When you make it easy for your customers to buy gifts through your online store and provide them with a great customer experience from selection to delivery, going to your store to send a gift becomes a no-brainer. After all, why would they choose a competitor where gifting is a struggle?

Next, you need to emphasize the relationships you build with gifters and gift recipients. Gifting introduces your store to new customers in a natural, authentic way. Gift recipients get to see your products and learn about your brand, possibly for the first time, when they get your goods as a present. These are people taking very specific actions with your store, so don’t lean on making their experience the same as when a customer shops for themself. Instead, turn any post-gifting experience into one that’s personalized and memorable.  

Gifting has huge potential to attract new shoppers who are on the hunt for a great gift, retain shoppers and earn repeat purchases with every gift, and become further synonymous with gifting through intentional post-gifting engagement. When you set up strategies that easily position your products as gifts and make them incredibly easy to send and receive, you’ll start earning more of the personal gifting market.

Gifting Isn’t Restricted to One Holiday Season, so Why Is Your Gift Marketing?

While we think of the Christmas holiday as the primary shopping season of the year—and for good reason—gift-giving opportunities occur all year round. Other holidays (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.), birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, new babies, and other special events happen nearly every day of the year.

So, why do many brands sink their gift marketing budget just into Q4? Create an ecommerce marketing strategy that reminds your customers that you’re their stress-free and fun gift-giving destination year round.

According to Financial Impulse, the average gifterspends more than $100 on graduation gifts and as much as $400 to $600 on wedding gifts. Add to that birthday and anniversary shopping, and your opportunities for an ecommerce marketing strategy aimed at gift shoppers is virtually unlimited.

Convenience in gift giving is a priority for many shoppers. In a study by the National Retail Federation, nearly two-thirds of shoppers say they chose their retailers based on convenience, while just under half prioritized value as the deciding factor. This means that there are a fair number of shoppers out there who are willing to spend more for a stress-free customer experience that also ticks the boxes for thoughtfulness and care.

In addition, nearly half of younger consumers are digging up their gifting inspiration on social media, so putting the spotlight on both your great products as gifts and a slicker gifting experience could reap some serious ROI.

Add Zest to Your Store to Sell More Gifts (All Year Long)

If you’re feeling stressed about how to tackle poising your products as gifts and making the experience frictionless so you can properly leverage this growing category, take a deep breath. Zest was built to help you out.

When you head to the Shopify App Store and add Zest to your DTC store, shoppers will see a “send as a gift” button next to any items you’re offering as gifts as well as in the cart. This means that all your customers need to do is click a gifting button to easily send a gift instantly, complete with branded gift card design, thoughtful personalized message, and recipient address collection.

In other words, gifters can be sending your products as gifts in just seconds in just a text message or email.

Wildwood Chocolate's product description page for their Salted Brown Butter Texas Pecan Brittle Bar.

Zest can make your customers’ gifting experience a positively memorable one. Zest combines the flexibility of a gift card with the thoughtfulness and personal touch of a specially chosen gift. And your buyer will enjoy knowing all the work of delivery will be taken care of for them.

Plus, this new zesty button alongside “Add to Cart” or “Buy It Now” makes buying a gift from your store an obvious option. Even if someone wasn’t shopping for a gift, seeing the choice to swiftly send one encourages more gifting overall.

The memorable gifting experience doesn’t end there, though, as gift recipients are treated to opening their meaningful message from the sender and digitally unwrapping their gift. It’s a unique journey for everyone involved, and it’s sure to set your store apart from competitors who aren’t prioritizing gifting (despite the glaring trend).

So, now that you’re on your way to selling more products as gifts with a ridiculously seamless gifting experience directly on your website, the next step is leaning into gifting through your marketing and messaging with your audience.

Zest integrates with Klaviyo, the email marketing powerhouse for Shopify stores. Not only will your email messaging be the key to letting your existing email list know about your new gifting super power, but it’s also how you can build intentional and engaging relationships with gifters and their recipients.

An example of an automated email marketing flow in Klaviyo.

Akin to how a personalized shopping experience is the new gold standard for DTC consumers, so too is a personalized gifting experience. When you can recognize and appreciate gifters for choosing your products to gift, the more likely they are to remember that and return to keep gifting.

As for recipients? Once they receive your stuff as a gift, that’s the time to introduce your brand and start building that relationship. (Don’t worry—both gift senders and recipients have the shot to opt into your marketing during the Zest experience.)

Partnering with Zest Is the First Step to Becoming the Go-to Gifting Destination

It’s clear that the personal gifting industry is only going to keep growing. When you partner with Zest, you’re prioritizing your gifting experience and taking those first strategic steps to getting in on the trend and planting your flag as the ultimate gift destination.

The Zest Shopify app makes gifting a thoughtful and convenient choice for shoppers. Then, when your marketing and engagement calls out gifting and positions your store as a choice at any time of year for any occasion.

Prioritize your gifting strategy and before you know it, you’ll be selling more of your products as gifts and growing your store for the long haul.

Author headshot
Liz Lorge
Swooping background

Ready to Give Zest a Go?