Seasonal gifting and the experience

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we begin what is known at Fizz Towers as the “gifting season”. Representing a series of key dates through the retail calendar, each presents brands and retailers with opportunities to engage shoppers and drive sales. And don’t panic if you haven’t planned specific valentine’s activity – there are other events to come. Come with us as we share some tips for making the most of seasonal gifting.

Why is seasonal gifting important for brands and retailers?

Seasonal gifting is vital for many reasons. As market-wide events, each creates heightened consumer awareness and intent to purchase. This “planned spending” in the minds of consumers presents a greater opportunity to drive sales. The desire to spend also creates a more open-minded shopper; providing the chance to deliver a more engaging experience. It’s no coincidence that many seasonal events also represent the traditional periods of peak sales. Footfall is likely to be its highest and therefore the best chance to optimise sales.

When are the key periods?

Valentine’s Day is the first of five important dates in the retail calendar. If you haven’t planned for the Day for Love, there are four more dates to consider:

  • Mother’s Day (11th March)
  • Easter (1st April)
  • Father’s Day (17th June)
  • Christmas (25th Dec).

Ok, we know you probably have these dates but we like to be thorough! It’s also worth noting that the next key event (Mother’s Day) is traditionally the second most valuable (after Christmas). We love our mums.

The challenges and techniques for activating seasonal gifting.

With every opportunity also comes a challenge, and seasonal gifting is no exception. Seasonal events are periods of great competition so everyone wants a piece of the action. And to make matters worse, they take place for limited periods of time. Get it wrong and you have to wait another 12 months to try again. We need to work hard to stand out. Fortunately, there are lots of techniques to help you stand out and win sales –  let’s explore a few here.

Lindt seasonal gifting

Brand ambassadors

Placing highly-trained brand experts is a proven method of driving sales. Able to answer consumer questions and offer gifting advice, these guys and gals are vital. Perhaps you’re a son looking for a Mother’s Day gift of skincare? Fizz beauty experts can provide assistance in understanding the product best suited to your beautiful mum’s complexion.

Product samplings and demonstrations

At the same time, brand ambassadors can deliver a first-hand experience to shoppers. Allowing consumers to try before they buy has been proven to drive sales both on the day and in future.

Merchandising and point-of-sale

In addition to brand experts it’s important to have a strong visual presence. Eye catching, bold displays that clearly state offers and benefits help shoppers make a beeline for your brand. Everything from FSDUs to shelf wobblers can help catch a gift-buyer’s eye.

Store staff trainers

Often overlooked but ensuring the retailers own staff understand your product can have a massive impact. With a little forward-thinking, teams of trainers can be deployed to visit stores and ensure your brand is front of mind. Shoppers are likely to ask store staff for help and advice and you want to be the solution they recommend!

Packs and multi-buys

Seasonal gifting displayIn addition to the above, seasonal events are a great opportunity to create gift-packs and multi-buys for maximum return. From pamper kits for Mother’s Day to Easter chocolate selection boxes; gift packs make an easy choice for shoppers.

Reward the giver with a free product with purchase

Don’t forget the giver! By offering an incentive to purchase such as free gift you give the shopper a further reason to purchase. And as a bonus, your brand is in the hands to two consumers, rather than one! Molton Brown are fantastic at this – always supplying additional sample-sized products with every purchase.

Extend the reach with social media

And finally, don’t forget to think outside of the store in order to reach more people. Social media competitions and giveaways can be used with specific campaign mechanics (hashtags) to spread awareness beyond the shop floor.

Pop-up stores for e-commerce retailers

The gifting season provides the ideal opportunity for e-commerce brands to present themselves in a bricks and mortar store via a ‘pop-up’ environment. This drives sales and offers consumers the opportunity to experience the brand as they haven’t been able to before. Physically engaging with a product, asking questions and receiving gift suggestions provides a powerful face-to-face experience.

 

Which brands and retailers should take note?

Mothers Day seasonal gifting eventThe beauty of seasonal gifting is it covers a broad-spectrum of products. Consideration of the most popular gifts is a great way to understand which brands and retailers apply. For example, Mother’s Day would suit any brands and retailers offering:

  • Beauty (skincare, make-up, perfume, etc.)
  • Books
  • Clothing
  • Wines & Spirits
  • Homewares
  • Flowers
  • Chocolates
  • Stationery

If you offer a product within any of these categories, March 11th should be a key focus!

Other gifting considerations

Finally, it is worth noting that other gifting opportunities exist outside the traditional seasonal periods. For example:

  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Weddings
  • Engagements
  • House warming
  • Congratulations

These events present a harder challenge as each can occur at any point. However, the opportunity is there is always someone gift buying, 7 day week, 52 weeks a year. For retailers this presents a different opportunity. Why not dedicate a ‘gift section’ in store and use the techniques discussed to highlight different brand and gifting occasions throughout the year?

Don’t forget, whatever your brand and product, we can help drive your sales throughout the year. Get in touch to discuss your requirements today by calling 01306 644630 or email fizz@fizzexperience.co.uk