Selling personalized gifts is one of the most profitable business ideas. The global personalized gift market will likely reach USD 41.3 Billion by 2026. So, if you have thought of starting your own gift business, this is the right time.
Every entrepreneur needs the right plan that helps them manage and grow their business. This post covers all the details to help you build a successful brand.
It talks about everything, including choosing a target market, online shopping trends, Web to Print Software Solutions, order fulfillment, and so on.
Let’s dive straight into it.
Step 1: Choose Your Target Audience
Kids, youth, and older people; gifts are for everyone. However, when you want to create a successful gift shop, you need to focus on one specific audience instead of appealing to everyone.
Having a target audience will help you build a strong, loyal customer base who are always looking for your offerings. Once you have clarity about your target audience, you can tailor your products or marketing strategies to best suit their requirements.
For a gift business, the two most common categories of audience are B2B and B2C. Which model to choose; entirely depends on your business goals.
B2B and B2C are still broad categories. For increased visibility and higher growth, narrow down your audience segment. For instance, what kind of B2B audience do you want to target? Corporates, or education institutes.
Step 2: Pick a Product Idea
The next step is to decide the types of gifts you want to sell. Products like coffee mugs, pens, stationery are the most obvious things one could think of. However, the competition is fierce. Therefore, a good idea is to find niche products.
Think of a unique handmade gift, personalized socks with pet prints, and so on. In-depth market research will help you find the best product idea. Secondly, using tools like Google Trends, you can validate the demand for those products and thus make the right choice.
Product opportunities exist in other areas too. For example, improving something in an existing product. Try to think of potential customer problems and come up with a solution.
When finding a product, consider what is currently trending. Customization is a craze among customers right now. They want to create a memorable gift for their loved ones. In such cases, Web to Print Software Solutions like a Gift Design Tool helps enable customization on your store.
Here’s a list of popular gift categories that might help you make the right choice.
- Last-minute gifts
- Bath and body
- Work from home gifts
- Gifts that appeal to enthusiasts like book lovers, gamers, etc.
- Gifts specifically for pet lovers
- Eco-friendly gift items
Step 3: Create a Business Pan
A business plan guides at each stage of starting and managing your business. Here are a few things that make for a successful business plan.
First is the executive summary, where you include your company’s mission statement and a brief description of the products you offer. Next, gather all the important details like your online store’s name, mission, vision, brand story, etc.
Financial projections are also a critical part of a business plan. It helps in reducing unnecessary expenses, and ensuring stability and profitability.
At this stage, consider finishing all the legal work that you need to start an online business. Have all the necessary licenses and registrations sorted before you start building your store.
Step 4: Choose Your Business Model
You have the product idea for your gift business ready. Perfect! Now, the next task is to find out how you are going to fulfill the orders.
The eCommerce fulfillment model you choose depends on certain factors like order volume, types of products you sell, and how you manage your inventory.
The first option is self-fulfillment where you manage each aspect of your business on your own. If you choose to take the DIY route, it includes the following things: securing a warehouse space, staffing (if necessary), buying necessary printing equipment, and so on. This is a low-cost model but time-consuming.
The second option is print-on-demand dropshipping. What’s that? Print-on-demand is a process where you work with a supplier to customize white-label products with different designs and then sell on a pre-order basis.
You can partner with print-on-demand services providers like Printful, Printify, Lulu Xpress, etc. They will take care of everything like printing, packaging, shipping, etc., on your behalf. The advantages of choosing print-on-demand over self-fulfillment are as below.
- You do not risk buying inventory that might not sell.
- It is a low entry point for businesses.
- You need not worry about order processing, fulfillment, shipping, etc.
- It provides you the ability to scale quickly.
Step 5: Start Building an Online Store
The process of building an online store begins by choosing an eCommerce platform. Platforms like Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, Bigcommerce, etc., offer varying features. To identify the best choice, consider factors such as security, integrations, themes, user experience, speed, scalability, ease-of-use, etc.
The process of developing a store from scratch is time-consuming and complex. But luckily, Web to Print Technology helps businesses take this business online in significantly less time. A Web to Print Store provides you with the entire eCommerce flow, including features like catalog management, payment gateway, customer orders, etc.
Compared to the traditional development process, you can have your own store ready in no time. A Web to Print Store comes with several themes that help you customize your website to build a unique identity.
It is also essential to follow the latest trends in online shopping to keep up with the ever-increasing competition. Here are some trends that are likely to dominate in 2022 and beyond.
- Growth in voice search as more people rely on voice assistants to shop online.
- AI and Machine Learning help deliver a more personalized shopping experience.
- Rise in loyalty programs like cash back, discount, freebies, etc.
- Businesses are leveraging chatbots to improve the shopping experience.
Step 6: Integrate a Product Design Tool
As per Deloitte Customer Review, more than 50% of consumers are interested in buying custom gifts. Another survey by Etsy says that 39% of people feel happy when they give a personalized item as a gift to their loved ones.
Offering customers precisely what they want is the core of any business. Implementing customization on your gift store can be made possible by integrating cutting-edge Gift Design Software.
If you choose to leverage a ready Web to Print Store, you get a tool integrated with the store. But if you choose to build a store from scratch, you can integrate the tool with your eCommerce platform. For instance, if you have a Magento website, many Magento Gift Design Tools are available in the market.
Any reliable tool will offer all the features that are needed to deliver successful customization. Some features to consider when choosing a Gift Designer are:
- Pre-loaded ready design templates
- Different styles of fonts
- An extensive clipart library
- Share, save, and preview option
- Image, text, and background editor
- Layer and object management
Step 7: Market Your Online Store
From attracting new customers to marketing to existing ones, discover some tactics to promote your gift business in this section.
The first is to boost your organic presence. Start by optimizing your website for SEO. Search Engine Optimization is all about keeping your audience in mind. What do they want to know about your products? How will you use content in product descriptions or your web pages in a way that connects with your target audience?
Social media is a great place to promote your brand as more people spend their time on it. Create a specific strategy for every platform. Think of the kind of posts you want to create and share. Once you have a social media marketing plan ready, be consistent to get the best results.
Other tips to successfully spread the word about your business are offering excellent customer support, building trust with product reviews, taking advantage of emails, using Google Ads, and so on.
This is all you need to start a personalized gift business successfully. We hope this information helps to start working on your dream venture as soon as possible.
Above everything else, always be ahead in the customer experience game. Customers no longer only consider price or product when making a purchase. They expect businesses to provide the best shopping experience.
By providing a memorable experience, you successfully build a loyal customer base and ultimately a powerful and profitable brand.