What’s the first thing that customers see when they enter your shop? Perhaps it’s sale merchandise, closeout specials, or a welcome mat.

What’s the last thing they see before approaching the cash register? Accessories and endcap merchandise is usually in this spot.

Where do you place gift baskets?

It takes careful planning and merchandising to add gift baskets throughout a shop. Proper placement includes positioning that complements other merchandise, and it can be more tricky than it seems.

This is why selling these well-made collections can be hit or miss depending on floor space.

Focus starts with goals

Here are three things I’ve learned, through countless years of assisting retailers, about gift basket sales, design, and placement.

  • Gift baskets are to be positioned for quick identification. Keep them out of view, and your program will fail.
  • If unkempt due to customers’ poking at the wrap, it won’t sell. A messy collection dazzles no one.
  • Sales associates need training to realize when to recommend it. Well-informed staff is your best line of defense.

Many retail owners and managers who seek my help start the initial process of selling gift baskets as a great idea, and it is great.

The opportunity to sell many items in one grouping results in higher sales, which is the goal. What’s not so great is placing the goal onto an untrained employee’s shoulders. Such a person wants to achieve, but without supplies and a blueprint for reaching the goal, the only thing that will be achieved is lost time, lost revenue, and possibly one less employee due to trauma.

The other side of the slow-selling equation is marketing. New product offerings need revelry and a call to action. Customers want a reason to come to your store to see and buy items that make gift giving easy.

In addition, they’ll need help if what you offer isn’t exactly what they want to buy. This is good news rather than bad because their questions show interest in what you carry. From there, you can offer customizing options that increase sales and referrals, and this new experience will help you position the gift baskets so it’s a go-to item each time customers enter.

What’s the solution?

Success with gift baskets can be quick or slow, and it can also be costly without a system that includes the right supplies and smart formulas.

I’ve seen lots of waste that occurs when inferior items are purchased.

  • Trash cans fill quickly with wasted supplies, leading to little or no progress on the sales floor.
  • Customers and staff are frustrated due to long wait times and slow results for completed designs.
  • Worst of all, your good reputation can be scarred if this program isn’t done the right way the first time.

This is why experienced gift basket support is crucial for every day and special occasion sales.

Taking short cuts in this endeavor may work out if customers aren’t choosy and need a gift at the last minute. The question is:

Is that the type of positioning you want, or is it wise to set up right the first time so slow sales never exist?

You make the call.

Shirley George Frazier
In the gift basket world, all roads lead to Shirley George Frazier, the industry's reigning expert and international authority. Shirley is chief basketologist at Sweet Survival LLC and author of the industry's best-selling books, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, The Gift Basket Design Book, and Marketing Strategies for the Home-Based Business. Shirley works with manufacturers and retailers to successfully add gift baskets to their current revenue streams. Shirley is also a frequent speaker at events and instructor of the popular online course, Start Your Own Gift Basket Business. Contact Shirley to speak at your event or call 973-279-2799 to schedule a consultation.

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