As a retailer, offering personalised gifts and photo books is a great way to get into sales of timeless products. By selling items which are unique to the buyer, we naturally gain a reputation for gifts with longevity – a reputation which is enhanced by great quality production standing the test of time.
It would be easy to fall into a comfortable attitude as the retailer which can lead you to believe that there’s no need for further development of existing products which suit trends and seasonal holidays beyond those already offered. After all, there is a saying of “if it aint broke, don’t fix it.” We’re here to tell you that you don’t need to fix it, but you definitely can tweak.
Define a target market
You likely had a target market in mind when producing your initial business plan. Now would be a great time to ask yourself whether you’re still interested in this market, and if your output is reflecting this too. Reviewing your target market semi-regularly will help you to confirm that you are meeting the desires of your audience, not only in your product offerings but also in terms of your marketing channels, website design and even the language you use when writing anything customer facing.
As businesses grow, they often evolve and seep into target markets other than those originally intended. This is perfectly fine, and totally normal. If you find that you have started appealing to a wider audience, you’ll need to sit down to review your marketing and product offerings to ensure that you are reaching out to each of these effectively. Taopix is a white label product, meaning you have access to full customisation to ensure that your personalised product designer can be styled to perfectly fit your audience.
If you’re doing your research as a retailer selling online, you’ll be all too aware of the speed in which trends come and go. Sometimes, trends stick around for much longer than predicted (remember when TikTok was seen as an early lockdown fad?) and other times they drop off just as quick as they started. Keep an eye on the ever-changing digital landscape and look for ideas everywhere.
A different platform with a different product can still offer inspiration that you could apply to your own business, from product design all the way through to website user experience. Have a look through the websites which you use as a consumer and consider how you can apply their good points to your own business.
Many B2C companies have featured products on their homepage which are displayed in a stylised manner. Adopting a new ‘hero image’ every month provides great opportunity to direct customers towards a particular product while allowing you to flex your creative muscles with fresh designs. These images can be created using so many programs, but one of the easiest to use for beginners and professionals alike would be Canva. Here, you can make use of a huge range of templates and designs to best showcase your product.
When to engage with trends
If you can see a trend creeping in, but not sure whether it is right for your brand, have a look at how this can be applied to the bigger picture. Trends in fashion, sales, social media and what we talk about can all be interpreted to influence some aspect of your business without totally revolutionising it. If it feels right for you, it probably is. We wouldn’t recommend overhauling your entire brand image to fit in with trends, but there’s definitely merit to the natural ebb and flow of incorporating these into a strong base model.
Value your research
No decision in your business should be taken lightly. Sometimes we take a gamble or decide to stretch ourselves to offer more, but your choices should always be educated. A great tool for scoping the interest in a trend is Google Trends which allows you to view data associated with particular Google searches.
Here, we’ve used an example for ‘Easter Gifts’ where you can see that there has been an increase in searches of nearly 300% across the last 5 years in the UK. Obviously, there are seasonal spikes, but this can help you to decide when to go to market to have the greatest impact. With each year showing more and more interest in this term, it would be a great idea to adapt your business to offer personalised Easter Gifts if you don’t already do so.
Personalised gifts are so flexible that they can fit into any occasion, and allow great opportunity for you to tailor your marketing campaigns to put together a collection of personalised items which fit the event well.
We provide themed Launch Pack items to our customers which can be used to create seasonal gifts with no extra work. Customers can choose from a huge selection of themed icons, graphics, and text to add into their designs to create personalised products. If you haven’t checked for launch pack updates lately, you could really be missing out.
Get feedback on your website
If you’re making some changes, you should never just guess at what will and won’t work. Find people within the market you’re trying to reach who can provide honest feedback on what they do or don’t like. Family and friends are easy to employ for this, although it does have drawbacks. Many family and friends wouldn’t be as brutally honest as a third party when reviewing in fear of hurting your feelings. Not only that, how many of those around you perfectly fit the market that you are trying to reach? There’s little merit to tasking your middle aged relatives to offer feedback on your products and business model when you’re aiming at a much younger audience.
Look into your current website visitor demographics, compare this to the demographics of the customers who have a converted sale with your site and consider how this aligns with who you are hoping to reach.
If there’s nobody you know to call upon to accurately review your output, look into websites which offer user testing. By using Taopix, you will have access to a fully tested product which fits directly into your brand due to being a white label offering.
To stay relevant, you need change
Sometimes, things don’t work out no matter how much we try. If you’re fruitlessly trying to reach a certain audience, or adapt your business persona to fit into something you’re not, then you need to take a step back. There may be something that you personally love, but doesn’t work in business terms. Take the feedback from your testing and really consider what this means for your website and how you position yourself within the gift market. You may think that you’re reaching out to a certain group to find that the results show you aren’t relevant to that customer market, or that users may find your business appearance to be dated. Take note of this feedback, don’t take offence. Consider how your opinions may be pushing you in the opposite direction to what is intended. After all, do you fit within your target market? You may have to scrap some ideas which you love in order to stay relevant, and that’s okay.
Personalisation suits everyone
By offering personalised products, you have a product which suits every potential buyer across all demographics. Trying to target everybody won’t get you anywhere, though. By having a product which suits every single market, you’re secure in the knowledge that your product and intended customer groups align. Personalisation is a key driver for products, so this should really be showcased for the unique selling point that it is. Really push the personalisation into your intended markets and you should see some great return if done effectively. Having a product which suits every market means that you can explore your creative side and engage in trends without losing sight of the end goal of great conversions in whichever market you have chosen.