Giftwrap is Giving Results

Giftwrap is Giving Results

How giftwrapping can be retailers’ ultimate add-on

The number of retailers offering giftwrapping services is waning. Many might consider it a novelty service, an added store expense or simply a nonessential amenity.

But there are benefits that may not stand out as much as a beautifully wrapped gift does. Giftwrapping can be a great marketing tool, opportunity for add-on sales and an excellent way to build rapport with potentially loyal customers. Not to mention, it can offer customers a convenience that is just plain pretty.

Leaving your paper trail

Every retailer benefits from free marketing. Offering giftwrapping services in-store is not only a convenience for customers and a way to up-sell, it is also an opportunity to make your store memorable to potential customers.

“(Offering giftwrapping services) allows independent stores to create an identity or brand so that customers as well as gift recipients recognize where the gift came from by their signature wrap/look, etc.,” said Mary Clampett, vice president of sales for The Gift Wrap Company.

There is a plethora of different ways to use ribbon to make your package unique. One option is to customize gift tags with your store’s name and incorporate it into the giftwrap. If there’s a concern of not knowing how to incorporate embellishments, or even how to wrap gifts to begin with, there are plenty of free resources available. Nancy Dickson, The Gift Wrap Company’s creative director, suggested Pinterest as a great resource for ideas, while Clampett recommended following The Gift Wrap Company’s creative blog, Beyond the Grommets — which is on the company’s official website — for “fun, creative and easy-to-follow suggestions.”

The Internet is a well of resources with step-by-step guides and video tutorials on how to create beautiful packaging — and the industry is seeing a high demand for packaging with detailed décor.

“A well-wrapped gift makes a statement. Even the smallest or most inexpensive gift can be transformed into something memorable just by the way it is wrapped,” said Amy Robinson, owner of The Paper Market Monroe.

Having a signature wrapping paper, wrapping style or small detail included is a great way to create an identity in any community where gift giving is year-round, and it also provides retailers a great chance to get to know their customers.

“(Giftwrapping) adds personal touch/thought to the shopping experience for the consumer,” Dickson said. “(It) allows for real face time between the customer and retailer to build personal relationships and hopefully increase loyalty (by offering a) premium service you usually can’t get from mass and online shopping.”

Rock, paper, scissors

Adding a service to your store’s repertoire can always seem to be a gamble, but figuring out pricing and the best merchandising tactics beforehand takes some of the guesswork out of the game.

There are plenty of ways to figure out what works best for your store. Buying wrapping paper and offering it as a product is one way to up-sell both a service and product. Lisa Komer, owner of Fancy That, enjoys offering free wrapping for gifts purchased in-store. She said what makes giftwrapping a successful service in her store is the fact that it is complimentary.

“It is a nice perk to offer our customers,” Komer said. “We also sell wrapping paper and will wrap a customer’s package with their purchased paper at no charge.”

Robinson also offers complimentary giftwrap for any product purchased in-store. But if a retailer is unable to take on a new product line of giftwrap, offering the service along is a great add-on sales opportunity.

“Our pricing is based on the size of the gift and whether or not it requires a box,” Robinson explained. “For example, if a customer chooses paper from our bulk selection, we charge $3 to $8 for small to large gifts that are pre-boxed. If the customer requests a box for a gift, we charge $4 to $11 to cover the cost of the box and the giftwrap service. If the gift is considered extra large, the price must be quoted based on the time and amount of paper is needed.”

In Robinson’s experience, paying for the service is something most people are happy to do because they know time is valuable.

“Our customers tell us it saves them time and money to bring their gifts to us,” Robinson said. “By the time they buy the giftwrap roll, ribbon and tag, they have spent just as much or more than they would to have it professionally wrapped.”

The right look

It’s always best to offer customers as many giftwrap options as possible to make their experience truly customized. Keeping a stock of paper that can be appropriate for any occasion allows room for adding on-trend detail — like ribbons, tags and ornaments — at a lower expense.

“We have consolidated our selection down to three types of paper that can be used for more than one type of occasion,” Robinson said. “For example, white paper is great to have on hand because the ribbon can be changed to match a baby gift, wedding or anniversary gift, Christmas gift, graduation, etc.” 

Dickson has seen a shift back to basic colors as well. “Kraft paper has made a huge come back,” Dickson noted. “There was a time when customers and consumers would not even look at a design concept on kraft, but now they are asking specifically for it. The lo-fi colors and soft finish of kraft used to turn people off but now that is (a trendy) look.”

Dickson noted pastels as being on-trend, as well: “Simple florals in chalky pastels seem to be the rage for this spring. Lots of chalky pastels (salmon, pinks, sage, slate blue) with simple matte gold organic geometrics on paper and accessories, as well.”

Using white paper, as suggested by Robinson, with gold ribbon and tags would be a classically beautiful look for almost any occasion. Plus, according to Robinson, “Definitely foil and metallic design features on paper, ribbon and tags,” are on-trend. Matching your wrap design with the feel of your store is also important when considering what you want your style to communicate to consumers. “Bright colors are the go-tos for the toy stores. Many of our toy stores carry multiple papers and they are always bright. You can’t beat a good frog design,” Clampett suggested.

While giftwrapping services can provide retailers with marketing opportunities, a lasting impression for customers and a potential increase in sales and foot traffic, it may be a beautiful way to seal the deal in your store’s success.   

— By Leigh Jajuga, Assistant Editor

Originally posted Friday, May. 29, 2015