The holidays are just around the corner, which means it's the perfect time for businesses to start creating and promoting their holiday gift guides. Not only are gift guides a valuable asset for your customers looking for the perfect gift, but they can also be an effective tool for boosting your sales during this busy season.
In this blog post, I will explore the elements that make a successful holiday gift guide and give you some examples from top ecommerce brands.
5 Examples of Well-Made Ecommerce Gift Guides
Here are a few holiday gift guide examples from last season and the present. I’ll share some big names alongside lesser-known brands to demonstrate key learnings you can only get from looking at both the elaborate guides and the clean and simple ones. I’ll outline what each company did right so you can glean valuable insights for your own holiday marketing strategy.
1. Nordstrom Holiday Gift Guide
To kick things off, let's take a look at a department store – where you can expect a very product-heavy gift guide.
Nordstrom's gift guide is filled with a wide range of gift ideas for men, women, and kids. What makes this gift guide worth noting is the clean and organized layout. Gift ideas are neatly categorized, and there is a search bar to help users find exactly what they are looking for. Here’s a quick breakdown of their organizational structure:
- By Recipient: Gifts for her, for him, for teens, for kids and babies, for anyone and for pets. They even have gift ideas for “the one who has everything,” “for the sports fan,” and other unique subcategories.
- By Price: Under $100, under $50, under $25, luxe gifts and gifts on sale.
- By Product Category: Beauty and grooming, cozy gifts, home, jewelry, tech, toys, etc.
Additionally, Nordstrom does a great job of adjusting their on-page content during the off-season. They have a visible note to visitors explaining that even though the 2022 holiday season has ended, the gift guide is still a valuable resource for gift-giving year-round. This callout also lets visitors know that the 2023 holiday guide is still to come.
If you have a broad and complex array of products in your ecommerce store, create a gift guide with customizable layers of organization to help simplify your customers’ shopping experience.
2. Sephora’s Gift Guide
If you’re a retailer, you might be selling different brands alongside products from your own label. Sephora's gift guide is an excellent example of how you can showcase a variety of relatively similar products while appealing to different customer segments.
Looking at the guide, it’s clear that Sephora knows its shoppers and understands their buying behaviors and patterns. You can see categories that allow customers to shop by ingredient preferences, specific skin or hair concerns, product formulation, brand name, age range and more.
For an entrepreneur unfamiliar with the makeup and retail industry, this structure might initially appear overwhelming, with a large number of categories and search options that could potentially lead to confusion.
However, this structure is likely the result of Sephora's accumulated insights over time on how customers typically search for makeup products – usually with highly specific search criteria and unique use cases. This shopping behavior makes highly customizable filter options a good fit for their industry.
3. Softies – “Cozy Gifts For Her”
Now let’s narrow our focus to a smaller, albeit hugely popular ecommerce brand— – famous for consistently earning a spot on Oprah's Favorite Things. Softies' gift guide stands out as an example of how to work with a more focused selection of products while still catering to various gifting needs.
As an ecommerce store specializing in women’s sleepwear, loungewear and robes, Softies does not need extensive categorization and filtering options. Instead, they opt for a clean, streamlined gift guide that leverages customer reviews and simplified categories, making it easy for shoppers to navigate the guide.
Additionally, Softies uses recent customer activity notifications to build trust and urgency (see the bottom right corner of the image above). These notifications are essentially highly relevant product recommendations, as they show potential buyers that others are making similar choices.
Plus, when customers see that products are in demand and being purchased by others, it can encourage them to buy before the item is out of stock or before a special offer ends. In a gift guide, these notifications have the added impact of validating the choices presented in the guide, reinforcing their popularity and suitability as gifts.
4. Uncommon Goods – Gift Finder
Uncommon Goods is an online marketplace that offers creatively designed, handcrafted, artisanal, and eco-friendly products. With a tagline like “Cool, Unique & Unusual Gifts,” their entire website is basically a gift guide.
The brand’s approach to gifting stands out with its innovative Gift Finder Quiz. Unlike traditional gift guides, this one takes a personalized approach to help shoppers discover the perfect match.
The Gift Finder Quiz starts with a few fun and engaging questions about the recipient, going beyond the basics to understand their hobbies and interests. It then generates a curated list of tailored gift recommendations from their diverse selection. This unique and efficient approach simplifies gift shopping and shows that Uncommon Goods truly cares about helping customers find meaningful and memorable gifts.
5. RW Fine’s Jewelry Gift Guide
When it comes to high-end jewelry, a great gift guide must meet some pretty high customer expectations. Customers will generally do a lot of research before committing to a jewelry purchase, especially if it’s intended as a gift for someone else.
RW Fine, a high-end jewelry brand, does a great job of meeting those expectations. If you look at RW Fine’s gift guide, you’ll see products categorized by the most popular items for gifting, price point, and gifts for him and her. There are even options to view products by birthstone, faith themes, personalized and custom items, and more. It’s a very user-friendly guide that helps people find gift ideas when they're unsure what they want – which is exactly what a gift guide is about.
5 Elements Every Successful Gift Guide Should Have
To create a successful holiday gift guide, there are a few key elements that you must include:
1. Organized Layout
Organizing your gift guide thematically is crucial for helping shoppers navigate their options. Categorize your gift ideas into sections that resonate with different recipient groups or themes. Consider categories like "Gifts for Him," "Gifts for Her," "Tech Enthusiasts," "Home Decor," and more. This approach ensures that customers can quickly find relevant gift suggestions.
2. Filtering and Search Options
Make it easy for customers to refine their gift choices. Implement a user-friendly search bar and provide filter options like price range, age group and interests. This approach empowers customers to personalize their search and discover products that match their needs and preferences.
3. Visual Appeal
High-quality product photos and attractive layouts can significantly increase a customer's chances of purchasing. Prioritize high-quality product photos that showcase your items in their best light. These images should be sharp, clear, and accurately represent your products.
Investing in professional photography can pay off in spades by making your offerings more appealing and trustworthy to potential buyers. You should also implement design elements that effectively guide users through your content. Use clear and eye-catching visual cues to highlight categories, making it effortless for visitors to navigate your guide.
Providing personalized gift ideas based on the recipient's interests can take your holiday gift guide to the next level. In today's digital age, customers expect tailored experiences that cater to their unique tastes and preferences. Consider recommending products based on a customer's past purchases, browsing history, or building a quiz to help gamify the experience. Intentional and thoughtful features like these are more likely to keep customers engaged and interested.
Offering gift sets or bundles can give customers great value and help you take the stress out of gift-giving. For example, if your business specializes in skin care products, you can create a skincare essentials bundle that includes a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen at a discounted price. This simplifies the shopping process for customers and highlights your expertise in curating effective and appealing combinations.
Read more: 20 Online Promotion Ideas That Win Customers
The Bow on Top: Expert Help With Your Ecommerce Gift Guide
Creating a killer holiday gift guide should be on every ecommerce brand’s to-do list before the festive season kicks in. By following the essential tips outlined here, you can ensure that your guide stands out from the competition and offers a seamless and enjoyable customer experience.
At Human, we specialize in helping ecommerce brands create personalized and data-driven marketing strategies, including holiday gift guides that drive engagement and increase sales. If you want to take your brand to the next level this holiday season, check out our ecommerce marketing services or contact us for a consultation, and let us help you craft the perfect gift guide that aligns with your brand voice and tone!