How to Create Gift Guides That Boost Sales Conversions

How to Create Gift Guides That Boost Sales Conversions

For retailers with a wide range of products, the discovery experience can be a significant challenge. Shoppers visit retail apps and websites with the expectation of quickly finding and purchasing the perfect gift online. Although this is a logical expectation, they often find themselves scrolling through numerous items, jumping from one detail page to the other, and leaving with no tangible results. Such frustration is bad for your brand experience and business goals. 

Solution? Improving discovery experience and providing inspiration. This is where gift guides come into play.

Retailers have been using gift guides during Holiday Season, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day to make the most of these high-intent shopping seasons. It’s a proven tactic allowing marketers to highlight bestsellers or overstocked items and helping shoppers quickly find the perfect gift. However, the once-popular blog posts are no longer the ideal format to inspire customers and shorten the path to purchase. In this article, I will share best practices for creating gift guides that actually convert.

Best practices to create gift guides

Creating interactive gift guides that convert well involves a combination of selecting right products, user-friendly navigation, personalized recommendations, and creating shoppable experiences. Here are some best practices:

  • Take a closer look at your audience
  • Select the right products
  • Make your guide interactive and personalize the experience in real time
  • Make your guide shoppable
  • Make the guide a part of your store experience

Take a closer look at your audience

Let’s imagine that the holiday season is approaching, and you’re planning to prepare a gift guide. But where should you start? In almost all scenarios this question is asked in marketing, there is one correct answer: Your audience!

Start by taking a closer look at your audience and deciding which segment you’re going to target with this guide. Last-minute shoppers? Moms who are searching for gifts for their children? White collars looking for something for a workplace Secret Santa? 

Your answer to this question will guide the next steps, such as selecting the items to include and determining the best way to promote the guide to attract more shoppers to your store.

Select the right products

Needless to say, a gift guide should highlight items that could be bought as gifts. But which products should you put forward? Choose wisely. Here are the criteria to consider while making your decision:

Consider your business goals

Are there overstocked items you’d like to sell during the gift-giving season? Are you looking to increase the average basket size? Do you have a new collection that you’re trying to drive awareness of? Your gift guide should align with your KPIs. Keep your long-term strategy in mind while selecting the products.

Analyze your sales data

What are your bestsellers? Which items have the lowest return rate? Which items have the highest cart abandonment rate? What happened during the same period in previous years? Combine your sales data and customer behavior data with your business goals to select the right products.

Address different budget intervals

Price is one of the most important factors influencing the decision-making process of gift givers. According to Greg Zakowicz, “When consumers are shopping for gifts they often have a predetermined price in mind. A price-point gift guide can help streamline their decision-making.” Additionally, Gianluca Ferruggia suggests retailers “present a variety of options within every budget; this instills a feeling of inclusivity.”  

Make sure that your guide addresses various price ranges.

Keep up with current trends

In marketing, numbers are only one side of the equation. You also need to get creative to engage shoppers with your gift guide. Every creative process asks for inspiration, and you can find your muse by following the latest shopping and gift-giving trends.

Ask your customers

Not sure what your customers would appreciate in your gift guide? There’s no better way to learn their preferences than by directly asking them. Invite shoppers to take a quick survey and reward those who complete it with coupon codes.

Pro Tip

Want to know the most engaging way to survey shoppers? Use Storyly’s interactive stickers (quiz, poll, emoji slider, open-ended question) to learn about shopper preferences.

Ask mothers what they would like as a Mother’s Day gift. Tell children that your gift guide is based on mothers’ responses.

Take it as an opportunity to strengthen partnerships

If your store stocks different brands, this gift guide can also be a retail media opportunity. Which brands will have the chance to be featured in your guide? While selecting the products, you can also strengthen your partnerships.

Make your guide interactive and personalize the experience in real time

After you decide on which product to highlight in your gift guide, one road you can take is to turn it into an article, listing all the items one after the other. That’s an idea, but not the most impactful one if you actually need to drive conversions with your guide. 

Nick Drewe alternatively suggests, “Evolve the guide to an experience. Integrate interactive components such as quizzes or price filters, fostering engagement and simplifying decision-making. For instance, our platform's filter by retailer, price range, and discount has been well-received by our user base.” 

Real-time interactivity and personalization are the most crucial features of any gift guide because it is the only way to enable shoppers to find what they are looking for. Turn your guide into an interactive content experience and enable shoppers to customize the gift ideas they’ll get by answering some questions. 

Pro Tip

Storyly’s Journeys feature allows you to create choose-your-path type of experiences. You can question shoppers about hobbies, interests, favorite colors and styles. Shoppers’ answers shape the next questions they will see and the ultimate gift ideas they will get.

Make your guide shoppable

Let’s assume that you’ve completed your guide and numerous shoppers are finding their dream gifts. What is the next step? Are you going to direct them to the product details pages to proceed with shopping? Ideally, no, not if you want your guide to contribute to sales conversions.

Your guide is a piece of content, and with the right technology, it can be shoppable content. If you turn your guide into a shoppable experience, shoppers will be able to add items to their carts while still viewing the content, which accelerates the path from inspiration to purchase. 

Pro Tip

Use Storyly’s shoppable stickers (product tags, product cards, product catalogs, swipe-ups and CTA buttons) to activate an easy and engaging shopping experience.

Make the guide a part of your store experience

Your app and website are where your customers have the highest shopping intent. That’s why it’s crucial to host your gift guide in your digital store. Yet, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t promote it across all your touchpoints. Invite indecisive window shoppers to go to your guide for some inspiration for gifting ideas.

How to create a gift guide with Journeys by Storyly

Step 1: Prepare interactive content

Go to Storyly Studio to prepare interactive content using quiz, poll, and image quiz stickers. Feel free to upload videos for an even more engaging experience. Ensure that each visual includes one question for shoppers to answer.

Step 2: Prepare shoppable content

After selecting the items to highlight in your gift guide, prepare appealing visuals and videos for them. Upload your visuals to Storyly Studio. The crucial part is turning it into a shoppable experience. Use product tags, product cards, product catalogs, swipe-ups, and CTA buttons. While some of these elements enable you to direct shoppers to product detail pages, you might find catalogs particularly useful since they allow shoppers to add items to their carts directly from the content.

Step 3: Assign visibility conditions

Final step is to turn these individual content pieces that are either interactive or shoppable into a cohesive gift guide experience. You can shape what shoppers will see next based on their responses to interactive stickers. For instance, if they state that they’re looking for a gift in red, you can ensure that they will see red t-shirts, socks, purses, and so on in the shoppable format at the end of the journey. Assign visibility conditions to each visual to define who will see which suggestions.


Deniz Tasyürek

Content & Brand Marketing Strategist at Storyly. Writes about mobile user behavior, user engagement, and retention. A genuine Potterhead. She also loves succulents, cats, and aerial yoga.

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