With the prime tourist season upon us, this is the perfect opportunity for indie retailers nationwide to capitalize on gifts and impulse buys. Whether shoppers are looking for something to bring home to their family and friends, or you need small influential products that can easily be placed next to registers to increase a sale, Independent Retailer has you covered.
Global Gift Industry Statistics
In the face of ever-changing consumer habits, the gift industry is constantly evolving. The global gift market’s worth is currently estimated at $62 billion, according to SaveMyCent, and 38 percent of consumers look at physical store displays for gift inspiration. Jewelry is a popular gift option, seeing as 58 percent of women prefer to receive jewelry as a present. This presents a huge opportunity for retailers to take advantage of and ensure sales in a difficult economy.
Impulse Buys Are Changing
Smaller gifts that can be placed by the register make for perfect impulse purchases. After taking a hit early in the pandemic, sales of impulse buys are beginning to rebound, but they are looking a little different now than before the outbreak. Elizabeth Crawford details in an article some different impulse products that consumers are on the lookout for, such as multi- and variety packs of snacks.
Physical storefronts are not the only places that shoppers are making influential purchases. With the pandemic-driven rise in online sales, making impulse buys has also seen an increase. According to Statista, almost six-in-ten women surveyed in select countries worldwide said they mainly bought clothes or shoes online by impulse. Less than 40 percent of male respondents reported impulse online shopping in this category. For men, electronics was the most common impulse purchase via the internet, with roughly half of respondents. Other common online impulse purchases include toys and games, personal care products, and home/furniture/garden items.
To boost impulse purchases among online shoppers, Crawford states in her article that retailers are increasingly embracing ‘quick commerce’ — or the promise of fast delivery that targets snacking and other eating or drinking occasions that are based on whims, indulgence, or the need to satisfy cravings quickly. While quick commerce is still relatively new, in the last three months, 25 percent of consumers used it for sweet and savory snacks — making it an area to watch going forward.
Consumer Expectations Are High
While online shopping is still quite popular, a recent Tango survey affirmed that the physical store remains the main way that Americans make purchases. In order for indie retailers to capitalize on these gifts and impulse buy trends, they need to understand the changes that customers are making when it comes to shopping.
“For retailers to thrive in today’s environment, they need to have a firm grasp of consumers’ shifting needs, wants, and desires which have resulted in the acceleration of omnichannel requirements,” Pranav Tyagi, Tango President and CEO, said in a press release sent to Independent Retailer. “Brands had to respond to a myriad of new challenges in the last year and technology has proven to be an important tool to gather and identify customer insights for decision-making around these changes. The positive response from our consumer survey should encourage retailers and restaurants to continue to innovate their customer operations and store locations to deliver a seamless experience and address the current needs of shoppers in-person and online.”
One of the biggest consumer buying trends at the moment is live shopping, according to parcelLab CEO Tobias Buxhoidt. QVC used to be big for live shopping, but now it is coming back in a different format and brands are realizing the high engagement on these channels where customers like to experience shopping in a unique way. While Instagram and Facebook provide the easiest places to make live online purchases, Buxhoidt says that we will see brands begin to invest in this feature heavily in the future to be able to offer live shopping outside of social media.
Adapting to Fit Consumer Preferences
It is super important to give shoppers what they are looking for in order to make sales. Especially with inflation continuing to rock the boat, consumers are being picky about where they spend their money. Tango’s survey found that even though customers are more satisfied with retail shopping experiences than they were last year, there is still room for improvement through innovation:
- More innovation, please. Over four-in-five (83%) of respondents say stores still need to become more innovative in how they utilize retail space for in-store shopping, order fulfillment, and pick-up.
- Shoppers want it all. Eighty-nine percent of consumers want to continue having options to shop in store and online with either in-store pick-up or delivery.
- The seamless shopping experience is here to stay. Two years into the pandemic, a seamless online-to-store experience continues to grow in importance for most Americans (88%).
- More changes = more satisfied customers. Americans are more likely to be satisfied with their options for an online-to-store experience than they were one year ago.
- 94% of shoppers are satisfied with the options they have for in-store shopping, pick-up, and delivery from stores and/or chain restaurants compared to 87% a year ago.
- 94% of shoppers enjoy having the ability to buy online and have options for picking up purchases or having them delivered compared to 86% a year ago.
- 91% of shoppers like the ways stores have integrated their online presence with the in-store experience, such as providing designated parking spaces for curbside pick-up, compared to 86% last year.
- 92% of shoppers report that stores have made it easier or faster to pick-up or receive online orders instead of waiting days for delivery from larger fulfillment centers, as opposed to only 84% a year ago.
As retailers prepare for all of these changes and the influx in tourist shoppers, here are some hot and trending gifts and impulse purchases to offer them:
Coffee is such a great gift to give for anyone to enjoy. This blend is so solid and full of character, it will remind your customers of the quality craftsmanship their grandfather put into everything he ever built. Sourced from Guatemala and Brazil from various small farmholders, the tasting notes include hints of chocolate, concord grape, and almond.
This candle smells just like autumn air. It has an inviting fragrance with top notes of cinnamon and citrus, a core of apple and berry, and an outdoorsy base consisting of pecan and cedar. This fragrance is infused with Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Vetiver, Guaiacwood, and Sandalwood essential oils for a smooth, earthy aroma. The best part — it is made with a recycled coconut shell!
Available in a 5 oz tub, these sugar-free fruit slices are soft jellied candies that are available in four assorted flavors: Orange, Lemon, Lime, and Cherry. They are perfect for shoppers looking for a healthier snack while on the road. Twelve tubs come in a case.
Available in a wide range of flavors including Chocolate Caramel, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Cheese Coated Caramel, Poppy Chow, and so many others, this specialty gourmet popcorn is handmade from scratch and hand-packed in Wisconsin. Each bag contains seven cups of popcorn, perfect for sharing during a long road trip.
Hayward Gourmet Popcorn
These chips are crunchy, delicious, and come in a variety of different flavors, including Roasted Red Pepper, Ranch, Nacho Cheese, and Salsa Verde, among others. They can be enjoyed right out of the bag or with complimentary dips. Twelve bags come in one case.
This 48 count tower includes 12 4 oz Elk Hickory Snack Sticks, 12 3 oz Buffalo Hickory Snack Sticks, 12 4 oz Venison Hickory Snack Sticks, and 12 4 oz Wild Boar Snack Sticks. The tower can be placed on register counters for easy add-ons to sales.
Pearson Ranch Elk & Bison Jerky
With so many dog parents out there, your customers are sure to love these bone-shaped car magnets. It comes with 72 facings of 54 breeds and 18 fun sayings, and the floor display is FREE with your purchase. As an added bonus, five percent of your purchase will go to the rescue of your choice, just tell SJT which one you want to help.
Independent Retailer is the leading trade publication for independent retail store owners. Dedicated to business professionals who manage or own a brick & mortar retail establishment as well as to those with an online store, each monthly issue of Independent Retailer offers expert advice on wholesale buying and selling. Offerings from America’s leading importers and manufacturers are showcased in dozens of product categories, and buyers across the country use each issue as their supplier resource of choice. Here is the link to bookmark: https://independentretailer.com/
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