Why We Give Gifts & How to have your Best Gifting Season Ever

why we give gifts featuredWhy do we give gifts anyway?

I’m sure you’ve experienced the wonderful feeling that comes over you when you give a gift and see a friend’s face light up with excitement. But did you know that there are also psychological and emotional benefits associated with giving gifts?

It turns out there’s a lot more to gift-giving than simply handing someone a present. To get a better idea of what it’s all about, today we’re going to look at:

  • Why we give gifts
  • How giving gifts makes us happy
  • Why handmade products make such perfect gifts
  • Plus tips to prepare for the gifting season as a handmade product maker

Why We Give Gifts

It turns out that gift-giving has historical significance in human culture and traditions. Ancient civilizations exchanged items of all sorts as a way of showing appreciation and a preference for certain people. It was also a means of expressing their affection for one another.

In some cultures, gift-giving has also been used as a way to establish friendships, make peace between people and build alliances.

All this isn’t much different than our intentions today.

Modern studies have found that giving a gift helps us feel connected to our loved ones, lifts our mood and increases our self-esteem. It also helps build trust between individuals which makes it a powerful tool for improving relationships.

Why Giving Gifts Makes Us Happy

You know how good it feels to receive a gift. But did you know that by being the giver, you experience even more pleasure than the recipient? Wait … what?

That’s right – when we give gifts, our brains release hormones like oxytocin and dopamine. These, in turn, produce feelings of pleasure, satisfaction and connection. Plus, gift-giving reduces our stress levels and improves our overall mental health.

Furthermore, the act of giving gifts is another way to express compassion and caring.

Who knew that the simple act of give and take could have such a powerful effect on all involved? At its core, gift-giving is a way to strengthen relationships, communicate our feelings and create bonds with the important people in our lives. That’s definitely cause for happiness.

Handmade Products Are Perfect Gifts

As a handmade product maker, you’re uniquely positioned to help others give memorable gifts that will make the recipient feel special.

Your products are perfect because they offer a personal touch which is something generic mass-produced products can’t do. Whether each of your pieces is specific unto itself or you produce small-batch creations, they are special and add a deeper degree of meaning to the exchange.

Handmade gifts show that the giver took the time to make a selection with love and thoughtfulness. That’s so much more meaningful than a quick choice with general store-bought items.

Plus, I know your handmade products are crafted with impeccable attention to detail. They look and feel special, making them even more impactful.

This upcoming holiday season, make it easy for your customers to surprise their loved ones with something that will truly make them smile – handmade products! Their friends and family will be touched to receive such a well-thought-out and personalized gift.

Let’s talk about how to prepare for the all-important holiday season so your handmade products are ready when customers come looking for something special.

How To Prepare For The Gifting Season As A Handmade Product Maker

I don’t have to tell you that among all the festivity, the holiday gifting season is a very hectic time for handmade product makers. It can also be stressful if you’re not prepared.

If your shop or products aren’t ready, shoppers will end up with something from a big box store, instead.

You don’t want that to happen! So here are some tips to ensure you’re prepared for a fulfilling and profitable gifting season.

Take inventory.

Be sure you have enough products made already and supplies in stock if you need to make more. Check your inventory and re-order now if necessary. This way you can take action right away if you need to add to or ramp up production. Don’t forget to check your packaging materials too. Have a good supply of boxes, bags, tags, and tissue paper. It really slows you down if you have to backfill these items when things are busy.

If you’ve just started your business, plan out what you want to offer and how much of each item you need to have ready for holiday shoppers. You have no baseline for sales yet so do your best at projecting and you’ll get more precise as you gain experience.

Nobody is ever “right on” in projecting sales since conditions change all the time. Just do the best you can and by having inventory in stock to make more, you’re covered.

Make sure your branding and marketing are up to date.

Before the holiday season is in full gear, make sure your branding and marketing materials reflect the products you actually have available and the special emphasis you are putting on the season.

Particularly for online shoppers, you want your website to reflect this most important gifting season. Update images or descriptions, include holiday colors or designs along with your regular branding to make it festive.

At craft shows, add festive enhancements to your booth display and make sure any promotional materials include holiday selections.

On the marketing side, create a separate holiday promotion and develop a strategy for reaching out to new and existing customers. If you’re already in the middle of the season, do what you can if this isn’t already done, and mark down a reminder to plan for this earlier next year. The holiday season is so important it’s worth thinking about and putting things in place even at the end of the summer!

Design packaging.

Another way to stand out is by creating special holiday-themed packaging. A unique presentation can go a long way toward making your gifts extra special and memorable.

I’m sure you’ve seen on social media the popularity of “unboxing” videos. When you have an experience associated with the receipt of your product, you set yourself up for the possibility of added exposure through these types of posts too.

And of course, include special notes or cards with information about your products, as well as how they can return to order more.

Make it easy for shoppers.

Today’s busy shoppers appreciate when you provide them with easy ways to shop.

Whether it’s an in-person check-out at a show or in-store, be ready to process and wrap purchases quickly and efficiently. If a customer can’t find someone to check them out or has to wait in long lines, you run the risk of them changing their mind and finding another gift elsewhere.

For an eCommerce order, make sure your online systems are smooth, fast, and clear. Customers these days are wary of ordering online and this concern is peaked when checkout processes are slow or don’t go through the steps they’d expect. If your website checkout is glitchy, trust in your business comes into question and you will lose sales right at the end … when you had that sale but it gets lost.

Fast and smooth is the name of the game here.

Be ready for the unexpected.

It’s important to anticipate things that could go wrong during the holiday season – from stock shortages to production delays. Plan ahead by making sure you have a backup plan in case something goes awry or if an unexpected demand arises. That way, you’ll eliminate the panic and just switch over to Plan B.

Since we’re talking about the holiday season, here are some handmade owner stories whose products are perfect for holiday gift-giving:

The Takeaway: Make Gifting Season Memorable & Profitable

The holiday gifting season is the biggest opportunity of the year for you to showcase your creativity and unique offerings. Taking the extra time to strategize and put your plans into action will pay off in sales. And now you also know how much good the act of gifting provides for both the giver and the receiver!

About the author, Sue

With over 30 years of business development and marketing experience, I've been fortunate to work with hundreds of companies of all sizes. Their needs range from start-up guidelines to advanced business building strategies. As current founder and owner of The Ribbon Print Company, we continue to recognize the need for these services ... not just for our customers but for the gifting industry as a whole. That's where the inspiration began for the Gift Biz Unwrapped Podcast and Blog.

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