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Independent gift shops should promote their strengths over an online experience

We’d all like to be the first to know what the next big gifting trend is going to be. We’d all like to know what our customers are saying about us on social media. We don’t all have time to scour the internet. We’ve partnered up with Maybe* so now you can!

What is the general sentiment about gifting?


Gifting sentiment of conversations on social media

Data received from Maybe* suggests that the overall sentiment surrounding gifting is very positive. However, there is some negativity driven by orders not arriving on time. As gifts are often needed by a certain date, this is an opportunity for independent retailers who do not run the risk of letting shoppers down in this way. Other pain points shown on the Maybe* platform suggest last-minute gift buying and not knowing what to buy. This could be an opportunity for independent retailers to provide gifts cards or offer inspiration to shoppers by engaging in conversations to help with a gift idea.

What is being said about gifting?


The main topics of conversation surrounding gifting on social media

The content in the gifting conversation is much less seasonal now Christmas, Valentines and Mother’s Day are out of the way. There is still conversation about shopping, but there is also chatter about the gift of experiences through mentions of tickets as gifts which allow people to spend time together. Handmade gifts still feature, as does language around shops and the high street. This suggests that shoppers still value visiting physical stores. Images of gifts in a store environment may help social content come to life and give independents the opportunity to showcase themselves as a destination to visit.

Who’s influencing the conversation?

Influencers in each conversation may be loyal advocates or bloggers or Instagrammers to partner with. Target these people and engage with them through their own audience in a relevant way based on their interests. Influencers for the gifting sector at the moment include some independents as well as Living Mag, Rhiwbina Living and Whit_Llandaff who have all featured a local Welsh gift store as a unique gift shop. This demonstrates the importance of local endorsement and working with local press and organisations to feature products and offering.

Burley’s Gifts have been creating content about their journey as an independent. This is a great example of how to use your personal investment in your business and showcase the human behind the counter. The regular content updates from Occasional Maybe (no relation to the Maybe* platform) on gifting ideas is simple and is a good example of how using images can create more impact.

So, what have we learnt?

Independent bricks and mortar stores do not pose the risk of spoiling a special occasion with a missed delivery which could be used to sell the benefits of your shop. Even as the seasonal gifting chatter has dies down, there is still a trend for handmade and unique gifts. Here, indies are well placed to get involved in conversations about last minute shopping or not knowing what to buy to provide some helpful and personal advice. Local press is a great opportunity to showcase the offering to your local community, and showcasing the human behind the businesses is a great way to add a more personal touch that online business can’t. Given there is a trend for wanting to shop on the high street and offline, stores should also create content that showcases an inspiring and inviting store experience.

Turn social media conversations into sales, on demand

Maybe* is the easy-to-use online platform, that helps independent retail businesses build conversations and insight that will drive footfall. Take your gift shop to the next level, try Maybe* today with a Bira exclusive offer.