How To

How To Start Selling Gift Items And Services Online.

During the festive seasons and occasions like Halloween, Christmas and Thanksgiving, businesses make billions of dollars around the word by Selling Gift Items alone. According to a 2008 survey, the US gift industry reached $ 3.3 billion in sales.  In 2016, “Halloween spending was predicted to reach $8.4 billion. More than 171 million Americans celebrated Halloween this year,  spending an average $82.93, up from last year’s $74.34. Total spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion, an all-time high in the history of NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights.! ” The UK ad market will see a £5.6bn marketing spend for 2016 Christmas, £300m more than 2015 according to The Guardian

Today there are many opportunities to work from home and make some money from the seasonal gift business. Having an online business will allow you to take care of your family while earning some money at the same time. The bricks and mortar may be difficult to open, but with the help of the internet, now you can start an online gift business. In the gift shop, you can offer seasonal items, as they are the most favorable. In this business, you can sell products at a much lower price. With lower overhead and affordable stocks, you can make big profits.

What types of gift items and services can you sell

Greeting Cards

Arts & Crafts

Handmade Jewelry

Unique Surprise Gifts

Postcards

etc

How to Start Gift Business and Services Online

Selling gifts online enables you to reach a wider audience. When choosing a physical gift shop presence, the best location for attracting potential customers is the first thing that will come to your mind. This is also true for online. If you are interested in setting up a website where people can come to view your products only (as opposed to a marketplace such as Amazon or eBay), then there is a need for you to choose between a hosted or self-hosted e-commerce platform.

Hosted e-commerce platform is like renting a house, you are restricted to the ideas of the landlord. You probably can’t make any physical changes like painting to the look and feel of the property even though you live there. You might be forced to leave or lose access if the landlord decides to sell up or change the property. The benefits of renting a house are that house can be changed with minimal fuss and cost. In comparison to having your own house (self-hosted), it means you have the liberty to choose where your house is located, how it looks and how fast you want any changes to be done on what you already have. However, having your own house is expensive and you will be responsible for fixing any damage and make improvements. The pros and cons of hosted platform are much the same.

A hosted platform is as if you rent a space to sell your products but it will be hosted on someone’s server. These platforms are generally easy to use especially for beginners.

For self-hosting platforms, you are required to run the software on your own machine (for example, within WordPress). This enables more scope for customization. The constraint here is that  if you are not good with coding this may be a little difficult and expensive to understand and manage. Examples of self-hosted platforms are WooCommerce and Magento. 

Top Hosted platforms

  • Shopify boasts of over 120,000 merchants and traders who use  hosted e-commerce platform. The platform enables setting up online shop fairly simple, with the range of great designs to pick from and a strong technical infrastructure to build upon. Shopify sites are optimized for SEO, helping you to increase traffic to your storefront. Most of its themes are mobile responsive which makes products purchasing easy regardless of which device used. Shopify is level-1 PCI compliant and uses 256-bit SSL encryption to handle customer’s transactions and credit card details.
  • BigCommerce is one of the most popular online shopping platforms for all size of businesses. BigCommerce offers many free features in its basic package compared to other sites. Like other platforms, BigCommerce offers additional features such as gift vouchers, email marketing tools and built-in shipping date at an additional cost. The level 1 certified PCI compliant also has a larger international presence than Shopify which makes it ideal for people based in Australia or Europe, or eventually want to expand your presence that way.

 Other examples of hosted platforms include Volusion, Wix, and Squarespace.

Skills needed

Customer relationship management

E-commerce and payment

Networking

Outsourcing

Social media

Marketing

How to Earn Money from Selling Gift and Services online

  • Gift card processors earn revenue from transaction fees.
  • From Upsell services like plastic and cardholder/packaging production, e-commerce development, merchandising, fulfillment, marketing, and promotion, etc.
  • Card Companies can make money /transaction fee, by commission etc.
  • Gift Vouchers are a perfect way to generate money
  • Gift exchange

If you want to start an online gift business, you have a better chance of success if you start with a solid business plan. Find the confidence of providers and you can get your inventory at a lower price. Determine prices and sell a lot of gift items.

Gift Marketplace

Ebay

Amazon

Aliexpress

Clickworker

Wrapsew

Etsy

Giftfly

Cardpool

By starting your own business, it is essential that you have the necessary marketing skills. Effective marketing and promotional activities are the strategies for the establishment and maintenance of customers. Although demand for gifts is usually in the festive season, such as New Year, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, birthdays and special occasions, you have to think of other ways to make existing and potential customers to buy their partners gifts, so you can still be in business throughout the year.

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