Let’s face it – without gift-wrapping, it wouldn’t feel like the holiday season! Beautifully-wrapped parcels appearing in-store and on social media is one of the biggest signs that Christmas is on its way. We have already talked on the blog about how to improve your holiday unboxing this season. But what about the virtues of offering complementary gift-wrapping more widely to your customers?

Usually, we associate gift-wrapping with the holiday season. But brands have a lot to gain by offering a year-round service. In particular, the eCommerce world has woken up to its potential. Platforms such as Shopify now offer a gift-wrap option for their customers to add to their sites. Fulfillment centers are also stepping into the game; noissue partners such as ShipBob make it stress-free for businesses to integrate gift-wrapping into their wider 3PL.

But why is this a growing trend? On the surface, it might seem like a small touch. Yet, it’s one which has a measurable impact on brand perception, customer loyalty, and customer retention rates.

This is because for any brand, first impressions really do matter.

How do you want your customers to view you as a brand? This is the question that all businesses ask themselves in reference to their branding strategies. This applies just as much to gift wrapping. Why? Because in a nutshell, it IS a branding strategy, and one which is brilliant for eCommerce. You have far fewer opportunities online to make an impression on your customer, so you need to grab them with both hands.

Offering gift-wrapping shows how much you value your customer. It also shows that you pay close attention to their intentions for the purchase. Not surprisingly, 40 percent of customers would consider making a repeat purchase from a brand which used ‘gift-like’ packaging. You can articulate this as a pitch to your customers that purchasing from you gives them a more tangible return on their investment.

“Orders do NOT leave the general store until Father Rabbit has approved the Standard Of Wrapping. These parcels give us a telling glimpse into the psyche of our rabbit - they’re all lovingly wrapped… but to very strict standards. He’s tough, but with good intentions.”

Homewares brand Father Rabbit offers complimentary gift-wrapping with every online purchase. This is a way for them to show their commitment to a great customer experience with a personal touch. By being in addition to a carefully curated product range, they are able to substantially increase the perceived value of their offerings.

Perks to business aside, free gift-wrapping is increasingly becoming the norm in eCommerce. You don’t want to get left behind!

A recent study showed that gift-wrapping is becoming an expectation on behalf of customers. This especially applies to certain industries. Free gift-wrapping is most likely to be ‘extremely important’ to consumers for luxury goods or lifestyle products. This includes jewelry, cosmetics and specialty food items.

This is because rather than just selling a product, these sectors aim to sell an experience to their customers. The care and attention to detail that gift-wrapping represents meet your customers’ expectations of great service. Since this is such a saturated sector in eCommerce, you don't want to out in this area to competitors.

For example, let's say that two competing lifestyle brands are both stocking the same t-shirt. A customer thinks that it would be a great birthday gift for a friend. Both brands offer it at the same price, but there is a difference. One offers free gift-wrapping, and the other doesn't. If you were the customer, which would you pick? It isn't rocket science!

The Wrap Up:

Offering a year-round gift-wrapping service is a fantastic way to extend your customer service a stretch further. It helps to give your brand a more premium edge, which will make you much more competitive in the online space. Plus, it makes for some insta-worthy content! So happy wrapping!