Online sales are becoming an ever more significant segment of the country's retail sector, says Jeffrey Grau in his June 2006 report, US Retail E-Commerce. eMarketerCom magazine concurs, estimating an annual average increase in retail e-commerce sales of 18.6% between 2005 and 2009.
E-shoppers are not only spending more, but Grau says they're also buying different types of goods: big-ticket items like refrigerators; and luxury products including designer apparel and jewelry. As the e-commerce marketplace matures (its yearly growth admittedly slowing somewhat from the 26% seen a decade ago), experienced e-retailers are exploring methods of promoting repeat sales and ensuring customer loyalty.
One such method is creative gifting—putting a promotional product in with the purchase prior to shipping. The unexpected item is a pleasant surprise for the customer, who is already primed to be satisfied with the transaction.
Helen Bergstein, founder of the home exchange e-business Digsville.com, is a well-known web-based service provider, who recognizes the value of using promotional products. Although shipping products is not required in her line of sales, she does confirm that “the unexpected element of a thank-you gift adds to the total experience of my customers. In fact, in my own experience, people have called just to tell me they really appreciated the extra gesture. It's a personal touch in an increasingly de-personalized world. "
As long as the promo item is branded with the vendor contact information, the actual gift itself is limited only by the budget and imagination of the e-retailer. Items that are used or seen often by the recipient best meet the strategy of gifting in the first place - keeping your name, your company, your product or service in the forefront of a buyer's memory. Refrigerator magnets with an original design or look always fit the bill but promo gifts can certainly be either more specific to or parallel with your own product. For instance, in the case of the Digsville Home Exchange Club, promotional key-chains with the digsville.com logo on them have proved a big hit with members. Bergstein says her customers like the key-chains because “the items relate directly to an upcoming vacation home exchange, especially exciting when it's time to hand over the house or car keys. ”
When the spin-off benefit of positive word-of-mouth advertising is taken into consideration—and who doesn’t like talking about freebies?—the reasons not to add a little token of appreciation in your next shipment just don't add up. Remember to think inside the box - your ROI will thank you.
Farfromboring.com has over 70 years experience in the promotional products market. With millions of different promotional products on the market making the right decision on the right promotional products for your business would be overwhelming. With our dedicated sales and support team FarFromboring.com will help you choose the right promotional product for building your business. Visit Farfromboring Promotional Products for more information or visit our Promotional Products Blog for unique promotional products, promotional products specials, and for articles on promotional products for your industry.