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Gift shopping – ourselves, family, friends.  Ugh.  Here’s an innovative and fun spin for you and your customers!

There is certainly no lack of gift choices but do we have the time, patience, is it something we really want to do, will we make the right choice, do we know where to look or if we’re even getting a good deal?

We aren’t always sure what kind of gift to buy for others.  It’s tough, we generally wait until the last minute and end up getting something off the cuff.  We fill with anxiety wondering, hoping we made the right choice but really, would the person tell us anyways?

There are other times where we just want to buy something for ourselves.  Where do we look, are we getting a fair price, could we be getting a better deal, are we aware of when something that wasn’t previously in our budget now falls within reach?

This happens year round – birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, showers, Christmas / holidays, gifts everywhere all the time!  Even though we are consumers, the thoughts of having to head out to find something can make us cringe.  So much thought and time involved.  There are a few other things that come to mind for some folks:

  1. There are great deals to be had online but I’m not that Internet savvy
  2. I don’t know where to look, if it is a good deal or if there are hidden ‘gotchas’ like duties, brokerage fees, long shipping that
  3. I don’t have a credit card, I can’t order online
  4. Even if I do order online I don’t want it delivered to my residence
  5. I have no idea what to get said person, I’m terrible at buying gifts
  6. The thought of having to trek to a busy mall makes my skin crawl
  7. I forget about upcoming birthdays, holidays, gift giving occasions and do a last minute scramble
  8. There are bigger purchases I’d love to make but they aren’t currently in budget – I’d love to be notified if there’s a sale or similar product when it falls within my budget!
  9. Home delivery – My packages have been stolen in the past, wish I could have it shipped to a local location without paying a steep recurring monthly P.O. Box Fee

If only there were a simple way to get incredible gift suggestions within a set budget from someone in the know, order the gifts, know I’m getting a good deal, be reminded of upcoming gift events (if I forget my wedding anniversary *again* this year I’ll be in the dog house), avoid the hustle and bustle of a busy mall and all the other stresses that come along with gift purchasing and giving.

Business Model

Gift Sherpas – Helping you navigate the perilous and stressful gift selection and purchasing process.  From standard type gifts to atypical purchases such as event tickets, trips, adventures, and more!  No stone is left unturned, from local to international, common to obscure, the easy to please to the impossible to shop for, ideas you would have never thought of and getting that priceless smile as their eyes light up – Gift Sherpas makes it happen every time.

The model can be comprised of a brick and mortar setup, an app or both!  Gift Sherpas can:

  1. Help suggest the best gift ideas based on the individual – age, sex, interests, etc
  2. Find the best deals available to the customer by sourcing from several vendors
  3. Take all the guess work out of ordering anything online – between date of delivery, shipping costs, additional fees, return policies, etc
  4. Facilitate online transactions if the customer does not have or does not want to use their credit card
  5. Can have it delivered to the individual ordering, recipient of the gift or in-store for local pickup
  6. Place and order or source the gift in a convenient, local, non-hectic environment you get at local malls
  7. Make multiple purchases during a one stop shop
  8. Remind you of your upcoming gift giving events
  9. Become your personal shopper

Consider offering up other complimenting services / products such as:

  1. Party planning
  2. In store gifts / gift accessories
  3. Gift registries (where applicable) – You’re not limited to one store or item theme!  An initial consultation could be made, registry formed and distributed to event attendees.  Smaller items could be purchased, larger items could have contributions / ‘crowdfunding’ going towards the overall purchase.  Make it interesting and have and focus on one single item over the course of multiple gifting events and receive the pricier item when the goal has been met.
  4. Recurring gifts – The customer can be enrolled for specific recurring gift dates; set it and forget it!

Monetization Model

This is where it gets interesting, with no lack of choice!

The monetization model will depend on whether you setup a storefront, App or both.  In terms of a storefront, a few revenue stream recommendations are as follows (one or several can be selected based on the customer / type of service you would like to offer):

  1. Gift selection consulting fee
  2. Gift ordering fee
  3. Gift delivery / holding fee / forwarding fee (can act similar to a P.O. Box – this may also be a stream even if they don’t order the item through you!  You may even take possession of a gift ahead of time or even send it out on a given date.)
  4. Percentage of total price
  5. Fee to order if the customer doesn’t have a credit card
  6. In store ready to go gifts!
  7. Gift accessories – bags, wrapping paper, cards, etc
  8. Gift services – wrapping, packing, delivery
  9. Gift customization / personalization – custom cards, photos, engraving, etc
  10. Affiliate account / fees – Ex. If you are ordering from Amazon you receive a portion of the proceeds
  11. Referral fee from vendor – Ex. If you refer a client for a Spa or Travel Package, the Spa / Agency provides you with a ‘finders fee’ / cheaper pricing
  12. Margin markup – ex. follow the model of many car part stores and source gifts from multiple vendors under a specialized agreement / vendor account which provides you with wholesale prices
  13. Personal Shopper – Offer higher end personal shopper / concierge type services
  14. Party Planning – Consulting party services or pre-planned out of the box ‘packages’ that can be purchased, from simple planning to organizing and executing the entire end to end event
  15. Gift reminder / suggestion services
  16. Auto-Gift – Premium service where a gift is automatically set to send on a specific date; get a reminder ahead of time to confirm the gift selected is appropriate, select another from a list of choices, or cancel the delivery
  17. Gift consignment / purchase – Received a gift or need to take it back but you don’t know who the vendor is or there are no returns?  Purchase the new item or put it on consignment in store!

Give thought to how to monetize prior to suggesting the gift (so the customer doesn’t use your time and leave), payment prior to ordering to secure the purchase, in addition to how you’ll handle returns / additional costs.

If offering an App (as a standalone or as part of your brick and mortar business):

  1. Download Fee
  2. Ads
  3. Sponsorship from select vendors that stream in their products for purchase
  4. Affiliate / referral – offer deals or discounts on activities, packages, products or services that align well
  5. Membership fee
  6. Direct interaction with a Gift Sherpas Expert!  Per interaction cost for recommendation / ordering of gift via the App – like a personal shopper / concierge at their fingertips!

Give some thoughts to features that will act as a ‘hook’ to get customers in.  Proactive gift selection, reminder services, purchase and local pickup in store, etc.  The way you monetize and position the App will depend on whether or no it’s tied in to your store directly or whether it acts as a standalone service.

Gift Sherpas will help you select the right gift every time – as a gift to yourself go get this business started today!

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Build the brand

Need the perfect domain for this business idea?  What about:

GIFTSHERPAS.COM

Comes complete with the Twitter handle @giftsherpas!

Build an awesome local or global brand.  Love the brand name but have a twist on what to offer or how to execute – awesome!

It’s available, if interested please reach out to domains@feedmeideas.com, our contact page, drop us a line on Twitter @ideapassion, or find us on Facebook – Facebook.com/FeedMeIdeas

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