Over the next few weeks, many retailers will begin offering to gift-wrap their shopper’s purchases. Customers have long found this service saves them time and perhaps delivers a better wrapping job than they would have done. It’s such a well-liked service that malls have historically offered free gift-wrapping as a way to drive foot traffic. And like their brick & mortar counterparts, online stores will also start to offer their own gift-wrapping services, since it provides undeniable financial benefits and can offer a distinct competitive advantage.
If you’ve never offered gift wrapping before, though, it can seem like a daunting task. What does it provide you? How do you add it as an option on your store site? How do you actually execute it on the fulfillment end? So we’ve put together a complete guide for you on how to offer this service, with advice from other Shopify store owners.
Table of Contents
- The benefits of gift wrapping
- How to offer a gift wrapping option on your Shopify store
- How to execute gift wrapping in the fulfillment process
- How to determine the cost of gift wrapping
- Best practices for gift wrapping
The benefits of gift wrapping
We’ve established that customers like gift-wrapping services. However, it can provide your business benefits as well.
- It can increase average order value. By offering free gift wrapping for orders over a certain amount, wrapping can drive an increased AOV for your business.
- It can boost overall revenue. If you offer gift wrapping for a small amount over what it costs you in time and materials, you can even make a profit on this service.
- It can boost customer loyalty. By adding another element of convenience and beauty to your experience, you make customers more likely to return.
How to offer a gift wrapping option on your Shopify store
Offering gift-wrapping on your site is a fairly simple process. Our custom options app, Infinite Options, showcases the gift-wrapping service near the add-to-cart button on your product pages with clear, distinct labeling for the customer to see.
Here’s a quick step-by-step breakdown of providing how to provide a gift wrapping option with Infinite Options:
Once in the app, create an option set specifically for your gift-wrapping option selections. This enables you to make quick and easy adjustments if needed.
Add a Label that represents the gift-wrapping option selection you’re providing. It’s best to provide the cost of the service in the Label if you’re offering this at a price.
Make sure your Field Name also mentions gift wrapping because this is what will let you and your customers know that gift wrapping was selected on the order.
Set the Input Type to radio buttons, checkboxes, or swatches to make the customer’s selection process straightforward. Swatches are best if you’d like to add an image, such as a gift-wrapped box, to the selection.
In the Option Values section, add text that confirms the selection will add gift-wrapping to the order. If you’re using swatches, be sure to add the image to the option value as well. Then click Show Advanced Options to allow for multiple selections. This makes the swatch selection optional for the customer.
Assign your option set to the products you want the gift-wrapping to appear on and save your changes. If you’re not charging customers for this service, you can stop here.
Create a Gift Wrapping Product from your Shopify Products page. Be sure to include an image for display purposes along with adding the appropriate price for the product, since the add-on product must be available on the Online Store Channel in order for the product bundling (pricing) feature to work properly.
Go back to the gift-wrapping option set you created in the Infinite Options app dashboard and click the price tag icon next to the option value.
Locate the Gift Wrapping Product and then click Add.
Click the Done button to bundle the add-on product to the option value.
Save your changes and you’re all set. You can now preview the gift-wrapping option selection on a product page via the Preview feature within the option set.
The final result should look something like this…
How to execute gift wrapping in the fulfillment process
Offering gift wrapping on your site is only the first step. Now we have to talk about the practical aspects of getting the gift wrapped.
1. Where to buy supplies
Where you purchase your wrapping materials will depend on the size of your operation. For very small operations, you can easily purchase your supplies from a local big box store location. Jeffrey Michael, Marketing Manager at Moriarty’s Gem Art, suggests purchasing wrapping supplies just after the holiday season, as there will be substantial discounts at the time.
For larger operations, you can order supplies in bulk from a gift-wrapping store like Nashville Wraps, Paper Mart, or Deluxe Bags & Bows. These retailers generally sell wrapping paper in massive 24’x417’ rolls. These large rolls can wrap about 175-200 gifts and average in price to be about $1.35 per gift.
In addition to wrapping paper, there are a number of supplies you may or may not need depending on how you wish to wrap your items:
- Tissue paper
- Wrapping paper dispenser
- Gift bags
2. Add a place for wrapping within your fulfillment process
First, you’ll need to add a wrapping station to your packing area. This requires a flat surface (that has room for the wrapping paper dispenser if you’re using that) and storage for your scissors, tape, and other supplies.
Next, you’ll need to decide on how you want your packages wrapped. There are hundreds of videos and blogs on wrapping style. Here’s a great one on a very basic wrapping style:
You can vary this basic style to create your brand’s ideal aesthetic. For instance, you can fold all your raw edges over, using double-sided tape, or add a length of ribbon around each package. If you’re working with items that are not perfectly square, you’ll want to look into some other techniques, like this video shows:
Once you’ve chosen a method that suits your brand and item shapes, you’ll have to train your team. Large operations may want to only train a few people to avoid disrupting your daily flow too much.
Can you offer gift wrapping as a dropshipper?
The short answer is no. Essentially, dropshipping companies do not currently offer the option of gift-wrapping items for you. So if you want to offer gift-wrapping, you have to order the items to your home (or office) to be wrapped by you, and then you mail them out.
How to determine the cost of gift wrapping
The price you charge for gift-wrapping will depend on a few variables:
- Cost of materials
- The time it takes for a team member to wrap an order
- Extra cost to ship (if the wrapping requires heavier packing materials than normal, for instance)
- Any profit you want to make on top
And despite the variables, you may opt to offer gift-wrapping for free as a holiday promo.
To give you some idea of what a real-world gift wrapping scenario looks like, this is what some Shopify stores have said about wrapping:
- Jeffrey Michael shared with me that 30% of their orders would come in for gift-wrapping. Wrapping added ten minutes to the fulfillment process on average. Moriarty’s charges $9.95 for wrapping.
- Thomas, founder of CPHAGEN, finds that wrapping adds five minutes to their fulfillment process. CPHAGEN offers gift wrapping free as a way to set themselves apart from their competitors.
- Jackie Besser, founder of BeInspired, prepares her wrapping materials ahead of time as much as possible. She cuts her wrap to the size of her packages and puts together her handmade bows in her free time, which takes about two minutes per package. With all this done, she says that the final wrapping only adds one to two minutes per package into the shipping process. She charges $3.50 for wrapping.
Best practices for gift wrapping
Finally, let’s discuss the best practices surrounding offering gift wrapping on your online store.
1. Offer gift wrapping year-round
This was perhaps the piece of advice I heard most from store owners as I did my research. Wrapping services are fairly common during the holiday season, but they’re much harder to find throughout the year when you need a gift wrapped for a baby shower, birthday, or other gift-giving occasion. At these other points of the year, your customers are also less likely to be in possession of wrapping materials themselves. This means that offering a gift-wrapping service in April is even more delightful than at the holiday season.
2. Give details about your wrapping
Customers like to know what they’re paying for, so it’s a good idea to give them some information, like a photo of the final product. You could also go further and provide a whole FAQ page on your wrapping processes that you link to from the gift-wrapping selection box.
With Infinite Options, you can provide an image of the final product with the selection by using a swatch input type when creating your gift-wrapping selection. Simply add the photo you’d like to feature by clicking the image icon next to your option value for the gift-wrapping selection.
3. Offer a variety of wrapping price options
You may want to try offering some wrapping tiers to snare more wrapping orders or to allow customers to self-select when they wish for luxurious packaging. Your base tier could even be a gift wrapping kit for the customer to send themselves. A kit can also be helpful for customers who wish to view the item they purchased before giving it to someone.
4. Communicate your new wrapping service
Like with any item or promotion you offer, it’s important to make sure your customers know that it’s available. The common and most effective way to message about your service is to offer it as a checkbox option when the customer adds a product to their cart. However, there are certainly some other placements you can try in conjunction:
- A banner at the top of your site that announces gift wrapping.
- Including the option to wrap one or all items at checkout, as well.
- Program your chatbot to proactively ask if a customer is interested in gift wrapping during the holiday season.
5. Only include wrapping for certain items
If you find that adding gift wrapping for all your products is too difficult or expensive, you may wish to offer it only on select items in your catalog. Perhaps only items that are easy to wrap or are most likely to be given as gifts.
6. Proactively communicate wrapped orders with your fulfillment team
You’ll need to make sure that you’re communicating effectively to your team when an order needs wrapping. For example, if you typically export your orders to a shared Google spreadsheet, be sure to add a column for wrapping. And instead of doing this manually, you could automate this task.
7. Consider donating wrapping proceeds to a designated charity or cause
We should consider ways to help others in any way that’s feasible. If you have a cause or charitable organization you support, you could donate a portion of your gift-wrapping proceeds. Letting customers know you’re doing this might encourage them to opt-for the service as a small way to give back, and collectively, you can add some humanitarian value to the experience.
Gift-wrapping is a win-win for customers and companies alike, once you’ve worked out the logistics. To get started, install Infinite Options on your store today.