Self-Gifting: 6 Ways to Profit From a Hot Holiday Trend


The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) holiday spending forecast is out, and the news is good: The NRF predicts holiday spending will match last year’s or even exceed it a little bit, at an average of $805 per person (compared to $802 last year).

One of the most interesting things in this year’s spending forecast: Self-gifting is projected to increase. Last year, a whopping 77 percent of holiday shoppers reported buying a non-gift item for themselves or others over Thanksgiving weekend. This year, the amount shoppers spend on such purchases is projected to grow — from $126.37 last year to an average of $131.59.

While the holidays are traditionally thought of as a time for giving, it seems there’s profit to be had in encouraging shoppers to be a little bit selfish, too. How can you get your hands on some of those self-gifting dollars? Here are six tips to help spur self-gifting.

Think Practical

In today’s cost-conscious times, holiday shoppers often keep their eyes peeled for necessities, not just fun stuff, when they’re out looking for gifts. Spotlighting practical products that aren’t typically gifted, such as bedding, housewares or personal-care products, can entice shoppers who are already in a spending mood to stock up on products they or their families need.

Spell It Out

Why try to downplay the fact that customers are probably buying things for themselves as well as gifts for others? Instead, have fun with it with signage and marketing slogans like “One for them, one for you,” “Get what you really want this Christmas,” or “Gift yourself.”

Soothe Their Stress

The holidays are stressful and busy for just about everyone. One way you can get customers to spend on themselves is to remind them that they need some downtime, self-care and relaxation in order to survive the season. If you sell products that are relaxing, comforting and stress-relieving — from cozy sweaters or fuzzy slippers to scented bath oils or massage tools — this message can be highly effective.

Offer Two for One

“Buy one, get one free” or “Buy one, get one 50 percent off” are especially effective marketing ploys around the holidays. After all, with that kind of savings or offer, it seems almost wrong not to buy that extra sweater for yourself, doesn’t it?

Give Out Freebies

A gift-with-purchase (GWP) offer can work wonders to boost shoppers’ spending. They might spend more on gifts to get a GWP they want themselves, or buy products they need to get a desirable GWP to give as a gift. Set different price points and offer different gifts of increasing value depending on how much shoppers spend. (Cosmetics companies are great at GWPs; check out their websites for examples of how to do it right.)

Emphasize Value

Even though holiday spending is projected to hold steady in 2015, the majority of consumers are still very price-conscious. Ease any money-related guilt about spending on themselves by focusing on the value you’re offering for money. For example, emphasizing “Our lowest price of the year” or “Lowest price of the season” can convince wavering customers that it’s finally time to splurge on something they’ve been wanting.

Gift Photo via Shutterstock

More in:

Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.