Every manufacturer aims
to ensure his business thrives as he gets his product across a wide range of
consumers and also having higher demand in the market. With the help of a
convenience store distributor, this can be achievable and also at a lower cost.
managements that help small and large scale manufacturers convey their products
to the retailers for sale. They serve as middlemen in the distribution channel.
With your product market-ready, finding a convenience store distributor to
network with should be the next step.
Provided below are the top
ten convenience store distributors:
Core-Mark Holding Company
H.T. Hackney Company
Amcon Distributing Company
GSC Enterprises Incorporated
Harold Levinson Associates Incorporated
S. Abraham & Sons Incorporated
Imperial/Harrison super-regional distributors
Company: McLane Company is one of the largest
distributors in the country that supplies foodservice and provides grocery for
merchandise. They have 80 distribution centers across the country and deliver
over 50,000 different consumer products to over 90,000 locations. They service convenience stores, chain
restaurants, and retail traders that sell alcoholic beverages.
Holding Company: Core-Mark
started in 1888. They are one of the most respected marketers that services
grocery, drug, and other small format retailers that sell consumer packaged
goods. With 28 distribution centers spread across the United States, they focus
on the purchase and delivery of general merchandise, beauty, and health
#3: H.T. Hackney
Hackney is one of the largest wholesale distributors in the united states that
provides quality customer service and competitively priced merchandise. They
distribute over 25,000 products to over 30,000 market and stores.
has been a top convenience store supplier for over 120 years. They are the largest privately-owned
distributor in the U.S
Distributing Company: Amcon majorly distributes consumer products such as
beverages candy, tobacco products, and cigarettes. They supply over 14,000
different consumer products to about 5,000 retailers throughout the United
is an operated distributor of convenience products that supply over 14,000
items, including beverages, snacks, candy, groceries, cigarettes and
Enterprises Incorporated: Grocery Supply Company provides excellent
service to customers. They have their location Sulphur Spring, Texas.
Levinson Associates Incorporated: Harold Levinson Associates started in 1977
and has grown into one of the largest convenience store distributors in the
United States. They make over 3,000 deliveries daily.
#9: S. Abraham
& Sons Incorporated: They have their niche in the food industry
servicing retail stores all around the Midwest.
Imperial/Harrison SuperRegional Distributors: Imperial has
8,000 convenience store products to shelving, equipment, and store design.
These store distributors have been rated the top 10
in America as they offer quality services. Before choosing the distributor to
work with, first, confirm they have a common interest with your brand. This
way, you can watch your business grow with high profits.
The United States of
America is filled with numerous convenience stores selling a wide variety of
products, including groceries, general merchandise, toiletries, and all other
supplies. As a manufacturer, it is a thing to have a retail-ready product, and
it is another to have them in these stores and circulated in the market. To
accomplish this, there are companies you can network with that will help you
get your product across the market.
These agencies are called
convenience store distributors. A manufacturer approaches them with the product
he wants to market for sale. They then help in disbursing his product to the
convenience stores and ultimately to the consumers of his product. There are
quite many distributors out there servicing convenience stores, but there are
some that have proven to be the largest.
Listed below are a few of
the largest convenience store distributors:
McLane company started in 1894 and is currently one of the largest distributors
in the country. McLane Company supplies foodservice and provides grocery for
merchandise. With 80 distribution centers across the country, they buy, sell,
and deliver over 50,000 different consumer products to over 90,000 locations. With
this large number of costumers, McLane is still known to deliver products on
time and to offer excellent customer service. They service convenience stores,
chain restaurants, and retail traders that sell alcoholic beverages.
#2: HT Hackney: HT
Hackney started in 1891. They are also one of the biggest wholesale
distributors in the United States. They have their distribution center
strategically placed across the country, covering 22 states with a supply of
over 25,000 products to over 30,000 markets and stores. Providing excellent
customer service, they focus on ensuring that convenience stores get their
goods supplied from them without having to rely on any other distributor.
#3: Core-Mark: Core-Mark started
its service in 1888. They are one of the largest known market distributors on the
Northern side of America. Having 28 distribution centers spread across the
United States, they serve more than 29,000 stores and markets. Core-Mark is
also a top market distributor known for full-service marketing, competitive
pricing, and getting products delivered on time. They major in servicing
grocery, drug, and other small format retailers that sell consumer packaged
company is the largest privately-owned distributor in the United States. They
service 13,500 retail locations across the country. Eby-Brown has been a top
convenience store supplier for over 120 years.
distributors have been in the distribution industry for years, and the
experience and understanding that exudes from such a company is of great value.
So, when searching for distributors and comparing them to one another, always have
in mind how these model companies operate. Moreso, don’t forget that choosing a
distributor that agrees with your product is vital to ensure good sales.
As a manufacturer, once
your product is ready for sale with your customers in mind, you’ll need someone
to supply your goods, which involves finding the right wholesale distributor
for your brand. Distribution is a very crucial factor in the supply process. A
distributor helps in conveying products from the manufacturers to the
With the help of the distributor’s
list, the process of locating a distributor becomes a lot easier. A convenience
store distributor list comprises distribution companies with information about
them, such as their names, location, contact, and kinds of products they supply.
Below is the list of some
prominent and active convenience store distributors in the United States of
Mr. Checkout Distributors
KY Closeouts, Inc.
Mr. Checkout Distributors: Mr. Checkout is a group
of full-line grocery, independent distributors with their headquarters in
Oviedo, Florida. Their distributors’ service about 35,000 stores around the
McLane Company: McLane is a wholly-owned unit of
Berkshire Hathaway Incorporated. Having 80 distribution centers across the
united states, they supply over 50,000 products to about 90,000 retailers
across the country. McLane services convenience stores, chain restaurants, and
retail traders that sell alcoholic beverages.
KY Closeouts Inc.: KY closeout distributes various
products such as; candy, cosmetics, beverages, snacks, perfumes, cleaning
supplies, and more. They offer the best closeouts, cleaning, general
merchandise, and food products on the market. KY closeout is located at
Springhill Cheese: They provide customers with the best
quality and assortment of organic dairy products. Springhill cheese is located
in Petaluma, California.
Muswick LLC: They distribute a wide range variety of
products such as cigars, automotive, bags, soda, and beverages, cakes, health and
beauty products, cleaning supplies, snacks, cigarettes, tobacco, racks and
more. Muswick is located in little rock, Arkansas United States.
Farner-Bocken Company: Farner-Bocken headquarter is located
in Carroll. They supply over 14,000 items, including paper, ice cream,
chemicals, automotive, tobacco, beverages, snacks, candy, groceries, cigarettes,
and convenience foods.
Finding a convenience
store distributor for your product should be of less stress with the information
provided. Working with the right one for your brand would maximize profit and
ensure growth in your business.
Florida is one of the
most beautiful states in the United States of America due to the presence of astonishing
architecture, fantastic beaches, and theme parks, mainly the famous Disney Land
attracts a lot of visitors from a vast number of countries from around the
Having a population of
over 20 million citizens, Florida has an increasing demand for the supply of
consumer products. Currently, about 20% of Florida’s population is engaged in
products across to retailers and consumers may be a tedious task, which is where
the distributors come to play. They serve as the connection link between
manufacturers and retailers, helping manufacturers transport their products to
retailers and as well as service convenience stores.
There are quite many
wholesale distributors in Florida. Some top and reliable brands offering
wholesale distribution services include:
Convenient Wholesalers of America
Colonial Distributing Incorporated
Orlando Novelty Wholesaler, Smoke Shops
Zuma & Sons Distributors Corporation
Mr. Checkout Distributors
TriCity Vending Supply Incorporated
C Store Depot
Wholesalers of America: CWA services convenience stores, hotels,
restaurants, and other retailers. They deal mainly with food and beverages. CWA
has its warehouse located in Florida.
Distributing Incorporated: CDI distributes
groceries, beverages, and Tobacco to over 3000 convenience stores in the state.
They are located in Tampa, Florida.
Novelty Wholesaler, Smoke Shops Supplier: Orlando Novelty
Wholesaler carries out the distribution of a vast range of products to stores,
not only convenience stores but also vape stores and smoke shops. They are seen
as the leading wholesale distribution brand in Orlando, Florida.
#4: Zuma &
Sons Distributors Corporation: Zuma and sons corporation
is the number one leading brand when it comes to wholesale distribution of food
and beverages across Florida. It is located in Miami, Florida.
Incorporated: Gimix Incorporated supplies various to
different gas stations and convenience stores in the state. It is located in
Boca Raton, South Florida, United States.
#6: Mr. Checkout
Distributors: Mr. Checkout Distributors is an
independent group of distributors and wholesalers that offers distribution
services to convenience stores, drug stores, supermarkets. It’s located in
Vending Supply Incorporated: TriCity Vending supply is
majorly involved in the distribution of consumer products such as snacks,
beverages, food items, and so much more. They have excellent customer reviews
as regards the services provided. It is located in Miami, Florida.
#8: C Store Depot:
The C store depot majorly distributes equipment and supplies to convenience
stores across the late of Florida being located in Tampa. They also deal with the
distribution of alcoholic beverages and Tobacco throughout the state to several
If your target customers are in Florida, you can check
out these distributors. But before you network with any distributor, make sure
their interest correlates with yours. This way, you are sure of high returns in
commonly known as c-stores, are retail shops usually beside gasoline stations
that stocks and sell a wide variety of everyday consumer items. These items
range from toiletries, magazines, confectionery, to snacks, beverages, drinks,
drugs, and other household supplies.
For the effective
function of a convenience store, it must stock the right selection of supplies
and equipment. This way, the products provided are correctly displayed, stored
to keep them fresh and protected at all times.
Consumers are interested
in instant service and variety, so to retain and keep them coming in their
numbers, it is necessary to supply certain items.
Below is a list of items
for wholesale distribution:
Snack station supplies and equipment
Beverage and drinks equipment and supplies
Product display cases and warmers
Toiletry and drug supplies
Janitorial/ maintenance equipment and
are convenience store equipment designed for the display of products. This is to
make consumers access various products quickly and also to keep the products
fresh and free from contamination. The three types of merchandisers are open
merchandisers, commercial merchandisers, and freezer merchandisers.
#2: Snack station
supplies and equipment:
This section consists of the microwave, toaster, ovens, trays, snack
bags, confectionery, burger, chips, nachos, hot dog, pizza. Some of these are
hot food that may require display warmers.
3: Beverage and
drinks equipment and supplies: This group of equipment
consists of coffee and tea equipment, coffee, tea, bottled water, espresso,
disposable cups, sugary beverages, smoothies, straws, hot chocolate, dip trays,
coffee and tea brewers, slushy machines and blenders.
display cases and warmers: In a bid to entice
customers, you need to display your products. Customers won’t buy what they cannot
see; these items are essential for distribution. Also, some products must be
kept warm. In such a case, warmers are used.
#5: Toiletry and
drug supplies: Items under this category includes female
hygiene products, soaps and detergents, hand sanitizers, toilet papers, and
over the counter drugs.
maintenance equipment and supplies: These are equipment used
to keep the business environment clean and healthy. They consist of trash bins,
cleaning chemicals, hand dryers, air fresheners, paper towels, disposable
gloves, mops and buckets, brooms, and light bulbs.
Refrigerators are essential equipment in the convenience store, since the majority
of products require refrigeration to be kept fresh. These days we have walk-in
refrigeration systems, reach-in refrigeration systems, and even under-counter
#8: Dispensers: There
are different types of dispensers for a variety of products available in the
convenience stores. There are the beverage dispensers, hot water dispensers,
hot food dispensers, Ice, and water dispensers.
Shelves, dunnage racks, stands,
and tables are necessary items that should also be available. With the right
stock of items arranged properly to satisfy customers want, one can be rest
assured of excellent sales and more customers trooping in and out.
As a manufacturer,
building your business is considered vital in the manufacturing process as every
manufacturer desires to be profitable and as well get their products across to
a large number of consumers. Having to transport the manufactured products to
retailers may be overwhelming work on the manufacturer’s part. A wholesale
distributor can serve as a distribution link between manufacturers and
retailers to boost the productivity of manufacturers.
distributors are managements that help manufacturers transport their products
to the retailers or consumers directly if they deal with drop shipping. They relieve
manufacturers of the stress and cost of conveying their products to convenience
With an increase in
demand for your product comes supply. There are quite many wholesale
distributors you can work with to help efficiently disburse your products to
the retailers. Some prominent brands offering wholesale distribution services
Orlando novelty wholesaler, smoke shops supplier
Convenient wholesalers of America
Bismillah cash and carry
C store depot
Zuma and sons distributors corporation
Novelty Wholesaler, Smoke Shops Supplier: Orlando Novelty
Wholesaler have their warehouse location in Orlando, Florida in the United
States. They are known for excellent customer service as they distribute
various kinds of products to convenience stores, including smoke shops and vape
stores. They are also considered the leading wholesale distribution brand that
serves central Florida and nearby areas.
#2: Convenient Wholesalers
of America: Convenient wholesalers of America offer
services to restaurants, convenience stores, hotels, and other retailers. They
deal majorly in food and beverages. CWA has its distribution center located in
Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
#3: Bismillah Cash
and Carry: Bismillah cash and carry are majorly
concerned with the distribution of groceries to convenience stores in the
state. For a manufacturer on the lookout for wholesale delivery of groceries to
grocery stores and convenience stores, working with Bismillah cash and carry
will be of great help. Bismillah is located in Miami, Florida.
Incorporated: Gimix Incorporated deals with the distribution
of various products to several convenience stores and gas stations in the
state. This wholesale distribution company is located in Boca Raton, South
Florida, United States.
#5: C Store depot:
The C store depot deals majorly in the distribution of equipment and supplies
to convenience stores across the late of Florida. They also supply tobacco and
alcoholic beverages throughout the state to several convenience stores. They have
their warehouse situated in Letourneau Circle, Tampa, Florida.
#6: Zuma and Sons
Distributors Corporation: Zuma and sons corporation
started in 1985 and is known to be the largest independent distributor covering
Southern Florida. They are the top leading brand involved in the wholesale distribution
of products ranging from candy to food and beverages across Florida.
Wholesale distributors play a vital role in the
distribution industry. They help to manage a sales force, analyze market demand,
and manage supply according to it. With these wholesale distributors, a good
sale is guaranteed in your business.
Convenience stores are
small stores known for sales of everyday items such as food supplies,
beverages, candy, and more. They are mostly located beside gasoline stations
for easy access to these items. Many of these stores get goods they sell from
distributors around their vicinity.
As a manufacturer that
wants to ensure good sales in the business and flow of your products in the
market, it is essential to get your goods to these stores via a distributor. A
distributor is an agency that purchases goods in large quantities from a
manufacturer and supply to convenience stores and other retail traders in the
With your goods retail
ready, below are five convenience store distributors you can work with to get
your goods disbursed across the country:
HT Hackney company
#1: McLane Company:
joined the distribution industry in 1894. This company is one of the largest in
the country, with 80 distribution centers across the country. They supply over
50,000 goods to over 90,000 locations. They service convenience stores, chain
restaurants, and retail traders that sell alcoholic beverages. Their major
distributions are food services, grocery, drug store, and alcohol supplies.
Core-Mark is also one of the biggest distributors in Northern America. They started
distribution service in 1888. They service more than 29,000 stores and markets
across the United States. They have 28 distribution centers spread across the
United States, and their primary focus is on the purchase and delivery of
general merchandise, beauty, and health products. They are known for delivering
goods on time, a full-service marketing and competitive pricing.
company is the largest privately-owned distributor in the United States and has
been a top convenience store supplier for over 120 years. With seven
distribution centers, they service 13,500 retail locations across the country.
#4: HT Hackney
Company: HT Hackney company started in 1891. The goal
is to focus on offering quality services and extremely competitive prices to
ensure stores get their products from their company without having to depend on
any other distributor. With their distribution center placed across the country
covering 22 states, they supply over 25,000 products to over 30,000 market and
is an operated distributor of convenience foodservice products. This company
has been working with customers since 1939 to supply products, programs, and
ideas, which in return yields dollars to their bottom line daily. Their supply
of over 14,000 products across the country includes: convenience foods,
beverages, ice creams, candy, groceries, tobacco, supplies, paper, cigarettes,
snacks, and chemicals.
Distributors supply manufacturers goods to retailers;
they render exceptionally quality service. Working with these distributors, you
can sit back and watch your goods on high demand in the market, accompanied by a
great return on investment.
Distributors play a vital role in the distribution
channel of every industry. Retailers need them for the supply of goods to their
stores. Manufacturers, as well, need these
agencies to get their products to the market. Since every manufacturer’s target is to yield profit and ensure their goods are one that
satisfies consumer wants, it is essential to work with distributors capable of
Distributors are agencies that buy goods from
manufacturers, store them in their warehouse, and disburse to convenience
stores and other retail traders. They are also known as the middlemen in the
distribution channel as they do the major work in connecting the manufacturers
Certain distributors have been in the industry over
the years and have proven to be reliable as they render quality services and
are known for on-time delivery.
Below is the list of the top convenience store distributors in the United States:
#1: Core-Mark: Core-Mark is one of the largest known market distributors on the
Northern side of America. Core-Mark started its service in 1888. They are
currently servicing over 29,000 stores and markets across the United States.
Core-Mark is also a top market distributor known for delivering products on
time, a full-service marketing and competitive pricing. They focus on the
purchase and delivery of general merchandise, beauty, and health products, having
28 distribution centers spread across the United States.
#2: McLane company: McLane company is one of the largest and most popular distributors
in the country that started in 1894. They are engaged in the supply of grocery
and drug stores, alcohol supplies, and also food services. Proving that they
are the top distributor in the country, they boast of 80 distribution centers
across the country in which they supply over 50,000 products to over 90,000
locations. They service convenience stores, chain restaurants, and retail
traders that sell alcoholic beverages. Regardless of the large customers they
have, this company still delivers on time and prove to offer quality service.
#3: HT Hackney: HT Hackney is one of the largest wholesale distributors in the U.S,
founded in 1891. They provide quality customer service and competitively priced
merchandise. Their goal is to ensure that stores can completely stock their
store without having to rely on any other distributor. They have their
distribution center situated across the country, covering 22 states. With the
majority of their distribution centers on the eastern side of the united
states, they supply over 25,000 products to over 30,000 market and
From time to time, these distributors have proven
to be the top distributors in the country, supplying goods to various stores in
the market across the states. As a retailer, getting products from these
distributors would facilitate growth in your business. Also, as a manufacturer,
you can be rest assured of the safety of your goods in their
warehouse and a reach to a large variety of customers.
You may have noticed that CBD’s popularity is on a steady path of growth. In fact, by the time you finish reading this post, its popularity will have flourished even more. Cannabidiol (CBD) is creating a serious buzz among consumers focused on healthy living, and its ubiquity is starting to take shape, as it shows up everywhere and in everything. It is being marketed in an array of products from lotions to capsules, to consumables like water or honey, to even pet products. CPG brands are igniting acceptance, as they’ve seen the public interest and the potential of the product.
But consumers and brands are only one side of the CPG/CBD equation. “Natural and specialty brick-and-mortar stores represented about 14 percent of the $190 million in U.S. hemp-based CBD sales in 2017, according to Hemp Business Journal. By 2022, those stores are projected to account for 28 percent of the $650 million sales.” 1 https://www.newhope.com/products-and-trends/cbd-retail-need-knows
For retailers, it’s imperative that you, too, know what you’re getting into if you’re stocking CBD products on your shelves, in order to protect your business and your consumers. Here are three points to consider in the face of this latest high-flying product.
1. Do Due Diligence. CBD oil is still illegal at the federal level, and, “the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits adding even approved drugs to human or animal food in interstate commerce.”2 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/06/24/cbd-infused-food-beverages-are-still-illegal-under-us-law-so-why-are-they-everywhere/?utm_term=.f4f81ab1e5fd Hemp was legalized in 2018, but hemp-derived cannabidiol, the article goes onto explain, is still in “limbo.”3 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/06/24/cbd-infused-food-beverages-are-still-illegal-under-us-law-so-why-are-they-everywhere/?utm_term=.f4f81ab1e5fd Why? Because the FDA is trying to understand the effects CBD has on a person’s body, what cumulative exposure could mean for a person, how it affects people at various stages of their lives, and the safety of using it on animals. As of today, the products you stock should come from the plant source outlined in the 2014 Farm Bill: industrial hemp-derived, full-spectrum hemp oil. This means it contains less than 0.3 percent THC. It also means no CBD isolates. 4 https://www.newhope.com/products-and-trends/cbd-retail-need-knows
What’s more, while the FDA acknowledges that there are some products with CBD added in, or label CBD as a dietary supplement, they note that it’s illegal to market CBD as such.5 https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis
Knowing that the CBD landscape is so topsy-turvy, and there may not be a ruling anytime soon (probably not until guidelines are drafted, which could take years), retailers need to decide if selling CBD-infused products are worth it to their bottom line. If they are, then it’s imperative for retailers to do their research, and make sure the products aren’t crossing state lines.
2. Understand the Market. CBD products can be a bit controversial, so if a retailer is committed to selling them, then that retailer needs to decide how their existing customers will react to CBD products and how to sell the products to consumers. There are certainly going to be some similarities in how a retailer would market to consumers who have a focus on health and wellness.
“Retailers selling CBD products likely seek to attract consumers with disposable income intent on pursuing trendy health and wellness products that fit natural, additive-free lifestyles,” notes Grocery Dive.6 https://www.grocerydive.com/news/retailers-see-opportunities-to-promote-cbd-products/545384/ But CBD products bring with them an almost-cult like following that is eager for new and more products. Retailers will need to figure out how to engage both of these groups. What’s more, since there are so many legal rules around selling CBD products, retailers need to be savvy about how they’re marketing the products to ensure they’re hitting the mark.
3. Educate Consumers. Myriad CBD products on the market today claim health benefits from easing stress to reducing inflammation or even curing cancer. However, like any health product, what’s right for one person isn’t always right for the other and with so much information (and, let’s face it, misinformation) surrounding CBD products, consumer education is key. Specialty Retailer Come Back Daily is doing just that, hosting community events, working with suppliers on sampling, and more.7 https://www.bevnet.com/news/2019/cbd-retailer-aligns-with-brands-emphasizes-education
Should consumers be educating themselves? Yes, of course. But as a responsible business, retailers shouldn’t hesitate to take the lead and have a hand in that education surrounding CBD. Make information easily and readily accessible so consumers know what they’re getting into.
CBD products are poised to explode in the near future, and retailers need to be ready. Similar to the advice to suppliers, be an informed retailer, and your consumers will thank you.
Looking to bring in CBD products onto your retail shelves? Explore trending cannabis products in the CBD Collection on RangeMe.
A gift guide is one of the most powerful tools you can have during the holidays. It allows you to showcase your products, inspire shoppers, and stay top of mind throughout the season.
But it’s important to note that creating a winning gift guide takes more than just rounding up your products and putting them in a catalog. Releasing gift guides is a tradition in the retail world, so yours would have to be thoughtfully curated and marketed.
Today we’ll talk about how you can accomplish that. Below are some of the things you could do to ensure shoppers actually pay attention to your gift guides.
1. Look at sales data and trends to determine which products to include
How do you decide which products should make it into your gift guide? One reliable way is through the use of data. Here are some ideas:
Generate reports on your top sellers, identify the items that would make for great presents, and include those in your guide. You could, for example, have a “Featured” section on your guide to showcase gifts that everyone would love.
Ideally, your gift guide should contain products that would appeal to various shopper segments. If you can, generate sales reports according to customer category.
For example, if you’re able to segment your customers according to their gender, then you can use that information to curate “Gifts for Him” and “Gifts for Her” collections (more on this in a bit.)
It’s also a good idea to look at market and consumer trends. What styles or activities are popular among your target consumers? Are there any trends or products that everyone seems to be getting into? Get a feel of what’s happening in your market and incorporate those trending products into your guide.
Use a tool such as Google Trends to identify opportunities in your location or industry.
Let’s say many of your customers are getting into health and wellness. If this is the case, then consider stocking products for improving one’s health, and then include those items in your gift catalog.
2. Make it a team effort
Numbers and sales trends, while helpful, aren’t the only things you should rely on. Be sure to gather qualitative information from your associates and get their say on which products would do well during the holidays (or the specific occasion that you’re creating the gift guide for).
PGA TOUR Superstore, a national retail chain of golf stores, does this when they’re creating their gift guides, and according to Chief Marketing Officer Matt Corey, the practice has worked well for them.
“Our internal team reviews every product category to hand-pick the best products that we want to present as gift ideas, then we present those items both in-store and through various online marketing efforts as well,” he says.
3. Ask your customers
You shouldn’t be creating your gift guide in a vacuum. Go out there and talk to your customers about their ideas or any items that they think should be included.
When chatting up shoppers in-store, casually ask them about what they’re planning to buy for the holidays and what they’d like to receive. You’ll get a lot of anecdotal information, but if you do it enough times you and your staff should be able to spot patterns.
You could also use social media and online polls to gather insights.
PGA TOUR Superstore, for example, leverages social media to let customers share the items the love, as well as vote on their top gift ideas.
Consider doing something similar in your business. Post a quick social media update asking your fans and followers which of your products would they like to receive this season. Or if you’re considering adding a particular item to your gift guide, try posting an image of it on Facebook and Instagram and see how your customers react.
Got a huge following on Twitter? Interact with your followers using polls. For instance, here’s an poll from Stowaway Cosmetics asking their followers about their mascara presences:
Do something similar, but for your gift guides. Create a poll listing some of your products and ask people to vote on which items would make for great gifts.
4. Work with your suppliers
Another potential source for gift guide input would be your suppliers. Have a talk with some of your vendors and ask them which items are hot and trending. Their insights could prove to be valuable when you’re creating your guide.
And who knows? If your conversation goes well, you might even get the opportunity to score a great deal on your next order.
5. Think about how you’re going to categorize your products
How products are arranged and categorized can make or break your guide, so take some time to come up with the right categories. There’s no one right answer when it comes to how to categorize your products, as this depends on your business and customers.
But if you need inspiration, consider the following:
For example, if you sell a wide range of products, then you could use categories like “For Him,” “For Her,” or “For the Home,” similar to what Macy’s is doing.
Others such as Bed, Bath, and Beyond are using product categories such as “For Bedroom” or “For Living Room.”
Another option is to categorize gifts according to people’s personalities or roles. Nordstrom, for example, curates gifts according to categories like “The Tech Collector,” “The Traveler,” “Fitness Fanatic,” and more.
And you have a lot of price-conscious customers, consider adding a category like “Gifts under $100 / $50 / $25,” to help them quickly find products that are within their budget.
6. Have a guide for last-minute shoppers
Often, the customers who need gift guides the most are those who are shopping for last-minute presents.
Do them a favor and create a gift guide (or a section within your existing guide) that spotlights easy-to-buy and crowd-pleasing gifts. You could include your bestsellers or items that are practical and can be used by a lot of people.
Total Wine & More did just that last year. The beverage retailer sent a last-minute gift guide which had gift recommendations based on top-selling wines, award-winning spirits, and beverage accessories.
And if all else fails, market your gift cards. They’re the perfect option for customers who are in a rush and are unsure of what to buy.
7. Include bundles
Showcasing individual items is great, but you should also consider throwing in a few bundles or gift sets here and there. It’ll give you the opportunity to showcase items that go together, while subtly upselling products at the same time.
Take a look at the “Gift” section on Sephora’s website. Not only does Sephora put gift sets and bundles front and center, but the company takes a step further by categorizing those gift sets. You’ll find collections like “Value Sets” and gift bundles marked $25 and under.
8. Make sure your gift guide looks great on different channels or platforms
Your customers are likely going to view your gift guide on different channels or platforms, so you’ll want to make sure that your guide looks great no matter what. If you’re creating a digital gift guide, see to it that it’s responsive, so people can view it with ease whether they’re on their desktop or phone.
Giving out physical gift guides? Invest in high-quality paper and printing. You want people actually peruse your guide, rather than treat it like a cheap flyer and just throw it out.
And whether you’re creating physical or digital guides (or both), be sure to only use original, high-quality images. Gift guides are meant to be highly visual, so using low-quality images is a no-no.
If you have resources to spare, consider creating a video gift guide. Video has proven to be effective in gaining traffic, views, and engagement, so a video gift guide could be just the thing to get people interested in your products.
Check out this example from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The retailer created a very quick video that gives an overview of some of their products and the people who would appreciate them.
See if you can go down a similar route this holiday season.
10. Target not just your customers, but also those who would be giving them gifts
See to it that your gift guide appeals to people outside your ideal clientele. Remember, your guides should also engage those who would be buying gifts for your target customer. For example, if you’re selling women’s jewelry, then the people who be buying your merchandise as gifts would likely include husbands and sons.
Avoid using jargon or industry-specific terms in your gift guides, as you might end up confusing those outside your market. This tip is particularly helpful if you own a specialty retail store that’s frequented by hobbyists or aficionados.
PGA TOUR Superstore is a great example of a retailer that creates relatable gift guides. They recognize that the people buying from them during gift-giving seasons aren’t necessarily golfers, so they’ve made it simple for these individuals to use their guides. According to Corey, doing this has resulted in a lot of positive feedback from shoppers.
“Non-golfers really love that we make it easy for them to buy a variety of key items, and golfers can find unique specials and items that they may not have found before just because we make those items come alive in our stores and online. It’s about making it fun and easy for people to find the perfect golf gifts.”