Selling Experience As Gifts This Holiday Season

As we speed towards Black Friday and the holiday gift giving season, the stress of the holidays is already bearing down on me. In my family life I have kids, a wife, in-laws, parents, siblings, coworkers, etc all in line to get gifts. Then I have to make a list for myself so that everyone can reciprocate the gift giving back. Typically my default gift is anything fly fishing related. But as I look back on the year, it’s not the toys that make the fishing great, it’s the experiences on the water that I truly crave. So this year I’ve asked my wife to forgo buying me gifts and look for ways to get me more experiences on the water. And it turns out I’m not alone.  While doing research for our Black Friday strategy e-book we discovered there is a huge opportunity for selling experience as gifts, especially in the outdoor community.  

Twenty-two percent of consumers planned to give an experience-type gift in 2015, and 36.5% said they’d like to receive one. Those numbers jump significantly for Millennials: 36.1% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 35.4% of 25 to 34-year- olds planned to give a gift of experience. (NRF)

Selling Experience As Gifts

I think we can all agree that getting new gear is pretty awesome. But studies have shown more stuff doesn’t all mean more happiness. In fact a recent study in the Journal of Psychological Science show that people actually enjoy waiting for an experience more than receiving more stuff. Think about it. When I’ve got a big trip coming up I spend weeks fussing over every detail, making sure I’m ready for every contingency. By the time the trip gets here, I’m so excited I can barely sleep at night.

Do I get the same level of excitement for a birthday or even Christmas morning? Probably not.

We can use this data to our advantage by selling experience as gifts in our upcoming holiday selection.

Outdoor Experience Gift Ideas

Trips

This is a no brainer and the one I’m hoping to find shoved in my stocking this year. Just be sure that the buyer and your staff understand that after the purchase the gift receiver will need to set up the specifics (dates, times, etc) You could go the extra mile and create a unique graphic for download the buyer could print out at home.

Gear demo days with purchase.

Prepare a special day where customers who receive this gift can come in and get hands on training with their gift. Really focus on the one to one interaction with your new customer. Maybe there is an opportunity to partner with a manufacturer for this one of a kind experience.

Training Classes

In the fly fishing world you could offer unique experiences based on tying or building a rod.

Selling Experiences: the bottom line

With a little creative though I think you’ll easily find several new and creative ways to provide experiences to your customers. The time in the outdoors is really what’s important here, not just the gear you are using.

 black friday marketing strategy