Creating something new requires thinking about your customer

When you start to think from the perspective of your customer, and not the bottom line, innovation arises with ease. For example, someone that runs a gift shop that wants to have an edge, here are some ideas that spring to mind.

  1. People are busy, don’t underestimate the value of providing a concierge level of service to customers. Wrapping a gift, especially during the holiday season, is the least you can do. Here are some additional ideas:

  2. Ask each customer about who they are giving the gift to, when and how. You never know what will come to mind that you can offer. For example, you might find out your customer is traveling for the holidays. You can then offer to wrap and mail the gift to their destination on a specified date. Amazon does it, why can’t you?

  3. Most customers want to find great gifts but don’t have the time to know what gifts are available. Offer gift consultation, even if you don’t sell the all gifts yourself. You can charge for this service, especially during the holidays you could help someone pick out gifts for all the people on their shopping list. You could kick it up a notch by offering to track down, purchase, wrap and ship all the gifts for them, for a fee.

  4. Become a gift curator, build up lists of what’s hot that you won’t hear about anywhere else. This isn’t a catalog of endless permutations of trite what’s hot this season, instead it is a list of the things that customers want that they don’t even know exist. Any customer can recognize something they might like but they can’t do that if they don’t know about it.

  5. Don’t assume you know what people want, ask, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.