The Gift Factory specialises in custom engraved whisky and wine barrels as well as a selection of personalised gifts for those who love wine, whisky and beer. While it is a small market, there is certainly no limit to the competition. There are a number of companies selling old whisky and wine barrels without the engraving and thousands of others selling them second hand through sites like eBay and Gumtree. Even worse are the sellers on Etsy and eBay who offer custom engraving often but use cheap reproduction barrels that are often not fit for use.
When you actually receive a whisky or wine barrel from The Gift Factory it will be clear the quality and care that goes into each individual piece. The issue is communicating that to an online audience that is unable to touch and feel the quality before purchase.
In order to distinguish the product from lower quality competitors The Gift Factory has done a few key things:
Give the product a premium price. Seems simple, but price has a huge influence on buyer perceptions. For a product like this that is intended to house fine wines and whiskys, buyers will be cautious and pay a premium for the peace of mind. Of course, a premium pricing strategy will only be effective when the product or service offers a high level of quality, service or both. In the whisky & wine barrel market, as in many others, most of the competition is competing at the lower end of the market, for the lowest possible price. The Gift Factory’s decision to differentiate with a premium product offering has made it possible to demand a premium price and capture the top end of the market.
Create a barrel buyers guide. Creating a buyers guide in any market positions you as an expert. You are able to communicate all of the things that a buyer should be wary of when assessing options in the market (i.e. things your competitors are doing wrong) without starting a smear campaign. If you are also pointing out all of these potential issues it gives the impression that your product has ticked all the boxes.
Ask buyers to review the products. Product reviews from actual buyers are far more persuasive than anything you can say about your own product. So why not let past buyers sell it for you. This is exactly what the Gift Factory has done with multiple product reviews on each of the product pages. Buyers are most likely to leave a review just after they have received a product or had an experience. If you request a review immediately after a positive experience you can increase your positive reviews quickly.
Great Product Photography. The quality of product photography says a lot about the quality of the product. Product photography that is very clear and shows buyers exactly what they will be receiving eliminates some of the risk for shoppers buying online. It also stands out when comparing the product to alternatives.
The Gift Factory has also wisely chosen Google Shopping as a vehicle to advertise this product.
- Product Images. The high-quality product images The Gift Factory has used really stand out next to competing products.
- The premium price tag on this product helps it to stand out from the competition that is advertising prices that are over 50% cheaper. If they can offer it at a price that low, there must be something wrong with it, right?
- Google Shopping also allows you to highlight any current offers. The Gift Factory offers free shipping but just factors this into the final price. That way there are no hidden costs or surprises at checkout and the customer feels like they are getting a great deal.
Google shopping has some other serious advantages over Adwords, SEO, Social Media because:
- Shopping Ads are often the first thing you see when searching Google, above Adwords ads, local business listings and organic results.
- They only show for highly commercial searches so there is less wastage than Adwords ads.
- You are showing ads at the time people are searching for a product rather than trying to interrupt them from what they are doing on social media.
- They show the price an image
- They link directly to the product page so shoppers do not need to spend time browsing your site before finding what they are after.
- You can also have multiple listings on page 1 when you use Google Shopping such as multiple product ads, Adwords Ads and organic listings to take more page 1 real estate than ever.
All of these factors combined have helped The Gift Factory succeed with Google Shopping and the results speak for themselves:
- 10x return on investment from ad spend on Google Shopping
- Multiple listings on page 1
- Top of page results for most relevant searches in Google