Interview Contact Name and Job Title: Wendy Gibbs, Owner
Website URL: www.hugbox.co.uk
Social Media Links:
Number of outlets: Online Business
Market(s): (eg. Homeware, fashion etc) ecommerce retail gifts
Modern Retail talks to Wendy Gibbs, Owner of Hug Box ® who creates brilliant personalised gift boxes for any occasion!
MR: How do you aim to stand out as a brand?
W: I launched Hug Box ® in April 2013 and have seen it grow into an easily recognised and loved brand with an amazing core of loyal customers. Hug Box® is a small business which focuses on providing heartfelt meaningful gifts along with what I hope is excellent customer service. Hug Box ® is more than just a gift it’s a way of letting people know you’ve been thinking about them – being able to add a personal message really enforces this idea! The Personalised message is not just about writing a name on a gift, it’s all about the sentiments, thoughts and memories triggered by giving and receiving. I feel the personal message card, soft toys, chocolates and retro sweets really embraces this sentiment.
MR: How would you sum up your target customer?
W: My customers are looking for an affordable thoughtful gift which will make their friends and family smile. My core customers are people who often give gifts as a Thank You, Thinking of You, Get Well Soon, Miss You, Sorry, Congratulations, Birthdays, Love You, Well Done or just as a wee unexpected Surprise!
MR: Why should people shop with you?
W: As a small business, customer happiness and satisfaction is something which is extremely important to me – my wish is that every customer reorders from me so I always try to offer the best possible customer service.
MR: How do you use technology/media/ecommerce to improve your offering?
W: Technology has played a massive part in making Hug Box ® the success it is today. The Hug Box ® website allows my customers to buy directly from me. Im also very active on Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. From the very beginning Social Media has been a way to easily communicate with my customers allowing them to stay up to date with latest Hug Box news. It allows me to reach out for feedback from existing and new customers about the research and development of any new products and ideas I have. Being able to post on social media has also given me the opportunity to get instant feedback and expand my product range from the Original Hug Box to Soft Toy Hug Boxes (Teddy, Monkey and Rabbits), and the Hug Box range also now includes Hug Boxes for Dogs.
MR: What do you love about your work/business/brand?
W: I wake each morning not know exactly what each day will bring or what opportunities are going to come my way – I love that part of my business. I also love how my customers think of sending a Hug Box to their friends and family at the happiest times of the year eg Birthdays, Christmas, Congratulations and sometimes at very difficult or trying times eg Thinking of You or Get Well Soon. Making the people they care most about smile, and letting them know friends, work colleagues and family are thinking of them.
One of the most satisfying parts of my job is seeing Hug Boxes become part of family traditions! For example a Hug Box ® was bought on a first date a few years ago and recently the happy couple bought another Hug Box ® to celebrate the birth of their first child. Many of my customers ask for a Hug Box for their Birthday and it’s becoming a family tradition to have a Hug Box under the Christmas Tree over the festive period!
MR: What advice would you give to a new retail start-up based on your experience?
W: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, never rely on just one sales channel, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from customers you learn the most from constructive feedback!