Both the homeware and gifts market have been on the rise for the last few years. A recent report from Research and Markets predicts the global personalized gifts market will grow at a CAGR of 9.10 percent between 2017 and 2021. As expected, America is forecasted to lead the way, generating the highest revenue and growth statistics over the next three years.

One of the major drivers in the giftware market is the rise of a gifting culture, along with an increasing interest in seasonal decorations. It seems as though there are more occasions popping up that require not only the exchange of gifts, but decorations to go along with the holiday; think Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, the list goes on!

For homeware and gift brands, how you differentiate yourself is vital. Consumers are not only purchasing items to gift to others, but also for themselves, and they find value in quality and how you tell a story. Customizing products through personalization and configuration not only creates value, but also makes your products unique. A lot can be said for placing emphasis on those added little extras, particularly for online stores.

Ikea is the perfect example of a homeware retailer investing in putting themselves ahead of the curve. Fortune reported that the company once studied over 8000 people across eight cities to learn about their morning routines. The result? The research helped the company come up with a product called the “Knapper”, a full-length mirror that comes with a built-in rack and hooks for hanging clothes and jewelry, enabling people to get ready faster by organizing their outfits the night before. Innovation at its finest.

We have talked a lot recently about the popularity of sustainable products, and the home and gift market is no different. We are seeing a movement towards natural materials, along with handmade pieces. Consumers are pushing for unique items, which can definitely open new doors in this market. Handmade items provide a great opportunity to draw buyers in through telling a story and creating a connection to the product.

A great way for Homeware stores to attract more customer interest is through building a successful brand image across your social media platforms, giving you the ability to reach a broad customer base quickly. With the rise of e-commerce, don’t forget to consider how to make your ordering processes more efficient and customer-friendly which will increase your chances of repeat customers and open the door to more sales.

While stores are expanding their reach through online retail, it’s important to note that the home and giftware market is quite unique; According to analysts at Technavio, a large percentage of consumers still prefer to purchase goods at a physical store, due to the “personalized nature” of the products in this industry. Participation across all your distribution channels is an integral part of differentiating yourself. With the market moving at such a pace, keep brainstorming new and innovative ideas to put yourself at the front of the pack.