With the vacation buying season quick approaching, a easy addition to your catalog can go a good distance: present playing cards.
Not like different forms of stock, present playing cards are low-cost to supply, simple to ship and unlikely to be returned. If you happen to provide digital present playing cards, you possibly can’t run out — and you’ll maintain making gross sales till a couple of minutes earlier than items are exchanged.
“Folks love giving present playing cards,” says Rachel DeCavage, proprietor and inventive director at Cinder + Salt, an eco-friendly clothes firm based mostly in New England. “It is a no-brainer manner for them to provide somebody one thing that they are going to love.”
Folks love getting them, too. In an October survey from the Nationwide Retail Federation, 55% of respondents mentioned they hope to get a present card as a gift this yr.
Right here’s how one can make present playing cards a part of your vacation technique, no matter you promote.
1. Create your present playing cards
You might be able to order bodily playing cards or provide digital ones by way of your e-commerce platform or point-of-sale system. Bodily playing cards sometimes value lower than $2 per card, and digital playing cards are sometimes free.
Bodily playing cards are extra widespread items for Chicago-based indoor golf facility The Inexperienced, says founder and managing accomplice Connor Ptacin.
Throughout the holidays, Ptacin estimated his workforce mails out “like 20 present playing cards every week” to individuals who wish to give their family members one thing bodily.
Digital playing cards allow you to maintain making gross sales till the final minute. DeCavage says she normally sees a rush of present card orders “like three days earlier than a vacation.”
The correct mix of digital and bodily playing cards is dependent upon your clients. If most of your gross sales happen in particular person, bodily playing cards could also be extra widespread. But when extra of your clients store on-line and also you are inclined to ship orders farther away, or should you’re attempting to develop your on-line gross sales, lean into digital playing cards.
2. Promote them as items
Show present playing cards by your register and prominently in your e-commerce web site to catch consumers’ eyes.
“Simply pop it proper there on the counter and drive the impulse buy,” says Jay Jaffin, chief advertising officer at Blackhawk Community, which helps retailers create and promote present playing cards and different rewards gadgets.
You should utilize present playing cards to encourage different spending. This yr, DeCavage is providing present playing cards as bonuses to clients who spend greater than a specific amount at Cinder + Salt.
“It could possibly be an incentive for them or it could possibly be one thing they can provide to another person, and it additionally looks like they’re getting a reduction,” DeCavage says.
Make certain your cashiers know find out how to load present playing cards utilizing your point-of-sale system and find out how to bundle them. These transactions give your employees the chance to make extra gross sales, too: DeCavage encourages present card patrons so as to add one thing small, like a sticker, so it’s extra thrilling for the recipient to open.
“We attempt to make it part of the buying expertise for people who find themselves actually uncertain about what to get,” DeCavage says.
Promote present playing cards on social media and through electronic mail, too. A well-timed on-line advertising marketing campaign can remind earlier clients that you’ve present playing cards obtainable — particularly should you can attain last-minute consumers on the proper second.
Lastly, Ptacin recommends swapping present playing cards with different native companies that serve related audiences. That may show you how to attain new clients who may need simply wanted a push to go to you.
3. Put together for redemptions
If you happen to promote sufficient present playing cards, you may cut back the depth of one other post-New 12 months’s headache: returns.
“A number of instances, what you see is a bunch of returns in the beginning of the yr,” Jaffin says. “Typically, these present playing cards can truly assist steadiness that out — that first-quarter lull.”
Buyers normally spend greater than what’s on their present playing cards, Jaffin provides.
DeCavage says present card consumers typically behave in a different way. As an alternative of creating a beeline for his or her desired merchandise, they have a tendency to spend a lot of time shopping.
“For small retailers, present card packages can actually be a low-maintenance and reasonably priced solution to compete in opposition to bigger shops,” Jaffin says, “whereas additionally serving to to amass new clients and encourage repeat foot site visitors.”