Friday, March 11, 2011

Reenergize Gift Card Sales

This week, First Data—which establishes gift card programs for merchants—announced they’ve been granted a patent for technology that allows activation of multiple prepaid cards at point of sale. This could save time for your store staff who would otherwise need to activate each card individually if a customer wants to, for instance, buy a large number of gift cards as employee incentives.
     Such technologies might help you to reenergize gift card sales. Starting in year 2007, gift card sales dropped sharply. That was disappointing, since gift cards can be good moneymakers for retailers. The shopper with a gift card is more likely to browse your aisles than is the shopper without a gift card. At the least, they become better acquainted with the scope of your merchandise selection. At best, they’ll see a great many items they want, so they’ll spend some of their own money in addition to the gift card allotment. In addition, research indicates that when a customer purchases a product with a gift card rather than with other types of payment, the probability of them returning the item is lower.
     Gift cards are the single most requested item for the holidays. More than 55% of adults say that’s what they’d like. Because of the appeal of gift cards, the way to increase your sales is to find out what’s getting in the way. In a National Retail Federation survey, about 22% of respondents said their main reason for not buying gift cards is because the cards are too impersonal.
     So individualize your gift cards and holders, with a selection of themes—such as sports and travel, a range of colors, and enough space to write a message to the recipient. Current technologies even allow for the customer to add a photo of their choice to the card.
     Involve all sales staff, not just cashiers, in selling the cards. When a customer hesitates in selecting a gift, say, “We have gift cards available. As you look around our store, what do you think the recipient might like? You could make some suggestions in the message you write to them.”
     Are you surprised that I’m talking about gift cards when it’s not a holiday season? Well, the most common occasion for gift cards is not the holidays. That’s in second place. First place is birthdays, and birthdays come on every page of your retailing calendar.

Click below for more:
Help Customers Personalize Gift Cards

No comments:

Post a Comment