It is that time of the year again; the time of the year when retail businesses gear up for their holiday season in hopes of growing from the previous year. Businesses are already beginning their holiday campaigns. In fact, with an estimated 42%* of consumers beginning their shopping even earlier than last year, and a predicted 3%* increase in sales, it is more important than ever to be prepared to serve customers.
One of the best ways to help your business keep up with the competition is by offering gift cards and gift card holders. From the very small “mom and pop” shops to the largest retailers, offering gift cards to their customers has been a great way to grab sales for a great number of reasons. First, offering gift cards gives customers the impression that you are current on technology. You rarely see paper certificates any longer. Second, it is an easy gift to give. The old thinking of a gift card being “impersonal” has finally been thrown out the window. More people actually prefer to get a gift so they can pick out something they know they will enjoy. And finally, the third reason is a bit of a selfish one, but you have the opportunity to make more that the cost of the gift card. For example, most customers end up spending MORE than their gift card. And there are even handfuls that spend LESS than their gift card. These customers, who don’t spend the last bit of change on their card, normally throw the card away. If you sold 1000 gift cards, and 250 of the cards had a quarter left on the card, your business just saved an additional $62.50! Both are wins for a business.
Gift cards and matching holders are a nice package that advertises your business. It is important to take advantage of that real estate, and design a functional, eye-catching card and carrier so customers will be enticed to buy them. It really is worth the investment to have a professional design your collaterals so everything coordinates with your business and the image you want to convey to the world. You don’t have to break the bank to get great results.
Choosing a program is as simple as contacting your cash register/credit card point of purchase provider. Getting the correct specifications the first time will save time and cost in the long run. If you have a machine that takes credit cards, then chances are you can accept gift cards with a few modifications. Your point of purchase provider should help set that feature up for you should, and give you the information you need such as the OE Density the cards will need to work on your machine. You can also discuss the specifications you need with the card company who will print your gift cards. They will be able to explain the questions you need to ask your provider and even speak to them directly if you choose.
Finally, BE PREPARED! Do not wait until last minute to order your gift cards and gift card holders. This is traditionally the busiest time for retail businesses and card printers alike. Many forget to order their cards and pay a hefty premium to get them rushed to their business in time; especially for Black Friday! Normally, the turn time could take anywhere from 5 to 15 days depending on the specifications you need. You don’t want to be caught off guard and lose sales by simple not being prepared!
*Statistics from 2012 Christmas Holiday Shopping Season Retail Sales, Job, Technology Predictions by Barbara Farfan, About.com Guide