On Mother’s Day a phone call is the most popular form of communication with Mothers, with 43% calling on that day.
But what about the all important gift? The one that says, ‘I love and appreciate you’. Not only to Mom, but to Dad too on Father’s Day?
Perhaps surprisingly the most popular gift option for Mothers is not a spa day or flowers. It is gift cards with 19% of respondents in a survey stating that they would prefer to receive gift cards on Mother’s Day. Similarly gift cards were top in what Fathers want for their Father’s Day gift as well. Gift cards topped Dads’ list of Father’s Day wants as well, with 17% stating they wanted gift cards.
Gift cards are a popular and convenient gift giving option, not just on Mother’s Day but on all special occasions. For reasons why your customers will want to buy a gift card read our blog post here.
As a merchant you may be thinking now about implementing a gift card program for Mother’s and Father’s Day if you already haven’t. But what about Christmas? It may seem like December is far away but it is never too early to be prepared for customer wants and demands. In addition to being prepared for customer wants, merchants also have to deal with very real production deadlines. Remember, if your holiday season starts on Black Friday, then you will need to be ready with your gift card program by November. During peak season, plan on card production requiring 6-8 weeks after you have approved your card designs. Furthermore, if you want your gift cards in third party gift card malls, you will need to start card production in the summer to meet distributor deadlines.
Beyond just starting a gift card program you need to know how to maximize your potential for making sales via a gift card program during important gift giving occasions and holidays such as Mother’s Day and Christmas.
Below we go over key strategies to augment your gift card program.
Help your customer personalize the gift cards:
Consumers increasingly do not see gift cards as impersonal gifts. Both gift givers and gift recipients view gift cards as thoughtful gift options . However that is not to say that you shouldn’t offer a range of card designs for different occasions. Do this as it will help you and your brand stand out against competitors who offer generic gift cards. If you are offering gift cards for Mother’s Day, have a Mother’s Day message on the card, or graphics geared towards a female gift card recipient. For Father’s Day gear the cards towards men and for Christmas have festive images on the card. Also have gift cards with graphics targeted towards multiple faiths for a diversity of special occasions. Beyond this provide inexpensive gift card baskets or holders that the gift card can be put in with other items such as candy or a card. Even providing simple bags with a bow can enhance the gift giving experience for your customers. Also make sure your gift cards have your branding on them as they are excellent opportunities through which to advertise your business to those who may be unfamiliar with your brand. Also pick a gift card program provider such as Givex who can allow customers to upload their own images and text to the card design to create their own unique card. Imagine offering a Mother’s Day gift card with a photo of the whole family on it along with personal greetings. Gift cards such as these would be very popular during Mother’s or Father’s Day.
Offer e-gift cards over the Christmas season:
One reason gift cards have become so popular is their convenient and time saving nature – they can be easily and quickly picked up without the need to consider the recipient’s schedule or exact preference. This ease of purchase and expediency is of utmost important during Christmas and this is where e-gift cards come in. E-gift cards have become increasingly popular recently, with data showing that e-gift card sales grew 10% in the 2014 Christmas season compared to the 2013 Christmas season. Of the consumers surveyed 80% of all respondents said they’d be more interested in purchasing e-gift cards than physical gifts at the store location. 89% of these consumers were Millennials aged 18-35. It is also important that your e-gift card webpage be mobile. 72 percent of consumers have purchased a gift card online or through mobile means, and 50 percent of consumers state that they would prefer to have a digital gift card scanned from their mobile device rather than have an email printout. During the holiday season when consumers are most busy you are more likely to make a sale with them if they can buy from you online while they are on the go from their phones or tablets. In fact in 2014 in the 6 days leading up to Christmas, 88 % of total sales were made via e-gift cards with December 24 being the highest sales day for e-gift cards. Make sure you choose a gift card provider such as Givex who can create a customized, mobile –ready, e-gift card website which matches your pre-existing website and provides you with an e-gift card program that your customers will appreciate.
Provide the right denominations:
It is important to provide a variety of denominations. The amount the gift giver will spend varies on individual budget. Also on occasions such as Father’s or Mother’s Day your customers might be younger – children and teens – who do not have a big budget to spend on a gift. However during Christmas time when parents are often making purchases then your gift cards may need to come in larger amounts. For example the majority of adults surveyed on how much they spend on Mother’s Day said they would spend up to a maximum of $50. 13% said they intended to spend between $50 to $100, while only 4% allocated a budget of over $100 for a Mother’s Day gift. Researching gift buying patterns is important as is having more than just $5, $10 or $20 denominations. Also remember that denominations will also depend on the business. For example a $10 gift card will not go far at the spa.
Reward the gift giver:
Don’t forget the gift giver! Creating promotions whereby you reward the gift card purchaser with a discount, gift or promotional card will encourage customers to buy their gift cards with you instead of a competitor who does not offer a special deal. For example offering a 15% discount on the gift giver’s next visit can prompt them to return for another visit. Givex’s e-gift program has a promotion whereby e-gift card purchasers get an e-gift card for themselves as well. This type of promotion will give consumers the incentive to shop with you rather than with other merchants whose e-gift program does not come with this perk. Beyond this many merchants will require that the supplementary gift card be redeemed in January or February. This drives return visits during typically slow sales months, making it a popular Christmas promotion.
Don’t just offer one uniform gift card program for all the different holidays. Instead customize your physical gift cards and e-gift cards to each specific holiday with a program from an experienced provider such as Givex.