Thursday, October 16, 2008

Do you have the #1 Holiday Gift this Season?

The #1 gift this holiday season is gift cards!

Gift Cards continue to be the hot retailing trend that doesn’t seem to lose momentum. In 2007 the retailers sold over $26 billion dollars in gift cards. Yes I said “billion”!

Why you may ask are gift cards so popular? The answer lies in the powerful benefits gift cards hold for the customer and you - the retailer.

It’s a No-Brainer
Customers don’t have to think about the ideal gift. They know the recipient will get what they want when they redeem the card.

Fast and Easy
It takes moments to buy a gift card. Make it even easier if you package the card for the gift-giver. Be a one-stop shop to streamline a busy holiday season.

Fewer Returns
The recipient makes the purchase perfect for them, so there is no need to return unwanted gifts.

Immediate Cash
As the retailer you profit instantly without providing a service or product. Basically an interest-free loan until the card is redeemed.

Extra Purchases
Gift Card recipients spent an average of $29 over the original value of the gift card with 61% of recipients spending 20% more than the cards value. That is one effective retail sale to bring 20% more sale dollars!

Power of Plastic
Paper Gift Certificates can be elegant but are time consuming and hard to keep track of. When a retailer switches from paper certificates to plastic gift cards sales increase anywhere from 50% - 100%.

Brand Awareness
Gift cards live in wallets and purses until redeemed. On average, a person opens their wallet six times a day. That is 6 times your customer sees your name and thinks of your business. Talk about a constant advertising vehicle!

Pure Profit
In 2007, 8 billion gift cards went unredeemed. You get the cash without providing a service or product.

Holiday Sales Live Longer
Long after the week following Christmas (when returns and holiday blow out sales occur) gift cards are being redeemed well into January. If you are racking up 20% more on the redemption of those cards, I would say Santa stayed around a bit longer this year!

Hopefully these fast facts have convinced you to carry the #1 gift this holiday season. Now is the time to order your own cards! You want to be fully stocked no later than Nov. This is when you should start promoting your cards. Use acrylic signs and displays at your check out areas to advertise your cards.

Don’t forget the pretty packaging! Pre-packaged cards make it easy for your clients and will instantly increase the perceive value of the gift. Offer a gift with purchase so that the gift giver gets a bonus too. This is a great place to use those trial samples taking over your inventory. Have a friendly competition with your staff on who can sell the most cards.

If you don’t know where to start, check out our gift card section complete with a host of card packaging options. Click here –

Start selling gift cards and Santa might just hang around until the end of January this year!
(Article Sources – First Data 2007 Gift Card Survey, Nat’l Retail Federation, Consumer Reports)

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