Christmas is less than two weeks away! Shoppers all across Canada are busy buying gifts right at this moment. And for Canadian retailers, that means a heavy increase in sales. It happens every year. But, the retailers who enjoy the greatest rise in sales are the ones who sell what Canadian shoppers love buying the most: gift cards. Arguably, gift cards are the best possible items to sell during the holidays.
People love them! Forget what you’ve heard about how “impersonal” they are. Gift cards give people exactly what they want. More and more, people are asking for gift cards on their holiday wish lists. “That way, I can buy what I want and not have to worry about getting something I don’t like,” commented one of our colleagues last week. Do you sell gift cards in your store? If so, it’s wise to employ ways to increase your gift card sales.
Here are three:
1. Sell your gift cards online. It’s no secret that Canadians love to shop online. This will remain true right up until the big day…and the many days to follow. If your gift cards are available on your website, you’ll pretty much be guaranteeing that more of them will sell. Having an online store is the perfect way to turn your business into a 24/7 outfit. Remember that not everyone likes having to search for parking and waiting in long line ups to make their purchases.
On MindBodyOnline.com, Valorie Sherman writes that increasing your business hours via your website will encourage more sales of your valuable gift cards. “Become the closest gift store with the best hours,” she advises, “The holidays are known for colder weather, travel, and lots of parties. Those things considered, offer your customers a solution that will save time during one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year.”
2. Offer experiences through your gift cards. For the most part, gift cards are known to have specific dollar denominations. $25, $50 and $100 seem to be the most popular. Your gift cards, however, can be made to have any amount that your customer wishes. With this being the case, you can sell an “experience” rather than a generic card. On Inc.com, Tamara Schweitzer gives an example.
“Think about the types of experiences that you can offer customers through your business, and then create gift cards for several different price points,” she recommends, “A fixed-money amount for a gift card limits the gift giver in what they are able to spend. Typically people have long holiday gifts lists and a budget for how much they want to spend on each person, but they will be more likely to spend $150 if they know, for example, that they are buying someone a deluxe spa package.”
3. Be sure to provide denomination options. As we just mentioned, gift cards often come in a variety of denominations. It’s certainly important to offer those options. You don’t want to lose customers simply because you only have one price point for your gift cards. Keep in mind that some customers aren’t looking to spend too much money, so small denomination gift cards can really come in handy.
“Provide options for every price point,” insists Sherman, “When it comes to buying gifts, shoppers usually have a predetermined value in mind for how much they’re willing to spend. It’s best to offer a range of packages designed to let customers gift your services in any denomination; this can keep you from inadvertently discouraging smaller purchases.”