Christmas in July!
Every year it seems like Christmas pops up in the stores earlier and earlier. We all say the same thing. “Can you believe Christmas is here before Thanksgiving?” Just last year I went to pick up Halloween candy at the store and walked past the Christmas decorations and gift wrap!
This is our reaction as consumers but as business owners we all have to start to plan for Christmas much earlier than Halloween, which brings up back to Christmas in July! We all know that one of the most important elements of a successful holiday season is to make sure that we have enough stock on hand for the increase in sales but not so much that we’re left with additional merchandise after the season is over. A great way to help with this is to set up a gift card program.
There are many reasons to set up a gift card program in your business. They’re a great marketing tool, they help to increase the number of sales and they help to increase the dollar amount that consumers spend when they redeem the gift card.
From a marketing perspective gift cards are an invaluable tool. We’ve all received a gift card at one time or another; they’re plastic cards with a business’s name and logo on them.
When we receive one as a gift we usually stick it in our wallet and from that point until we redeem it we see that card and logo every time we open our wallet. Imagine that your business will receive attention from this potential new customer every time they make a purchase!
Gift cards are a great tool to bring in new customers that have never shopped in your store. Based on First Data’s 2010 U.S. Gift Card Consumer Insights Study a third of people that received gift cards changed their purchasing habits because of the gift card. Just think of all the new customers that your current customers can send your way with a gift card!
Even when gift cards are received by an existing customer they can be helpful in increasing the amount spent by the customer. In the same First Data report they found that 25% of those that received a gift card purchased an item that they had not planned on purchasing and another 8% of recipients said that they purchased a more expensive item than the one they had planned on. Even better than that, 72% said that they spent more than the value of the card. Think of that, gift cards inspire customers to spend more in your store!
Now you may be asking yourself a couple of questions. For instance,why bother with this for Christmas and why worry about it in July?!?!?!? When looking at the occasions that inspired gift card purchases, Christmas came in second with 50% of purchases behind birthdays. It’s easy to purchase cards for those people on your list that you don’t know that well or to keep on hand as last minute gifts during the busy
Once you’ve made the decision to move forward with a gift card program it’s very easy to get started.
There are many companies that can help you with affordable and customizable options for your business. Check them out and get started. Once your order is submitted it can take 6-8 weeks to have your cards in store and ready to use. You will have at least one proof of the art work and may possibly have more than one. Your goal should be to have this ready to go by the first week of October.
As we said earlier, people are getting their shopping started earlier and earlier. So put the fireworks down and get your business ready for Christmas!
(This blog is for entertainment purposes only)