Most businesses are missing out on a huge opportunity to dramatically increase their sales this holiday season with the use of gift cards and gift certificates.
Here is an article “Online Searches for “Gift Card” Increase as Holiday Shoppers Panic” from an email I received from Direct Newsline (December 20, 2006 issue).
Source: Direct Newsline
December 20, 2006
Online Searches for “Gift Card” Increase as Holiday Shoppers Panic
Internet searches for the term “gift cards” more than doubled as online shoppers, faced with the imminence of several December gift-giving holidays, turned to the Internet for one-size-fits-all gifts.
During the week ending Dec. 16, lookups for the term “gift cards” rose 109%, while searches for more specific searches strings surged as well. “American Express gift cards” rose 184%, “iTunes gift cards” was up 69%, and “Visa gift cards” was up 19%, according to
Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence service.
Additionally, Hitwise reported that “iPod” was the leading product-related search term that sent visitors to Web sites within its Shopping and Classifieds category during the week.
Visits to Hitwise’s Retail 100 Index sites were up 4.3% for the week, compared with the week that ended Dec. 17, 2005.
Amazon.com was the most-visited site last week, receiving 13.96% of all visits among sites on the Retail 100 Index.
Link to Article [http://enews.prismb2b.com/enews/direct/newsline/2006_12_20_direct_newsline/display]
This time a year people are fighting for parking spaces, waiting in long lines, stretching their budgets and pocket books, and running from store to store in search of the perfect gift that they hope the gift recipient won’t want to pawn, return, exchange, sell, or be disappointed with.
And as more and more people are working longer hours, and having less and less free time available, the thought of having to jump in the car, fight for a parking space at the mall, wait in long lines, and deal with the lack of customer service friendly employees makes most people cringe.
That’s where gift cards and gift certificates make everything good again!
The easier you make it for your clients and prospective clients to buy from you, the more sales you will end up with.
Gift cards and gift certificates have been around for many years, but I am always amazed at how few companies offer them, or let alone make sure that their clients know that they even exist.
It’s as if most business owners think that people will somehow just learn through osmosis that they offer gift cards and certificates.
Unless you take the time to educate your existing and prospective clients on the fact that you have such things available, and how they can benefit from purchasing them, most buyers will not take the initiative to purchase them on their own.
One of my favorite phrases by Jay Abraham is “People are silently begging to be led.”
Think about that statement. If people generally like to be led, then you have a moral obligation to them, your staff, and your business, to make sure that your clients are aware of everything that your business offers and are educated as to how they benefit.
With regards to gift cards and gift certificates, most businesses don’t offer them, and those that do rarely offer them to their buyers on a consistent and systematic basis.
And by the way, don’t just offer gift cards and gift certificates during the Christmas season. Make them readily available all year long. For ever holiday and day of the week that ends in “day.”
But don’t stop there!
Create an ongoing, systematic process or program, specifically designed for marketing gift cards and gift certificates to your existing and prospective clients on a regular basis.
13 Ways to Promote Your Gift Cards and Gift Certificates
- Post signs by the cash register and throughout your store (retail stores)
- Mention them in your newsletter
- Talk about it on your website
- Give online buyers a chance to add on a gift card or certificate to their purchase
- Train your staff to ask every person who buys from you, at the point of purchase, no matter how many times they come back and buy.
- Promote them in your direct mail promos
- Call up your clients and tell them about it
- Use them as bonuses and incentives
- Give them away in promotional contests
- Use them to get buyers to buy more at the point of purchase
- List them in all of your advertising and marketing materials
- Use them as rewards for getting referrals from your clients
- Enclose them with your client’s orders, invoices, statements, thank-you letters, and any other type of communication with your clients and prospects
- And many, many ways that are only limited by your creativity
If you just tried to implement a couple of these methods into your business, what kind of impact do you think it could have?
How many more sales will be created by your efforts?
How much more money will you make?
How much more loyal will your buyers become?
I think you will be amazed at the results that will occur, if you follow through and create an ongoing, systematic process, engineered for the purpose of marketing gift cards and gift certificates to your existing and prospective clients on an ongoing basis.
If you are already offering gift cards and gift certificates, but aren’t happy with the results you have been getting from them, I guarantee that there are things that you can do to dramatically increases your results by slightly changing your approach.
To learn more about how to get better results from your gift cards and gift certificates, or to learn more about ideas and strategies that you can use to dramatically increase the profits and results of your business enterprise, go to www.marketingpotential.com