What are you getting mom for Mother’s Day this year? Hopefully you’re getting her some flowers, but when you want to go above and beyond for mom, what’s your typical go-to? Dinner? If you’re in the same city with matching schedules, that’s a great idea. Teddy bear? Not unless your 7 or under. Let’s face it – moms are hard to shop for. That’s why each year, gift cards make the top five lists of most popular Mother’s Day gifts over and over again.
According to the National Retail Federation:
- Nearly 77% of Americans plan to spend the same or more money this year on Mother’s Day than they did last year.
- 45% of Americans celebrating Mother’s Day are expected to buy gift cards.
So are you set up for gift card success? Or will you lose business because you can’t offer them to customers? (Your mom won’t be mad. She’ll just be…disappointed.)
Some of the benefits of offering business gift cards, in case the perks aren’t already obvious:
- They help bring in new customers. Since these are gifts after all, they may end up in the hands of consumers who have never shopped with you before. Cue your chance to convert brand new clients into loyal customers. Game time.
- They help you compete. Large retailers have offered gift cards for years. By joining the club, you’re able to get in the game and compete for this business. Actually, you’ve got a leg up. A gift card from a local business is much more thoughtful and special than one customers can find at the end of every grocery store aisle.
- They offer you an easy upsell. When someone comes in with a gift card, they’ll likely spend an average of nearly $24 beyond the original value of the gift card, according to a 2014 survey by First Data.
1. Set your business up with professional gift cards.
This is a time when an informal IOU just won’t do. Caveat: Some salons and spas can get away with offering other-than-ordinary gift cards made from thick card stock and with fancy scripts or different styles. Consider them unique.
Most small businesses should aim to offer professional, consistently styled credit-card-emulating gift cards that looks like what someone might otherwise find at a big box retailer. Doing so supports a healthy brand image and gives customers confidence in the security of your product.
There are a few popular service providers who will help you get going with small business gift cards:
2. Offer an incentive to buy a gift card.
Earlier, we mentioned that most people who enter a store with a gift card spend more than the amount on the card, on average. That phenomenon is likely attributed to the “free money” feeling you experience when you receive a gift card. If you’re not already planning to spend money on something, and then it’s handed to you for free, you’re more likely to splurge and spend a little extra to get exactly what you want. #treatyoself
What does this mean for retailers and small businesses? There’s an implied additional value you could expect to earn should someone buy (and give) a gift card from your business. Earn this extra love by incentivizing customers to go for the gift card over more traditional gifts. An uber-common incentive is the Buy One, Get One Free – “Buy a $100 gift card for mom, and get $10 for yourself!”
3. Increase the visibility of cards in your store.
If you typically keep gift cards behind the register, shame on you. There’s obviously a race for space up there if you have a smaller area to work with, but gift cards should be featured front and center during prime holiday seasons. Cater to the impulse buyer!
4. Verbally offer gift cards to customers at the point of purchase.
Ever arrived at a register with a gift but still aren’t 100% sure it’s the right one? You’re not alone. Help customers avoid this uncomfortable feeling, and simply ask if they’d like to add a gift card to their purchase.
Trick of the trade: Rather than asking if customers have found everything they need for mom this Mother’s Day, ask, “Did you find everything you need for mom, grandma, your wife and family for Mother’s Day?” You’ll likely be reminding them to think of other relatives who may be mothers as well and encouraging them to splurge on additional gifts. If they bite on your offer, you’ve just helped a happy customer come in clutch this holiday! Smooth move.
5. Promote gift cards for your local business via your website, email and text.
If you’re not already top-of-mind for customers, this will help them think of you first as they consider Mother’s Day options for gifts. But this isn’t just for holidays; apply this tip year-round. If you regularly send emails and texts to prospects and customers, include a quick call-out for your gift cards. This can be in the form of a call-to-action button that allows them to order online, or in the form of a promotion like the Buy One, Get One we mentioned earlier.
What are you waiting for?
You’d already know much of this if you had Thryv, our all-in-one business management tool that comes fully equipped with a personal campaign manager. Intrigued? Learn more.