Gift Cards – You Still Have Time!

Gift Cards – You Still Have Time!

How can you sell more this season?

Gift cards continue to be the #1 gift given and also the #1 gift most people want to receive.  E-gift cards and Mobile Gift cards are becoming more popular than ever and you can begin selling these cards today! Especially with so many people using their mobile devices for everything these days.  Not only e-gift cards are easy to buy and send, but they are also instantly delivered or they can be ordered ahead of time.

3 Quick Tips to sell more gift cards this year

Add Value
Offer an additional bonus gift card with a large purchase or in addition to a $50-$100 gift card purchase. This is another great way to acquire new customers. A mere $10 or $20 free gift card is an inexpensive way to increase your customer base since most people give the free card away to friends or family. There is a reason the big box stores have huge banners up this time of year!
Creating Impulse Gifts
Give your customers a “grab and go” option at check-out with your cards in a basket or simple gift bag.  A bottle of wine and pasta in a basket or maybe some chocolates with a plate on display will appeal to your customers. Get creative, and have fun with it!  You have a captive audience and visualization always sells more gift cards.  Customers love the time savings of not having to wrap it themselves or think of items to add. Your gift cards fly off the shelves and your sales will skyrocket!  Not to mention the new business you will gain from the recipients of these gift cards.
Advertise e-Gift Cards Everywhere
Use banners outside or notices on your doors, and a fun display at your check out counter.  Also, don’t forget social media…with a simple QR code directing them to your website to order e-gift cards, mobile or plastic gift cards online!
We are all pressed for time these days and just by making it easy for your customers to order with gift ideas or different methods of delivery, you will create the “WOW” factor and be remembered!  Last year Statista reported retail sales were projected to amount to $6.03 trillion in 2022!
Restaurant Server Suggestive Selling

Restaurant Server Suggestive Selling

Boost your Restaurant Sales by Up-sell to Existing Customers

Your servers should be suggesting appetizers, desserts, and gift cards. Are they?  A lot of servers simply ask ”Can I start you out with an appetizer?”  This puts the server in a bad position if the customer says no as they can’t really ask again without running the risk of sounding pushy or becoming annoying. When it comes to suggestive selling you want to follow these 3 steps.

3 Simple Steps to Market your Appetizers

  1.  Inform – Tell the customer that you have appetizers when handing out the menu by saying something like “Be sure to check out our appetizer section, they are amazing!”
  2. Testify –  Before taking the order preferably before the customer makes up their mind, you want to testify by saying something like “you should try the Crab stuffed mushrooms with the lobster sauce they are my favorite!” Be descriptive when testifying but keep it short
  3.  The Close – Now is the time to ask for the sale “so can I start you out with an appetizer?”

The idea here is to get the customer to think about the appetizer without forcing them to make a quick decision.

Now that you sold an appetizer to your table, it’s time to think about dessert. Before the meal is brought to the table you want to put the idea of dessert in their minds while they are still hungry. We are going to use the three steps again but with a little twist.

3 Simple Steps to Market your Desserts

  1. Inform – Go back to the table to let them know their food will be ready soon or to see how the Appetizer is say something like “I was in the kitchen and they just pulled the apple pie out of the oven it smells so good”
  2. Testify/Close – When you return to check the table say something like “we have some of the best pastry chefs here, our desserts are delicious. “Can I bring you a piece of pie?” Now if the customer says yes, great!  If they say, no it’s ok, because we will take one last shot before they pay the bill.
  3. 2nd offer – When the customer asks for the check casually ask “So are you sure you don’t want that piece of that pie?  I can put it in a small box so you can take it with you for later.”

Up-selling in a restaurant is like any other type of sales.  If you train your servers properly to use suggestive selling they will market more appetizers, desserts, and gift cards. This leads to larger checks, higher tips for servers, and retention of those servers along with more revenue for your restaurant.  You don’t have to follow this pitch word for word, make it your own and work it into the conversation naturally. Also, people are more inclined to buy from people they like so remind your servers to be polite, friendly, and smile, smile, smile!

Gift Cards Expected to Exceed $6 Trillion by 2022

Gift Cards Expected to Exceed $6 Trillion by 2022

The average consumer is spending $59 more than the original value of their Gift Card, up $21 from 2017, according to the 2018 Prepaid Consumer Insights Study released by First Data (NYSE: FDC)  Despite the set value on a gift card, 72% of customers report spending more than the given amount on their card.

Offering gift cards allows a company to attract new customers, increase brand awareness, improve sales, and reduce fraud. Total retail sales in the United States were projected to amount to 6.03 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022, up from around 5.4 trillion U.S. dollars in 2018.  Often, businesses overlook the benefits of integrating gift cards into their companies.

Attracting New Customers

Gift cards are incredibly useful in attracting new customers.  They continue to be the number one gift given, therefore introducing new customers to your business.  Also, these Gift Cards serve as an incentive to purchase something your customer may not typically seek out.

Increasing Brand Awareness

Providing customers with Gift Cards increases your brand awareness, as well. As gift cards are purchased and given to others for holiday or birthdays, your brand will be introduced to a new audience. 93% of consumers will either buy or receive a gift card; also they are the #1 most requested present during holidays.

Marketing Your Company

Customizing your Gift Card serves as a self-marketing tool. Your logo is displayed in your customer’s wallet and viewed often.  Not only will this prompt customers to revisit your store, but it will also hopefully turn them into loyal repeat customers.

Reducing Fraud

By offering Gift Cards to customers, as opposed to paper certificates, you will also be reducing your risk of fraud.  Tracking certificates is difficult, and with Gift Card integrations to the new POS Systems, it is now a simple process to monitor.  Using a POS System will deter internal theft and quite possibly reduce the likelihood of counterfeit certificates being produced by fraudsters.   Gift cards electronically monitored with a POS system allows the merchant to verify the initial transaction.  This is also a great way to deal with returns by getting your customer to come back to purchase another product.

With these exploding numbers in the Gift Card industry, what are you going to do to capture your share of this market?  We can help uplift your sales today!

 

Gift Cards for the Holidays in a SNAP

Gift Cards for the Holidays in a SNAP

Here we are with the Holiday Season just around the corner. Are you ready? Have you implemented everything you can to ensure your business is getting a nice big piece of the retail spending pie this Holiday Season? So what about gift cards?  Did you know that shoppers spend over $31 billion on gift cards annually?

The National Retail Federation, hires Prosper Insights and Analytics to do surveys on certain categories of product lines year after year. This year they determined that for the eleventh year in a row, gift cards remain the most popular items on wish lists, requested by 61 percent of those surveyed, For the eleventh year in a row, gift cards remain the most popular items on wish lists, requested by 61 percent of those surveyed, followed by clothing and accessories at 55 percent, the highest level the category has seen in 12 years.

No matter whom your target market is from Baby Boomers to Gen Z, gift cards are the most sought-after gift. Now they are easy to obtain and come in so many different forms. Take a look and supercharge your holidays!

Prevent Business Loss with Employee Background Screening and Accountability

Prevent Business Loss with Employee Background Screening and Accountability

Businesses who sell gift cards must have “checks and balances” in place whether they are selling them by cash or credit card. Business owners should always  ensure their employees are giving a receipt for gift cards, especially if the customer is making a purchase in cash. Here’s a local news story where an employee pocketed cash for gift cards she “ran” through the system as $0.00. She gave the customers the cards telling them the card was loaded  rather than giving the customers a receipt. The employee – who is now in jail – would pocket the cash.

By doing your due diligence, having all employees background screened, and proper checks and balances in place, this loss for over $3,000 could have been prevented.  Check out this article. http://www.winknews.com/2016/02/11/professional-thief-costs-naples-restaurant-thousands/

Could your business survive this kind of setback and brand damage? With a minimal investment in background screening and proper procedures in place, you can walk away from your business knowing your employees can be trusted and accountable.

Wouldn’t you want to know what’s going on in your business sooner than later? The first thing you want to know is, “who am I hiring?” A background check will help  business owners answer that question.  Remember, your gift cards will become a billboard carried in your customers wallet.  Make sure you are receiving the revenue.