3 Tips for Growing Gift Card and Retail Sales in an Online Holiday Shopping World
Just because more and more people shop online to get their holiday shopping done more conveniently doesn’t mean your Salon Suite has to miss out on valuable gift card and retail product sales.
Get in the game. Leverage email and social marketing tools to get the attention of holiday shoppers and sell more Salon Suite gift cards and retail products in an online holiday shopping world.
More than 122 million Americans planned to shop online on Cyber Monday this year, including over 28 million who planned to shop Cyber Monday deals on mobile devices. More than half of all holiday shoppers say they’ll do at least some, if not the majority of their shopping online this year.
While in years past holiday shopping meant bundling up and braving the elements and hoards of other shoppers, today many opt to shop from the comfort of home or work to save time. This change in consumer behavior can result in lower holiday revenues for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers (including Salon Suites) which either attracted holiday shoppers on their own or benefited from drive and walk-by traffic to bolster holiday numbers.
The good news is that even though more people than ever before are doing their holiday shopping online, more people than ever before also plan to buy gift cards. Sales of gift cards during the 2016 holiday season are expected to reach $27.5 billion, up one and a half billion from last year. Holiday shoppers who plan to buy gift cards will likely purchase three gift cards with an average worth of $46 each.
Tip #1: Create offers around $50 gift cards or gift certificates or multiples.
Given that holiday shoppers who buy gift cards usually but multiple cards, creating an offer where they can purchase 2-3 gift cards from your Salon Suite and either receive an additional gift card free or some other gift-with-purchase could work well. Likewise, focusing promotions on gift card or gift card + retail products bundles that hover around the $50 mark could be the ideal price point for holiday shoppers.
Tip #2: Meet holiday shoppers where they are.
With so much holiday shopping activity occurring exclusively online, you can’t afford to promote your Salon Suite’s offers with only in-salon signage, point of sale displays, or flyers. Even if you aren’t selling products online, you can still promote them online where they will be seen by holiday shoppers. You can and should be posting updates on social media letting followers know about your gift cards and holiday retail product or service promotions.
You can also choose to sponsor these types of posts on Facebook. Even a fairly modest expenditure of $50 to $100 can put your promotional update in front of thousands of local consumers, since you can target these ads very specifically based on where people live and what their interests are.
You can also email your client base to extend a special offer or make specific suggestions about “who” they should buy Salon Suite gift cards for; such as:
- best friends
- significant others
- moms, daughters, dads, sons, etc.
By making specific suggestions, you take the guess work out of the client’s mind. In addition, you could be providing them with a valuable reminder about someone they forgot to purchase a gift for, or you might be helping them with a gift for someone on their list who is particularly difficult to buy for.
Tip #3: Remember not all gifts are for others.
It’s interesting to note that while overall holiday sales are expected to surpass last year’s total, consumers are also planning to spend less on gifts for family, friends and co-workers this year. They are, however, planning to spend more on themselves! More than half of U.S. shoppers say they’ll use the holidays to “scoop up discounted items for themselves” this year, up 2 percent from last year. Your long time clients could be very interested in gift card and retail salon product offers that enable them to purchase items for themselves, not just others.
Nor does selling gift cards to clients – even at a discount – necessarily mean you’re undercutting future revenues; it could produce a net increase. When clients redeem gift cards in the new year, it doesn’t feel the same as if they’re spending “real money” coming out of a bank account or hitting a credit card. As a result, they may be more open to spending more at their appointments by taking you up on offers for add-ons or retail product sales. You can also create special offers specifically for your clients around the holidays that enable them to try something new now that they’re likely to continue purchasing in the New Year or make a regular part of their beauty regimen.