If you’re like me, and I’m sure plenty of you are, you procrastinate shopping for holidays. Or get so wrapped up in the day-to-day you forget about important events, such as Mother’s Day. Yes, I forgot about Mother’s Day. I know! I’m a bad husband and son; I’ve already come to terms with this.
So it’s Saturday and Mother’s Day is tomorrow and I have no time to shop, nor any idea of what I would even shop for if I had a little extra time, which I didn’t. I needed a plan and I needed it quick. So I devise a plan to gift a $50 gift card to my Mom and wife along with a Mother’s Day card, some flowers and a nice home cooked brunch. I’m thinking this is great, I just saved my “you know what”! With that I’m off to the local grocery store because it’s really close and I’m confident it’s a one-stop-shop for all my needs.
I have a small window of time to gather my goods, get back home and put everything away secretly before being found out. Plowing through the store I make good time on the groceries and flowers. The Mother’s Day cards are a snap since I never read more than 5 cards before making a decision. Now all I need is the gift cards, but where are they? I look all around this massive extremely nice new store, surely they have them here I think to myself. Then I see them, beyond the checkout lanes.
I put my basket as out of the way as possible, leave my groceries behind and approach the display. Not only is the display past these check lanes I had to navigate, but there was a big trashcan right in front of it blocking view and access to a large portion of the selection. Since I did just mentioned selection I’ll tell you there wasn’t much, about a third of the rack was empty and reminded me of a hillbilly smile. Obviously attention to this revenue pipeline had gone to the wayside some time ago. Nevertheless I made due grabbing a Macy’s and JC Penney card, and like that I retain Rock Star status.
After leaving the store, this experience caused me to wonder. Gift cards are a growing 140 Billion dollar industry, why are they sometimes treated like a peasant, cast to the side and paid no mind? I once found a gift card display in frozen foods. Whaaat? Instances like these are why I’m compelled to blog about the lower class treatment of these little plastic money makers.
I know, gift cards can be a pain sometimes, but given that they are wildly popular with consumers, they should be given as much consideration as other categories. Honestly for not a lot of space they do make retailers a lot of money. You may be thinking, commissions are rarely over 10% and are sometimes as low as 2% so we don’t make a ton of money, what’s he talking about? It’s not just about how much you make selling a Home Depot card itself, it’s about what else did that customer purchase while getting the Home Depot card. Without gift cards in-store, customers WILL go elsewhere to where their needs are all under one roof. It’s also likely a customer will go elsewhere if they know ahead of time that gift cards are in an inconvenient location and the selection is rarely restocked.
Now that I’ve told you a little story exemplifying what not to do, let’s cover some best practices to maximize your gift card sales and create a pleasurable shopper experience.
- Optimize fixture placement for best exposure:
- Store front-end BETWEEN Center Isles and Cashiers.
- In or next to the greeting card section.
- In the floral department.
- Around the pharmacy dept, which is typically near greeting cards.
- Add secondary fixtures and check stand racks. The more selection and incremental placement the better!
- Designate an employee as “The Gift Card Champion”.
- Instruct them to stock pegs according to planogram regularly.
- Conduct an inventory adjustment in the online portal at least 4 times a year or when pegs go empty.
- Know who your Blackhawk account manager is and contact them for advice, questions and additional needs.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed.