Gift Giving Is Big Business
Christmas and Hanukkah are over for another year. And by the time you read this, Valentine's Day will be upon us. So, what did you learn during these major gift-giving seasons that you can apply to encourage customers (and prospects) to tap you as a source of gifts for all those other gift-giving occasions, events and holidays?
You should never assume a customer is thinking of you in March when her company has a big anniversary celebration and sends loyal customers "thank you" gifts…or in July when it's time to buy Cousin Sally's birthday gift. You've got to remind, encourage and give even the most loyal customers reasons to think of you for their year-round gift-giving needs.
Here are some tips for increasing the size and frequency of your customers' gift purchases. Of course, you don't have to be in the mail-order catalog business to apply and profit from these ideas. No matter which method(s) of distribution you use to market your products, these tips can help you generate more gift purchases. The good news is that they don't cost a lot to implement and the results can be very profitable—especially in the off-season.
1. Don't wait for the holidays to devote space in your catalog or mail a postcard to remind people of why they should consider your gift-giving services year-round. See Lands' End's 14 simple ways to take the "hectic" out of your holidays as a guide for what you can talk about any time of year (see A).
2. Emphasize the benefits of your gift-related services such as free shipping or next-day delivery (see B).
3. Encourage early orders for major gift-giving holidays (Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Christmas) by offering an incentive. It can be a special price (see C), a volume discount (see D) or a FREE gift (see E). Whether yours is a retail store or catalog with 80 percent of its orders coming in by phone, make sure you create a method for tracking response to your offer so you can correlate your promotional investment with orders generated.