In 2007, $60 billion in gift cards were purchased, amounting to 12% of gift sales during the holidays, according the retail industry sources that track this sort of thing.
$26.3 billion worth of gift cards were sold in November and December 2007 alone.
How many did you sell?
Some Wal-Mart stores have express checkout just for gift cards.
The big reason not to offer them, despite what everyone else says:
- Breakage, which is a fancy word for “people wont use them”. This is the ridiculous reason that many analysts tout as the best reason to sell them. Obviously, they don’t own a business.
How would you like to sell something one time and never sell something to that customer again? Does that make ANY sense?
Breakage is the LAST thing you want from a gift card customer. You want them to come back and empty that card because… you want them to come back.
The gift card is really a gift for you from whoever buys it. They’re telling their friend or family member, “Hey, shop at this store, I trust them.” and then send them to you, pre-sold on your business’ ability to make them happy.
Once they visit with that gift card the first time, find a way to get their contact info into your store systems. Why?
Because you want to be the ONLY one who reminds them that they still have a few bucks on their card. In fact, that alone is a good reason to ask them for that info.
Who wouldn’t want to be reminded that they have a gift card with money on it? Even better, if they lose the card, wouldn’t you want to be able to deactivate the old card and move the remaining value to a new one?
Communities can put these things in place so that a card is good all over town, but you can just as easily get them that work only on your point of sale systems. Consumers love em. One size fits all:)