People often need incentives to make purchases, especially in a retail climate which is shifting towards purchasing less. Buying is now a more considered affair where company credentials are being studied, as well as the product which is being sized up. Ethical values, financial transparency, sustainable supply chains, locally-sourced materials, satisfactory employee conditions – these are all factors that consumers are starting to factor into their buying patterns.
Gift vouchers are a reflection of your business and people buy them for a few reasons. One is obviously as a present, pure and simple, but the other motivations are a bit more in depth. The buyer might be saying to the receiver – ‘I think you should consider using this company from now on as they’re really strong on various principles, they work with these companies and their products are excellent’.
A gift voucher has to be meaningful either in value to the products you are selling or in monetary terms.
Therefore, how you present your gift vouchers is an important shop window for promoting your business. It will often be the first impression the receiver has of your business.
Some factors to consider:
- Design. First impressions, much like the first visit to your website, are super important. Make it striking, subtle and/or unique. Whatever your taste, make it fit your brand. It also has to be clearly recognisable as your company’s. Make your brand prominent and have clear ways on how to redeem.
- Worthwhile. It can be quite damaging to a brand or company when the product on offer is considered of no discernible value. A gift voucher has to be meaningful either in value to the products you are selling or in monetary terms.
- Not forgotten. Gift vouchers can seem passé. But this really is because they get neglected or used in stores as a little bit of an afterthought. Review them regularly and make them part of an active promotional campaign. Provide some excitement to the process of buying them.
There are negative connotations associated with discounted voucher groups (Groupon) and the price-led buyer. There is no doubt that this can lead to a negative effect on your business through pressure on your time, potential devaluation of your offering and the conflict with regular customers who will be loyal regardless of cost.
To counter this negativity, it falls on you as a business owner to weigh up the promotional value to your business against the potential downside of running these kinds of promotions. Running a business involves making decisions across all facets. But the focus should always be making a strong margin in as sustainable and ethical a way as possible. The inevitable facts are:
- You cannot please everyone all of the time
- The business needs many streams of revenue and therefore many streams of promotion
- Building a community is essential and your core client should never feel alienated
- Bargain hunters will always exist, and their attention is fleeting
- Any damage to your brand or business is hard to regain once lost