The spring season is a peak gift-giving season with Mother’s Day in May, Father’s Day in June, and high school and college graduations scattered between the two months. Euphemia Erikson, a VP at First Data, a company that’s behind 40% of all gift card programs in the U.S., discusses how retailers can use gift-giving occasions as opportunities to build loyalty through gift registries, gift cards, and subscription services.
1) Gift Registries
When we think of a gift registry, we often think of old-school registries such as the traditional Crate & Barrel or Macy’s, explains Euphemia. But, before we can begin to rethink the traditional registry, we have to take a look at why they work. “They help retailers capture the data behind the client,” says Euphemia. “You can look at the types of thing consumers are interested in and the frequency of each item.” Registries are used for customers and gift-giving, but also so retailers can collect data on what items are popular and what each individual customer is interested in.
Modern digital registries can look more like wishlists or favorite lists. Basically, a place where shoppers can save items they like to go back to later, or to share with others. Retailers in turn can make better-personalized product suggestions, inventory and purchasing decisions, and overall get a better understanding of customers.
In person, registries can help shoppers pick out the perfect gift and help associates recommend popular items. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be tricky holidays for gift giving. “How many power tools does one dad need?” jokes Euphemia. Registries and wishlists take out a lot of the guesswork, resulting in happier customers.
2) Gift Cards
“Ten years ago a gift card would be something retailers have behind their registers sitting in a dusty pile,” says Euphemia. “Over the last ten years, gift cards have morphed into one of the most important programs a retailer can have.” She continues, “We know from National Retail Federation that over the last nine or ten years gift cards have been a most requested item that consumers want.”
Gift cards are essential tools for driving sales and building loyalty for three key reasons, explains Euphemia. First, they bring in new customers. Second, gift cards add additional revenue. “The average consumer spends $38 over and above the original value of the gift card,” she explains. Third, gift cards drive repeat visits. Euphemia says customers with a store gift cards “returns to the store on average three times.”
3) Subscription Services
“We all work long hours and we all need a little excitement in our lives,” says Euphemia. Subscription boxes are a hassle-free, personalized gift option that’s easy to send in-person or from far away. Retailers can customize boxes as much as they like. Euphemia explains that the commitment of a subscription box also reduces the chance a subscriber would turn to a competitor for a similar product, or in item they discovered in the box.
This Moms, Dads, and Grads season, build brand loyalty by offering personalized and convenient gift options. Gift cards, registries, and subscription boxes are all about “enabling choice,” says Euphemia. Whether it’s adding items to their wish list, choosing what and when to buy, or personalizing a subscription, with these options customers can “choose what present they want.” Choice leads to satisfied gift recipients, happy gift givers, and loyal shoppers all around.