The Surprising Gift Vouchers Selling Out This Summer
There is no denying that business is tough this year. With that said, as lockdown eases and businesses reopen, the opportunities to sell gift vouchers grow.
Any trends, tools, services and resources that can help to generate business are going to be invaluable in the months ahead. From mini-moons to outdoor cinema, we’ve compiled some unexpected success stories to inspire your voucher shop, alongside trends you can engage with to maximise your sales.
Picnic Hamper Vouchers
Parks and other green spaces are socially distanced areas in which to enjoy great food and company. Naturally, picnics are all the rage this summer.
If you are in a rural or coastal location, part of your attraction could be that you sell picnic hampers for people to take to the local beach, forest or countryside. There is no need to limit this to your hotel guests, if your area gets day-trippers then why not offer these people a luxury picnic for collection?
Similarly, if you have gardens then picnic hampers are a fun way to package up your food offering. You could sell afternoon tea hampers, date night hampers, and creative themes such as a ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ for young families. These would make lovely gifts for people who have already purchased a stay.
Many couples have sadly had to minimalise, postpone or cancel their weddings this year. They may want to treat themselves to a romantic mini-moon to make up for a minimal wedding or enjoy an early-moon if their special day has been pushed back. These would also make lovely wedding gifts in any circumstance, but also pre-wedding gifts for those whose weddings are next year.
If you also host weddings, make sure you have a wedding gift voucher category and that your gift shop is in a prominent place on your website and other communications. That way guests who attend your weddings know where they can buy a far more exciting wedding present than the usual kitchenware!
Thank you gifts
During lockdown many people have worked extremely hard as key workers and volunteers. People who have been shielding and receiving help from neighbours may want to thank their helpers with a voucher.
Similarly, many teachers have continued to go into schools or worked hard at home to adapt their lessons for online learning. Gift Vouchers make a great end of term gift. In these times many people are struggling with money. Sharing the cost of a voucher, such as an afternoon tea, between a class of parents is far cheaper than each parent buying individually, and the gift is more memorable.
Calendar themed vouchers
Make the most of the social calendar, which is full of events you can engage with. We all like an official excuse to do what we enjoy, after all.
July’s warm days and seasonal vegetables make it the worldwide Picnic Month, while 10-16th August is Afternoon Tea week. Within that falls National prosecco day on the 13th August— so the ideal day for a Sparkling Afternoon Tea.
On Friday the 28th August it is National Red Wine Day. Why not do a one day promotion with a ‘give away’ for a glass of red wine on a dining voucher or a bottle on a stay?
Outdoor Cinema vouchers
Outdoor Cinemas and Drive-thrus are back in a big way this year. They are one of the few events that can go ahead, and they are designed to work just as well in the dark so they extend the fun far into the evening, and into the Autumn too.
With outdoor cinemas, it’s all about the location and people have been getting creative- from screenings you can watch from your boat in a harbour in Paris, to showings in the gorgeous gardens of English stately homes. Could this be you? Your gardens could be the perfect location for highly desirable film nights.
In an atmospheric setting, you could conceivably fill your calendar with screenings themed around the film or offering accompaniments like woodfired pizza and cocktails. If so, sell Gift Voucher tickets to anyone looking for a fun date night or an experience.
Green Recovery vouchers
It won’t be long before we go full steam ahead into preparations for the sales frenzy of Black Friday and Christmas. It’s worth considering these undeniably consumerist festivals in light of the environment. Even more so, perhaps, as lockdown has prompted many to consider the urgency of addressing environmental issues which are a greater threat to our industry and lives than Coronavirus. There is a real consumer demand for a green recovery. On the flipside, chains like Starbucks and Costa are re-introducing single-use plastics into their services in the name of safety – a misguided idea – and the Government have called on people to buy more products to support the high street.
Everyone likes to receive gifts, and many enjoy giving them too. But we should find green alternatives to materialism. Gift Vouchers are in an unusual position in this regard. The fact that vouchers buy experiences rather than ‘stuff’ makes them instantly more environmentally friendly and compatible with a green recovery. When people buy a meal or a hotel stay from an independent hotel or small hotel group, they support that business, the people it employs and the area it is in without contributing to flooding the planet with “stuff”- gadgets and luxuries few of us need.
When you promote your gift vouchers on your social channels, include the benefits of experience based gifts with hashtags like #moreexperiencesfewerthings. You could even create a Green Recovery sticker for your gift voucher shop which works like a Covid-19 Secure sticker to visually demonstrate that you have engaged with this issue.
Added Value Vouchers
Adding value to your vouchers strikes a deal with your customers. Click here to learn more about why adding value to your vouchers.
Yes, it costs money, but it also increases your cash flow at a time when that cash is most valuable to you. Even though lockdown is easing and you may well be welcoming guests through the door, added value vouchers are worth considering.
If you have them on offer, be sure to promote them as a special edition or a thank you for customer loyalty. As well as increasing your sales, promoting them may produce more goodwill.
Tell them, tell them, and tell them again!
In order to sell as many gift vouchers as you can, you need to tell as many potential customers as you can. It’s that simple. Send an email to your client list promoting your voucher shop and any seasonal vouchers you have. Include a personal message “you may like…” to increase engagement.
Don’t forget to include a button, link or even a banner on every email newsletter to remind people that you sell gift vouchers. The possibilities are diverse. You could run a voucher giveaway and ask people to sign up to a gift voucher newsletter in order to enter. If you have another giveaway running, why not contact the unsuccessful entrants to offer them an exclusive added value voucher?
We hope this blog supplies you with some ideas to boost your voucher sales post-lockdown. If you want to do better still, we can quickly set you up with a gift voucher shop to boost your revenue year-round. Our team are always happy to help with creative ideas and practical support, simply get in touch for a chat.