Plan Ahead: Gift Card Sales & Redemption Strategies

By Tracie Wertz, VP Retail Sales, Universal Companies

Gift card sales! We love them, brag about them, and try to outsell the previous year. We think about all that extra cash and how we can spend it. Oops . . . not so fast. The collected revenues from gift card sales are actually a liability, a promise of a future service. Therefore, effective and efficient redemption is critical.

It's good to review this topic pre-holiday every year to get you thinking about your gift card sales and how you can build a strong redemption plan for next year. The ideal plan is focused on guiding your gift card recipients into your spa when you need the extra foot traffic.

There are many benefits to your spa when you can redeem gift cards. The most obvious of these is that many of those recipients are new clients who have the potential to become regular, loyal clients. Existing clients who receive gift cards can be enticed to try new treatments. Think treatments that offer a high profit margin, set your spa apart, and have a direct impact on retail sales. 

Now, let's talk about guiding redemption. Because you may not know the intended recipient, it is important to plan and guide the redemption by offering redemption incentives with the sale. This should be part of your promotional strategy throughout the year.

Here are a few more tips to get you started with your Gift Card Redemption Plan:

Review your historical spa usage and sales statistics.


Identify your slow periods, days, times of the year.
Create incentives to fill the slow times.
Attach the incentives to the Gift Card so that the recipient is aware of your redemption incentives.
If you prefer to sell specific treatments, rather than dollar amounts, be sure you are offering treatments that lead to retail and service enhancement options.

Use gift cards as an opportunity to guide clients to signature experiences and services outside of massage.

Remember, there are three big gift card selling seasons for most of us: the holiday season, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day. Right now, we are heading into Q4 and our busiest selling season. And while this article is focused on gift cards, I can't help but mention the importance of having enough retail on your shelves for Q4! Retail is your biggest opportunity to dramatically increase sales and profitability, as well as enhance your guest experience and extend your brand. And, depending on your retail offerings, a successful retail program can also provide unique takeaways to promote everyday wellness. The À La Mode retail program simplifies retail by sourcing, curating, and presenting a collection of emerging, trendy, and eco chic brands that will quickly become your best sellers.

For help with retail planning, purchasing, and inventory management, or for more ideas on gift card redemption incentives and building out an annual calendar of bounce back offers, contact À La Mode today: retail@universalcompanies.com.

Customized plastic gift cards are reloadable and reusable, plus they help establish your brand identity. For help creating your own unique gift card, call Universal Companies at 800.558.5571. If you'd rather offer your clients traditional paper gift certificates, we offer a wide variety of designs.
 
Do you have retail success stories to share? We'd love to know more on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages! Tag us using #ILoveALM or #SpaRetailSuccess.

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