Experts Offer Sales-Boosting Tips for Gift Card Retailers (March 6, 2013)
March 6, 2013
Visibility, replenishment and store associate awareness are three keys to energizing a retailer’s gift card category, according to Colleen Dorwart, senior manager of gift card services at Cabela’s Inc. Dorwart, who was part of a panel discussion this week at Prepaid Expo USA in Orlando, Fla., also stressed frequent conference calls between retail locations to review their gift card programs as well as sales contests between the stores.
Value Pay Services LLC develops promotional and marketing kits that each SUBWAY franchisee can order and provides them with the freedom and flexibility to execute their own SUBWAY gift card sales strategies, “which we find can be pretty interesting,” said Dave Baldwin, Value Pay Services president. “Our franchisees are incredibly entrepreneurial . . . so we really value their thinking and their entrepreneurial behavior. All we’re doing is providing them with the tools.”
Panelists also emphasized the importance of variety and regional relevance to retailers that have third-party gift card malls in their stores. “You have the national brands that drive the bulk of the business,” said Steve Weinbaum, senior director, gift card account management, InComm. “But [a customer] being able to walk into a [store] and find a card for a regional 20-store chain or restaurant makes that customer come back.”
For retailers concerned that selling open-loop prepaid cards will adversely affect sales of their own closed-loop retail gift cards, John Dwyer, senior account manager at card producer CPI Card Group, said not to worry. “Open loop is an offset to what is available from retail [gift card] products,” he said, adding that the addition of open-loop cards reenergizes retailers’ gift card offerings and increases sales of all gift cards.