Most consumers don’t realise how much work goes on behind the scenes in place management – and how far ahead the place management teams plan!
With that in mind, now is the time for towns, cities and BIDs of all sizes to start thinking about how to maximise that all-important Christmas opportunity. And a Gift Card programme from Miconex is the ideal way to help lock in additional money for your BID businesses.
Although consumers buy Gift Cards throughout the year for a huge variety of reasons, the peak sales time is over Christmas, which means that the top period for redemptions is January/February. This is a traditionally quiet time for retailers, restaurant owners and the leisure sector, yet 25% of all Gift Card redemptions happen in this period.
Miconex developed its first Gift Card programme in Perth in 2015. By Christmas 2018 all of these towns and cities (and an island!) will have Gift Cards – and yours could be joining them:
• East Village London
• Glasgow Visit West End
• Isle of Arran
As this list shows, Gift Cards fit any size and type of town or city. And they’re not just for independent shops – although they boost that sector enormously. In many of our towns and cities, the nationals, as well as independents, have signed up: big names such as Accessorize, Argos, Beales, Boots, Cath Kidston, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Pizza Express and Wagamama all accept Gift Cards in one or more towns and cities.
So why have these BIDs all said yes to a Gift Card programme from Miconex?
The beauty of our Gift Card programme is that it’s quick and simple to put it in place. It uses current Mastercard technology – no extra software is needed. Once you’ve made the decision that you’d like a Gift Card for your town or city, we guide you through the process every step of the way. Then we send in our team to help register your businesses. With one swipe on their payment terminals they’re all set up!
And from the moment you launch you’ll be able to start gathering data about how and where the cards are bought and used. You’ll have figures to show that you’re making a tangible, measurable difference to your area.
It’s also a great marketing tool for your BID. Enniskillen, our first Gift Card programme in Northern Ireland, did a “Christmas Doors of Enniskillen” campaign where they strongly promoted the Gift Card amongst their festive competitions and promotions. Glasgow’s Visit West End Card posted on social media in October to catch the early shoppers.
The Perth Gift Card team ran a series of promotions on social media in the run-up to Christmas, on the big day itself and in January when many recipients were ready to spend.
We know from our data that customers with Gift Cards like to explore – 15% of people try a business for the first time with their cards. We also know that customers spend over and above the card’s value by 30-40%.
Businesses love the fact that they don’t need to give away any margin, no discounts are required - they receive the full value on the gift card and there are no additional fees involved.
Customers appreciate the fact that Gift Cards can be spent in so many businesses, from shops and eating places to hairdressers, beauty salons, cinemas and leisure centres. That means if they give or receive a Gift card they know that the real gift they’re giving is choice.
They like that it’s a great gift for those hard-to-buy-for folks or occasions – Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, a leaving do at work, a wedding, a birthday / Christmas gift for the person who has everything, or even a baby’s first birthday party.
They also love the fact that they’re supporting the businesses in their town or city. They know that online shopping has pushed its way into the retail market and is here to stay – but they can now easily do something to help local businesses survive and thrive on the high street.
Our 20-plus programmes across the UK will all be selling gift cards on behalf of their businesses this year, delivering visible value. If you’d like to join them and find out how easy it is to tap into the £5.6-billion gift card market, just call 01738 444376 or email us on [email protected].