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The Mother’s Day period in May is always a highlight in the annual retail calendar, but how do small businesses compete with the larger retail stores and shopping centres and make sure they also benefit during this peak shopping season?
Paul Kent, MD of payment service provider says many of the company’s clients using Sureswipe card machines are the smaller, boutique-type businesses that trade in custom-made goods like clothing, jewelry, confectionery or specialty chocolates, or they run nurseries, beauty spas and independent coffee shops and eateries.
“To help them leverage sales for peak retail periods such as Mother’s Day, we encourage them to adopt our affordable gift and loyalty card programme,” says Kent.
Established in 2008 to make card payment acceptance easy and accessible to all independent retailers and service providers, Sureswipe offers a suite of products and one of these is personalised gift and loyalty card.
“This means that small businesses and independent retailers can offer their customers gift and loyalty cards, historically only available to larger retailers,” says Kent.
“We have noticed how our gift card sales increase over Mother’s Day because mothers receive a gift card for a specialised store selling goods and services that they wouldn’t normally buy for themselves. It is far more personal than a card from a large retailer or shopping mall.”
A mother who has received a gift card and goes into the store typically spends more than the value of the gift card, and she goes on to become a regular client. In addition, she “spreads the word” to her friends, and in this way, small businesses clock up new customers.
“Our research reveals that 80% of gift cards sold by Sureswipe’s independent retailers result in bringing new customers to the business. The average gift card value during the Mother’s Day period is R450, yet we have established that the gift card recipients spend about 20% more than the value of the gift card,” he says.
This means that the average spend by the recipient of the gift card in the store increases from R450 to R540.
For the small business owner, Mother’s Day is a period when they have the opportunity to increase overall basket spend, expand their customer base and build customer loyalty. This fits into Sureswipe’s strategy to help independent retailers and merchants build and sustain their businesses and contribute to job creation.
“We also established that 15% of all Sureswipe’s gift cards are purchased over Mother’s Day. We currently have around 350 active gift card merchants. This number increases every year over the Mother’s Day period,” he adds.
“Commercially, Mother’s Day is always a hit. But more and more, people are battling to find gifts that are more personal in nature. This is where we find Sureswipe’s gift card option is fulfilling a need,” says Kent.
Since Mother’s Day is always on a Sunday, special outings such as brunch at a special eatery or restaurant are always popular, while flowers account for a large part of all Mother’s Day gift sales.
“Our customers in these environments enjoy particularly high volumes over Mother’s Day,” says Kent.
Internationally, around 84% of consumers celebrate Mother’s Day while in the USA alone, around 2.1-billion dollars are spent on Mother’s Day. Increasingly, shoppers are buying gifts for more than just their mothers — 23% will buy gifts for their wives, 10% for their daughters, and nine percent will buy gifts for a sister.
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