Promotional and gift vouchers are an integral element of festive and holiday season advertising programs. In a time when maximising revenue is mission essential, there are a number of retailers that are unfortunately missing out on the entire revenue potential of the voucher strategy because of a disconnected customer experience.
After the unprecedented volatility and disruption during the past eight months retailers will need to be maximising every revenue opportunity in this holiday shopping season. The perfect voucher plan can play a crucial role in maximising revenue growth and brand loyalty.
Normally, there are two types of vouchers used by retailers. The first is that the promotional coupon, which is designed to reward customers and encourage them to raise their spending or to make an additional purchase. The second is the present voucher which pops to the vending market and expands your brand exposure beyond your present customers.
A disconnected experience = missed chances
Whilst the chances from coupons are wide-ranging and higher impact, many retailers are not realising their full potential. They are providing a disconnected experience whereby vouchers are only able to be bought and redeemed online or in-store — not both.
This significantly impacts the expertise for your present customers and may cause a bad first encounter for new customers obtained through the promotional effort.
Delivering a connected omni-channel voucher encounter
Promotional vouchers may be used for targeted advertising campaigns. When you’ve identified a particular segment of your customer base, you can then supply them with an incentive to revisit your shop. The purpose is to get your customers to spend more than the sum you’re giving away free of charge.
The choices of which customer segments it is possible to target with promotional coupons is endless. They could be clients who have bought a very specific solution, or possibly a client who has spent a particular quantity of money in a certain timeframe. You can even use promotional coupons for retargeting clients who’ve abandoned their cart to complete an internet purchase or to reactivate lapsed clients giving them an incentive to jumpstart your shop.
The actual success of promotional coupons, however, is only realised if the coupons are redeemed. So, it’s vital that your advertising is valuable.
If your clients are not redeeming your vouchers, you are not driving the behavior and the incremental increase in spend which you were aiming for. You also run the risk of an accumulation of non-redeemed vouchers in your balance sheet.
As a result of this, it’s vital that you offer your clients the opportunity to redeem these coupons through multiple channels for their own convenience. Namely, you must make it possible for them to redeem their promotional coupons online and in-store. Both should be choices — not just one or the other. Otherwise you’re creating friction and lowering your redemption prices.
Retailers don’t do this all of the time, mostly because their instore and online channels and systems aren’t set up to empower cross-channel voucher redemption. Though it might take a little time and investment, with the perfect systems it’s possible to make it standard that promotional coupons which may be issued and redeemed through any channel.
If you anticipate offering multi-channel promotional coupons, there are a few best practices to take into account.
- Include an expiration date so that there’s more of a feeling of urgency to redeem the vouchers. This also mitigates the risk of getting un-redeemed coupons on the balance sheet
- The perfect system also enables your employees to see which clients have received promotional coupon offers when they visit the store and remind them to redeem the offer.
- You may even wish to think about implementing a loyalty points system for your clients in which they will be given a promotional coupon based on tiered purchase volumes.
Gift vouchers are a different proposition to promotional coupons where you will need to maximise convenience not just for the gift giver, but also the gift recipient.
The giver is unlikely to buy a gift voucher from a company that doesn’t offer multi-channel purchase and redemption choices. The giver wants the ease of buying the voucher via the station that matches them and statistics indicate that is more likely to be online on account of the convenience this provides.
But without multi-channel voucher options that this means that the recipient is only able to redeem that voucher online, even if they would like to do this instore. As a retailer you’re missing out on the chance to acquire and develop a new customer relationship which could be buying with a coupon for your first time.
Just like promotional coupons, you should use a cross-channel coupon strategy and make buying and redeeming gift coupons online and in-store easy and convenient.
Again — with the ideal systems — gift vouchers can be bought and redeemed online and at almost any shop. And your client experience becomes really omni-channel.
Your voucher plan plays a crucial role in driving revenue and increasing customer lifetime value in addition to driving brand and customer loyalty. But if there’s friction built into the process across your different stations, you are not likely to see the full advantages.
Creating a connected omni-channel voucher experience will put you on the road to increased revenue, market share and brand loyalty.