Christmas is the busiest time of year for the hospitality industry and it’s important that you’re prepped and ready to capitalise on that extra revenue. Selling gift cards and experiences should be up there on your priority list so we’ve put together some of our top tips on how to make sure they fly off the shelf.
Get a (subtle) early start
For some, Christmas kicks off 12 days before the big day, or for those a little keener, 1st December, but for us, and many marketeers, Christmas officially becomes a thing in September. This is when many businesses start releasing their Christmas menus and events. It’s also the time you should start mentioning gift cards and experiences as Christmas presents. It should be a gentle approach as while there is plenty of super-organised folks who start their Christmas shopping/planning early, there are probably a lot more scrooges out there.
Shout about them, and then shout some more.
Perhaps this may seem the most obvious tip, but it needs to be clear. If you’re on social media make sure you’re posting about them on there, sending out emails (and texts if you’re into that) to your database, make sure your staff are chatting to customers about gifts and upselling.
Make it part of your strategy
If you have your WiFi set-up right, you can trigger a return email as the customer logs on. This can help push the in-venue sales. Alongside the digital aspect, make sure your in-venue materials and visuals are looking great (and are obvious!) too. Are they displayed in the toilets, by the bar, on a-boards outside, on the menus, printed on bills?
Last minute is well worthwhile, digital gifts and experiences can be sent immediately so a well timed tongue in cheek email on Christmas Eve will have a strong return.
Incentivise Christmas Bookers
A gift card is an ideal way to incentivise your larger pre-Christmas parties. Offering a £25 gift card to the booker for parties of 10 or more will help you drive your covers.
Use Promo Codes to drive January return visits
You can utilise a promo code to drive January sale activity by running short hits of activity with short expiry. Schedule a New Year’s Day Flash Sale email to those customers who visited in December and your wider reach can help boost January revenue.
Utilise National Days/milestones
Because we all like a handy content hook. Don’t forget to utilise National Days such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other milestones such as 50 days to go (which is November 5th just FYI).
Selling physical gift cards? Presentation is key.
Christmas gifting can be as much about making something look beautiful underneath a Christmas tree as the gift inside. It’s a great idea to make your gift cards and experiences super aesthetically pleasing. Stick them in a presentation card, or a branded envelope, hell, wrap a big old red velvet bow around it if you like. It’s sure to please both buyer and receiver.
Last minute for digital, not last minute for physical
Make sure you don’t cause yourself headaches. Turn off physical gift cards in line with the Royal Mail’s own dates (or even a couple of dates before). Keep the digital option up to handle the last minute-ers!
Here are the dates from Royal Mail:
Wednesday 18 December – 2nd Class and 2nd Class Signed For
Friday 20 December – 1st Class and 1st Class Signed For and Royal Mail Tracked 48*
Saturday 21 December – Royal Mail Tracked 24*
Monday 23 December – Special Delivery Guaranteed