Gift vouchers have proven to be an important tool for businesses to maintain cash flow during the COVID-19 pandemic. Across South Africa, small businesses have activated gift vouchers as a way for their customers to support them while staying at home.
But if you’re having trouble with donning a marketer’s hat during this time, here is a quick guide to marketing gift vouchers effectively.
1. Treats, treats, treats
The most effective and common approach to gift vouchers is “Buy Now, Shop Later”. This encourages customers to spend a little money now and redeem later. Many of your customers are likely stressed and disheartened by the current situation so a good positioning for this approach is inviting them to treat themselves. Your messaging could revolve around encouraging users to take care of themselves and indulge a few fancy treats.
- Pro: This is the most straight-forward approach.
- Con: A lot of businesses will follow this method of selling gift vouchers.
2. Special occasions like Mother's Day
Being separated from their support system has been difficult for everyone and this is likely to continue as social distancing and isolation remain in place. Marketing your products or servicces around special occasions allows your business to tap into that sentiment. Encourage your customers to spoil friends and family through a gift voucher, which is less of a health risk than shopping in person.
- Pro: A sentimental approach allows you to connect authentically with your customers.
- Con: Gift vouchers are not always seen as the most personal gifts, but in this new reality perhaps the best way to treat a loved one.
3. Join the #SupportSmall movement
Right now there is a strong online call for people to support small businesses and the movement is growing! However it’s likely that many small businesses will be forced to stay closed for a while to come. Join the movement and use this space and audience to encourage customers to support you.
Many customers have sentimental attachments to local small businesses and want to see you survive the pandemic. This marketing approach also allows you to join a community and you may see other business owners rallying to support you too.
- Pro: Sentimental and personal, small businesses provide irreplaceable experiences, so this approach taps into that emotional connection.
- Con: People are trying to save as much as possible and not spend without cause so they may not be able to help even if they want to.
Pro tip: List your business on the Yoco Support Small Business Directory to help shoppers discover you.
4. Shop for the season!
Seasonal gift vouchers have no specific call-to-action but speak to people’s moods and spirit. This is the space to get creative especially if you sell “luxury” products and services. Seasonal marketing is very popular with bigger retailers so this approach allows you to join that bandwagon.
- Pro: Customers are used to seasonal marketing due to its popularity and will be more welcoming to the approach.
- Con: There is no specific call-to-action for customers and therefore, no urgency to act.
5. Be proudly Yoco
Join the Yoco community and build relations and partnerships with other entrepreneurs. Many merchants are finding ways to help and support each other including sharing each other’s gift voucher offers to personal networks and building business partnerships.
- Pro: Quick win! The community forum is waiting for you. Join the conversation.
- Con: There are none. 😉