Usually, November is the time when we start browsing for Christmas gifts (if we haven’t begun already!), make mental notes as to who would like what, and get ourselves organised for one or two lengthy trips around the shops.
With Ireland looking at another five weeks of lockdown in Level 5, and a potential move into Level 3 thereafter, it’s very likely that most of our Christmas shopping will be done online this year. Not only that, but given the enormous blows to our economy since the beginning of this pandemic, there’s also a society-wide call for people to try and buy local, buy Irish, this year.
The Journal recently polled their readers on two important questions, the first being:
Looking at data across our own clients, here are the most recent findings on gift voucher sales this year so far compared to 2019
- YTD voucher sales are down 15% for ROI properties thus far, however sales were up in September 2020. The dip earlier on in the year is obviously in relation to the pandemic
- For ROI clients in 2020, 4% of all vouchers sold were €0-€49 in value, and 9% were €50-€99 in value
- For vouchers €0-€49, 2 star properties sold 19%, 3 stars sold 11%, 4 stars sold 8% and 5 stars sold 0%
- In 2019, 2 star properties sold 15%, 3 stars sold 11%, 4 stars sold 8% and 5 stars sold 0%
- This highlights a shift towards smaller value vouchers, but it should also be considered that fewer 4 and 5 star properties offer vouchers of less than €50
- In NI, for £0-£49, 3 stars sold 50%, 4 stars sold 10% and 5 stars sold 41%
- Given the smaller market, there are fewer 5 star properties in NI, so this skews the % of vouchers sold, but it does also highlight that there is a market for these smaller vouchers
With the prospect of future Level 3 lockdowns where we may not be allowed travel outside of our own counties, customers may be willing to buy a smaller value voucher for a local property to dine or use the spa, as opposed to a larger voucher for a night’s stay.
With more of the population finding themselves a bit stretched this year, we do recommend for hotels to consider reducing the smallest value of their monetary vouchers down to €25 to capitalise on these sales.
Here are a few things for you to consider as part of your voucher promotions
- Let’s start with the basics. Ensure you split your voucher offers out into categories attractive to a variety of customers looking for different kinds of deals – monetary, dining, spa – for example
- Can you offer ‘Dinner for 2’, ‘Afternoon Tea for 2’? Think about voucher packages you can offer at a discounted price for Cyber Weekend
- While it’s great to have choices, make sure you don’t have too many choices – this will only confuse your customer and you don’t want them abandoning the cart before they buy!
- Make sure your voucher names and descriptions are clear, concise and that they reel customers in as much as possible! Ensure that your visuals match your descriptions too – it sounds simple, but the devil is in the detail, as they say
- Make sure you have your voucher t&cs in place, and make them as clear as possible
- Make things as easy as possible for customers by making sure you have delivery options available
- Make sure your vouchers have the expiration date outlined, as per new legislation since Dec 2019
- Consider launching a Christmas-themed voucher on the run up to the festive period!
Your Christmas voucher campaign
We recommend launching a soft promotion from November 1st and increasing your spend from around November 14th onwards. Hopefully, this strategy should help your voucher sales pick up from circa November 24th.
Run your campaign all the way up to Christmas morning (previous years of voucher sales performance stats have demonstrated that Christmas Eve is when almost 10% of voucher sales happen)!
We spoke about the importance of focusing on your voucher sales throughout this period in the latest episode of our podcast, Marketing In The Morning – have a listen!
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