- Background color
- Background image
- Border Color
- Font Type
- Font Size
Happy New Year! Wishing everyone on UKBF a very successful 2018
iVoucher is hosting an Outreach Digital Meetup on Voucher Marketing on Tuesday 16th January 6.30pm at The Core Bar in Bank, London.
This meetup is suitable for people looking to get a better understanding of offers, vouchers and promotions, and how they fit within both acquisition and retention marketing strategies.
- Learn about the evolution of digital vouchers, beginning with Coca-Cola's first paper coupon in 1894
- Discover more about iVoucher's latest research into consumer behaviour and attitudes towards offers, vouchers and promotions
- Advice on how to start using promotions whilst avoiding common pitfalls such as devaluing your brand
You can register for the event here: www.meetup.com/Digital/events/246368010/
Looking forward to seeing you there!
iVoucher's January Top Tips Guide
Customers’ purse strings tend to tighten during January after a bit too much overspending & indulgence at Christmas… This is the ideal time to offer vouchers to customers & ensure you get 2018 off to a fantastic start!
Customers will exchange personal information in return for a voucher
One of our users is currently running a 40% off promotion for January. With such a strong offer people are willing to exchange a significant amount of personal information in return, and they have already received over 100 signups.
Vouchers create urgency
High street retailers use January Sales as an opportunity to clear old stock during a period when customers have limited disposable income. By creating a limited-time promotion customers recognise that in order to bag a bargain they will need to purchase from you right now!
Reward VIP customers
Rewarding your VIP customers with a promotion exclusively available to them over January will make them feel special, ensure they keep coming back to you during 2018, and keep sales up during a quieter period.
To help you get 2018 off to a fantastic start, we’re offering 50% off your first month of iVoucher Premium – just enter code LOVEJANUARY at checkout.
Find customers, make sales and reward loyalty, all through the power of vouchers. Sign up for your FREE 15 day trial today at www.ivoucher.com.
Black Friday: Discounts, Deals and Giveaways
In 2016, Britons spent £1.3 billion on Black Friday. But up against big retailers with huge promotions and unbeatable bargains, how is Black Friday impacting smaller businesses?
Many retailers report some of their highest profits on Black Friday. The black portion of the name, “Black Friday” relates to businesses recording their losses in red ink and gains in black. This tradition lives on in modern accounting software, hence the name.
If you plan to participate on Black Friday, here are iVoucher's top tips for small businesses:
1. Provide extra support and service.
People like discounted or lowered prices, but they also like to feel valued. Offer extended support- a personal shop assistant for an hour, free set-up / how to use expert, and other assurances that reduce the possibility of buyer’s cognitive dissonance (when you buy something and then later regret it!).
2. Encourage gift card purchases.
Christmas is coming up, a busier time for you. Eight out of ten shoppers had gift cards on their Christmas list in 2017 and people like having the option to choose for themselves.
3. Promote special deals for VIP customers.
Send a voucher for an exclusive discount to your most active customers a couple of days before Black Friday with an obvious subject line like ‘BLACK FRIDAY- Get 30% off EVERYTHING’.
4. Post on social media and use hashtags.
Seize the opportunity to grab a customer’s attention by running promotions on social media. Use location hashtags for your local area such as #surrey #london #newcastle to make sure your offers get seen by a wider audience. Try pairing up with another local business that offers complimentary products or services to cast your net wider.
5. Keep calm and carry on!
Things can get a little hectic on Black Friday with lots of customers looking for the best deal, so consider getting in extra staff during this busy period.
iVoucher helps small businesses to find customers, make sales and reward loyalty, all through the power of vouchers. Start growing your business today - sign up for your FREE 15 day trial atwww.ivoucher.com
Sian recently joined us from Bournemouth University on a vocational placement for her marketing degree. She has been conducting some market research into consumer attitudes towards vouchers and promotions, and I thought the results may be of interest.
‘I want to know more about deals near me - I’d prefer going to an independent eatery that I haven’t heard of than going to a chain.’See below for some more comments, you can see the full results atwww.ivoucher.com/news/. With so much to manage, small businesses will often try sites like Groupon or LivingSocial, but then forget to offer vouchers out to their own customer base. One pizza restaurant we worked with in Hackney recently saw £300 return in one month just from promoting a voucher to new customers in the local area, and with companies out there who can help you to manage it all on your behalf it's well worth exploring the possibilities!
‘I do think it’s nice when somewhere you’ve shopped at before gives you a discount to come back.’
‘I want vouchers directly from the businesses I like.’
Vouchers are a great way to find new customers, make sales and reward loyalty, and you don't have to discount heavily to generate a good response. I run vouchers for hundreds of small businesses, so just let me know if you ever need any advice on vouchers for your business!
Preparing for Christmas
With just over a week to go until Christmas, now is a good time for small business to review their Christmas Week plans and get organised for the retail rush expected in the UK high street and online.
The average household will spend just over £800 on Christmas this year, with 60% spent on gifts, 27% of spend on food and drink, and the remaining 13% on decorations and cards. With shops poised to deal with the bulk of the Christmas spending rush, retailers will need a plan in place to drive people through their doors and capture some of the final big spending flurry for themselves. If early December trading has been slow, there is still plenty of time to capitalise on the last-minute spending rush - the majority of Christmas sales and spending occur within the final week before Christmas.
Keep it simple
A huge amount of this year’s sales will take place online, and so businesses with an online presence will need to be poised to minimise the amount of baskets abandoned at checkout. Make sure you contact users who have abandoned baskets, perhaps offering free gift wrapping or a free delivery voucher - giving the customer a choice of vouchers will help to differentiate you from the competition and make customers feel more in control of the transaction.
In store it’s always nice to do something different and set yourself apart from other retailers - a small gift at the checkout can be a lovely surprise for a customer. Free gift wrapping, a pack of five Christmas cards or a roll of sellotape with every purchase can drive a lot of goodwill and it’s a great way to create a loyal customer who will come back in store for another visit in the New Year.
There is no doubt that retailers face heavy competition at Christmas but as it’s your busiest time of the year we would always recommend keeping discounts to a minimum. If you feel you need to discount, 5-10% plus great customer service should be enough to entice customers away from other stores.
Beating the January Blues
Once Christmas is over, customers often have limited budgets but are looking to cheer themselves up. It’s a great time to offer more significant discounts and also considering finding a non-competing business to partner with. For example, by spending a certain amount of money in store customers could get a free dessert at a restaurant in return.
Create beautiful vouchers your customers will love with iVoucher. Sign up for your free 15 day trial at www.ivoucher.com.
Gearing up for Christmas
The average household will spend over £800 on Christmas this year, with 27% going on food and drink alone. Couple that with the information that as a nation we will each eat between two and five Christmas meals over the festive period, with a staggering 61% of people now choosing to eat out on Christmas day, restaurants are sure to be doing a roaring trade in the run up to Christmas.
Now is the perfect time to start encouraging people into your restaurant to get them into the festive spirit, and get them sampling your new Christmas menu so that they secure reservations for later on in the December. Email your existing customers today to let them know when your new menu will be available and what new dishes (particularly Christmas desserts) are available to try.
Sweeten the deal
During the busy period over Christmas, you will be getting lots of new customers through the doors, so make sure that you are taking the time to sign up Christmas customers up to your loyalty scheme during their visit.
There are a number of ways you can drive people to choose your restaurant over the one next door, and start creating loyal customers who visit on a regular basis. Everyone loves a bit of something special, at Christmas time even more so, so try offering something like a glass of bubbly with every main meal purchased, or a free mince pie with every coffee ordered.
Save any big discounts that you have planned until after New Year's Day, when people will be feeling the pinch and looking to make savings any way they can. Traditional offers such as buy one main course get one free, or free starter with a main course, perform really well in January, so plan ahead to make sure your restaurant stays busy in the New Year.
The average UK household will spend over £850 on Christmas this year, providing lots of opportunity for small businesses...
In the run up to Christmas, online retailers will experience one of the busiest sales days in their calendar - Black Friday on 25th November. For bricks and mortar businesses, it can be difficult to compete with the big discounts on offer by large retailers, but by focusing on service-based offers, small businesses can also take advantage of the event and win some new customers just in time for Christmas!
Set yourself apart
Offer longer opening hours - organise a late-night shopping event on your high street for Black Friday this year. Stay open till 7pm, offer drinks and nibbles to shoppers and make an evening of it in the local community.
Free delivery and gift wrapping - sometimes offering something as simple as free gift wrapping will make all the difference to your customers and really help you to stand out from the competition.
Free consultations - encouraging people to try something new is a great way to make a sale. Advertise services like personal shopping, free makeovers, interior makeover suggestions, etc., and people will flock to your shop to try and buy.
Limited period discount - offer a significant discount during a typically quiet period for your shop, maybe between 9 and 11am on Black Friday. Savvy shoppers will make a special effort to visit your shop, so you can use the quieter period as an opportunity to give them the red carpet treatment - next time they visit, they will pay full price!
Team up - partner with a non-competing business on your high street. Serve drinks from the coffee shop in your gift store, or hang art from the local gallery on your walls. You can then send customers in the direction of each other - everyone loves and more importantly, trusts, a personal recommendation.
Get your message out - Don’t forget to make people aware of your Black Friday promotions well in advance. Email your existing customers and make sure you have a nice big sign outside your shop for passing trade.
Prepare for success
Once you have set the wheels in motion on a few of the ideas above, make sure you are prepared for the success of your campaign to get customers in store. Take the time to collect your new Black Friday visitors’ email addresses so that you can contact them about Christmas promotions, and to encourage customers to return, try popping a £5 off voucher in their shopping bag to use in January.
Create beautiful vouchers your customers will love with iVoucher. Sign up for your free 15 day trial atwww.ivoucher.com.
As part of our new Small Business Series, iVoucher gives the lowdown on Black Friday & Cyber Monday, with some top tips on how to get the most out of vouchers during this period.
The average British adult nowadays eats out at a restaurant at least once a week, and gets takeaway twice a week. It's no wonder the 70,000 or so restaurants in the UK are having to roll with the changes that their customers are demanding.
Technology is changing the way customers interact with restaurants, with everything from making a reservation to updating nutritional information being affected. The opportunities technology provides will be one of the biggest ways establishments will be able to stand out from the competition in future.
The choices and demands will be firmly in the hand of the customer, who will be able to choose which table they would like to sit at and what they would like to drink when they arrive, all before they have left the comfort of their own home. Dangling a carrot at these tech-savvy restaurant goers in the form of a voucher can only enhance the restaurant experience for them, and can actually help to build your business - our recent survey into voucher usage found that over half of customers would be willing to provide their email address in exchange for a voucher.
Once you have a customer's email address you can get communicating. Let customers know when last-minute tables become available, offer a free bottle of wine when purchasing two courses... the options are endless. These kinds of promotions create customers who feel rewarded for their loyalty whilst also helping you to ensure a full house every night and increase average spend.
What kind of technology are you using to help improve your relationship with customers?
We recently surveyed over 500 consumers to find out all about how they use vouchers. This infographic lists the five key takeaways for small business owners - let me know what you think!
Over 53% of UK consumers now use vouchers to save money on a purchase every month according to our new research, so if you were even considering trying vouchers for your business, now is the time.
We also found out that people browsing your website are more likely to complete that online purchase with you if a discount code pops up for them to use on the payment page, and over half of them would also hand over their email address for you to contact them again, in exchange for a slightly better deal at the checkout!
We were really excited by the results of our research, so we've pulled out the most compelling three reasons why small businesses should start using vouchers today.
1. To grow your database - as we've said, more than half the people who would buy from you anyway, would give you their email address in exchange for a slightly bigger discount, everyone wins here. You get to contact that new customer after they have made a purchase, create a relationship and turn them from a one time purchaser into a loyal brand advocate and they get a better deal on their purchase.
2. To get new customers to try your business - an amazing 68% of people would try a new brand if they had a voucher for it. Vouchers also do great things for promoting your business by word of mouth. People who use your voucher then share that with their friends, both by email and also by sharing the voucher on social media, so this new stream of customers is one of the best ways to get your message out even further than you'd think.
3. You are now totally in control - you can change the offer at any time, create a better deal for your customers, share the vouchers on multiple channels and monitor the performance of all of those in one place. It's really easy to keep an eye on how often your voucher has been shared or forwarded in an email, so you are never going to be caught out when you decide to issue a new voucher with your customers.