The ability for a customer to buy gift certificates and pre-loaded cards can be a substantial sales driver for retailers and restaurants.
However, for many small businesses, gift cards aren’t a practical option. They can be expensive to produce and require more advanced POS software and systems. These businesses get stuck using boring standard paper gift certificates. But, they don’t have to be boring!
Starbucks Coffee used a ‘platform’ for gifting that could be great for your restaurant, retail store or cafe…booklets of five tear-out paper $5 Starbucks coupons they call “Mini Moments.” They sell for $25.
Paper booklets are an interesting choice for Starbucks as they already have the Starbucks Card system. There is something about paper that makes if feel a little more personal.
We saw this first in Christmas 2012 and continued to be offered for gifting occasions. Starbucks is clever in adding messaging to the coupons to encourage their use, for example in the Christmas edition here were messages written on the coupons:
“Good for one face to face conversation” | “Good for one delicious daydream ” | “Good for one let’s hang out together”
This is a great idea for restaurants and retailers. Using paper booklets, it’s an easier and more affordable way to make gift cards specific for all ranges of gifting occasions from Birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, through Graduation, etc.
What Starbucks did that was smart is made the booklets for $25, which is higher than the average check amount. They made the coupons valid for $5 which is enough to pay for a latte, but may encourage additional add-on items such as food or upgrades – thus increasing average spend when redeemed.
Consider offering booklets like these. You could make them for a dollar amount, or for specific products. You could make them for entrees or sides – if you’re a restaurant. Or for accessories that support key products if you’re a retailer.