We all know about last minute shoppers – those customers who are in a rush, frantic to find a gift right under the wire. Often, these procrastinators are good for business, because they make quick decisions in order to get the job done.
Retailers, however, don’t have the luxury of being last minute stockers. Businesses that are late to the game leading up to a holiday or special occasions might miss out on sales, and when they’re not stocking the right gift cards, they’re also missing out on a great opportunity for future business.
Here are six seasonal shopping spikes to think about well in advance when ordering gift cards:
1. Valentine’s Day. The first gift-giving day of the calendar year can be great for sales if you’re prepared. A recent survey found that the 61 per cent of Canadians who celebrate this heart-filled day plan to spend an average of $170 on gifts. Businesses neglecting to stock up on Valentine’s Day-themed gift cards might find themselves more lonely than loved leading up to February 14th. Best bet: Have Valentine’s Day gift cards ready to go once the winter holiday season ends. Even if most shoppers won’t pick up their Valentine’s Day gifts until February, visible gift cards will serve as a good purchasing reminder during the Love Day lead up.
2. Mother’s Day. Making mom happy on her special day can be stressful for consumers. In fact, one survey found that part of the biggest stress experienced by Canadians who celebrate Mother’s Day is finding the perfect gift for mom. With 9.8 million moms in this country, that’s a lot of stress. Give your customers a nudge in the right direction by having Mother’s Day gift cards on hand and visible by the end of March. Best bet: Keep Mother’s Day gift cards near the cash register, for impulsive shoppers who might welcome the suggestion.
3. Father’s Day. In Canada, the average age a man becomes a father is 28.3 years. With the average life expectancy of men now up to 79.8 years, a Canadian dad has the potential to receive more than 50 Father’s Day ties or novelty mugs over the course of his lifetime. While Father’s Day tends to be more low-key than Mother’s Day, there’s a great opportunity to encourage better gifts for pop by stocking Father’s Day-themed gift cards for the occasion. Best bet: Order and display Father’s Day gift cards around the same time as you put out Mother’s Day cards. Some shoppers will appreciate taking care of both gift occasions with one purchase.
4. Graduation Season. Congratulating a graduate with a gift, whether from high school or a post-secondary institution, can be tricky. Many customers who want to avoid the teenage eye roll opt for a gift card, so make sure you’ve got graduation-themed options available. With close to half a million post-secondary students graduating each year , not to mention those graduating from high school and elementary school, it makes good business sense to prepare with gift cards. Best bet: Order graduation-themed gift cards with some personality that teens will appreciate and keep them near the checkout for easy access. And since some university and college graduations begin as early as April, start displaying your gift cards right before Easter.
5. Holiday Season. It’s the biggest shopping time of the year, so retailers need to be prepared. With 42 per cent of Canadians saying they would like to receive gift cards as a gift for the holidays in a 2017 survey, it’s one item every business needs to have in stock early. Best bet: While you might store the decorations until after Halloween, have holiday-themed gift cards readily available as soon as your back-to-school push is over. While Black Friday tends to kick off the gift purchasing season, many Canadians look to start their shopping early.
6. Birthdays. Canada is home to more than 35 million people, which means our country celebrates more than 35 million birthdays every year. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to help their friends and families celebrate these milestones by staying well stocked with a variety of birthday-themed gift cards on hand, catering to different age groups and interests. Best bet: Display birthday-themed gift cards near birthday greeting cards, so your customers can get it all done in one stop.
Because your business and your customers are unique, your gift card selection doesn’t need to be limited to these occasions. If your customers are likely to celebrate and give gifts for the Lunar New Year, Halloween, or local cultural festivals or community events, consider having gift cards on hand to represent those events.
To order gift cards, visit moneris.com/gift or call 1-844-645-4550.
 RetailMeNot Valentine’s Day survey, 2018 http://retailmenot.mediaroom.com/2018-01-30-The-Cost-of-Courtship-Putting-a-Price-on-Finding-Love
 OpenTable Canada Mother’s Day survey, 2016 https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/opentable-reveals-75-best-restaurants-for-brunch-in-canada-just-in-time-for-mothers-day-577789491.html
 Statistics Canada, Mother’s Day by the Numbers, 2017 https://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/dai/smr08/2017/smr08_216_2017
 Statistics Canada, Father’s Day by the Numbers, 2017 https://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/dai/smr08/2017/smr08_218_2017
 Statistics Canada, Life Expectancy, 2017 https://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-645-x/2010001/life-expectancy-esperance-vie-eng.htm
 Statistics Canada, Canadian postsecondary enrolments and graduates, 2013/2014 https://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/151130/dq151130d-eng.htm
 PWC Canada 2017 Canadian holiday outlook, https://www.pwc.com/ca/en/industries/retail-consumer/2017-holiday-outlook-canadian-insights.html
 Statistics Canada, Canada at a Glance 2017 http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/12-581-x/2017000/pop-eng.htm