Adding on to add up

PostPoint offers a large range of products and services for the retail add-ons market
PostPoint offers a large range of products and services for the retail add-ons market

Retail add-ons are an essential part of driving footfall and repeat business. Fiona Donnellan looks at the leaders in the market and new ways to increase your margins


Brand Central

16 October 2012

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  • Payzone processes over 380 million transactions annually
  • Two thirds of customers that go into a store for a Payzone service purchase something else (Source: Red C Poll of consumers)
  • PostPoint supplies almost 2,400 retailers nationwide
  • ParkMagic’s TollTag can be used on all nationwide tolls and is based on a ‘ready to go’ system
  • In 2011 there were over 250 million Lottery transactions in retail outlets – approx. 685,000 per day
  • Scratch cards account for over 21% of National Lottery sales

The complete package

With over 140 billers, and growing, PostPoint has the most extensive range of bills of any BillPay suite in Ireland. The company has been supplying retailers in Ireland for over 10 years. PostPoint offers a large portfolio of electronic payment products and services in the Irish marketplace. PostPoint supplies mobile top-up for all major Irish networks and can also supply customers with international calling cards.

PostPoint offers a large range of products and services for the retail add-ons market

PostPoint offers a large range of products and services for the retail add-ons market

Retailers can offer postal services and TV licence renewal through PostPoint. Stamps have proven to be a huge seller during key occasions such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Retailers can purchase stamps through the PostPoint retail support desk and all orders are delivered free of charge. One4All gift cards are redeemable in over 4,500 stores nationwide and have become a popular choice for customers. The gift cards and stands can be ordered free of charge through PostPoint. Along with One4All, PostPoint also offer a range of online payment products which allow customers to pay cash for online activities.

Convenience bill paying

PostPoint’s BillPay suite has proven to be a large draw for customers who want to pay their household bills in their local shop. Once BillPay enabled, retailers can scan a customer’s bill and accept payment. Customers can pay bills such as ESB Electric Ireland, Bord Gais, Eircom as well as waste payments and local utility bills. With many companies launching pre-payment cards as alternatives to bin tags, waste management is a growing part of the PostPoint portfolio. Greenstar, Barna Waste and South Dublin City Council customers can load their pre-payment cards in their local PostPoint store.

Retailers can also offer ParkMagic’s TollTag to their customers through PostPoint. The tag can be used on all nationwide tolls. TollTag is similar to a ‘ready to go’ option on a mobile phone in that it can be topped up through PostPoint stores. Retailers in Limerick and Cork cities can also supply parking credit for ParkMagic parking discs through PostPoint.

Greeting the customer

Better Buy Cards has a large selection of greeting cards and associated products for retailers. Better Buy Cards has been supplying retailers since 1994 and operates from its bright 10,000 sq ft showrooms in Dublin, accessible from all major routes. The margin on greeting cards can be a major boost for retailers and drive footfall. As a member of the Premier Impact buying group, Better Buy Cards can offer quality products at keen competitive prices and continuity of supply.

Retailers can be assured of little stock holding due to Better Buy Cards’ dispatching system. All orders are processed and dispatched on the same day for next day delivery. Better Buy Cards has a loyal customer base of independents, symbol groups, service stations, post shops, hospital shops and it is the preferred supplier of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN).

Driving footfall

Payzone’s sales director Barry Keegan says retailers who offer the full suite of Payzone services can "reap additional commercial benefits, delivering higher footfall to stores." A recent poll, undertaken by Red C, showed that two thirds of Payzone users chose the store specifically because it had the Payzone sign. Two thirds of those who went into a store to use Payzone also purchased other items, while one in four customers said they bought something that they hadn’t planned on buying.

Keegan says the focus for Payzone is: "delivering retailers high volume low value transactions which results in repeat consumer visits to their local store. For the retailer, this delivers a loyal customer who sees the retailer as a single destination that can facilitate the purchase of multiple products and services."

Payzone has developed and introduced a number of innovative new products over the last 12 months. Included in the portfolio of new products is a range of branded prepaid gift card products, a top up payments solution to service the modern Prepayment Meters (PPMs) in the gas and electricity market, and the introduction of the Leap card onto the Payzone retail payments network. Further plans to extend its products and services are in the pipeline for Payzone such as a card-based money transfer service, a pick and drop point for online services and the introduction of contactless payment terminals. These additions will add to the existing services on offer from Payzone in the operation of payment networks for mobile top-ups, tolling payments, bill payments, credit and debit card processing and pre-paid debit cards.

It could be you

The National Lottery is considered by many to be an essential part of running a successful store. According to Nigel Scully, head of sales at National Lottery: "It is seen as a must have by many retailers looking to provide a full service offering to their customers." The full range of products from the National Lottery accounted for circa 685,000 transactions per day in 2011 – over 250 million altogether. This includes buying tickets, checking tickets and paying prizes. Despite the economic downturn, the National Lottery has maintained its player base, however, the average spend per player has decreased as disposable income has come under pressure.

The National Lottery has continued to develop new additions to its line in order to drive greater sales. In recent years, the Millionaire Raffle game was introduced along with a second EuroMillions draw last year, and this year a new game, Daily Million, was launched. The newest addition has generated strong initial uptake and feedback is positive. Scully says that it’s a popular choice for consumers; "Players love the €1 price point as it offers great value for a chance to win €1 million."

Scratch cards remain a large draw for consumers accounting for over 21% of overall National Lottery sales. The market has continued to grow year-on-year. "A lot of this growth has to be attributed to the great support we have received from our agent network in getting behind the category and complying with best practise merchandising standards. As scratch cards are very much an impulse buy, it has been very important to ensure the core game range is always available," says Scully. Research from Millward Brown has shown that 18-34 year olds have continued to increase their purchase of scratch cards in the first half of 2012 compared with 2011.

BBC2Q&A with…

Lorraine Derwin, manager, Better Buy Cards

How extensive is your product range?

Better buy cards offers Irish retailers a lot more than our name might suggest. Alongside our core products of greeting cards, gift packaging and party ware, which you might expect, we also have an extensive range of branded/value stationery, soft toys, milestone gifts, baby/holy candles, arts and crafts, children’s books and seasonal products. Our 10,000 sq ft showroom is continually changing with the delivery of seasonal add-ons such as diaries which has become an increasing part of our business as retailers look to maximize sales potential at this time of the year.

How competitive are Better Buy Cards in terms of offering value-for-money for consumers and margin for retailers?

As part of the Premier Impact buying group, Better Buy Cards source products at the most competitive prices, giving the retailer the potential to earn maximum profit.

Not many products offer the retailer the margin that greeting cards do and as such they can be the cornerstone of a business, with many of our customers commanding a 60%+ margin. The last five years have seen a huge improvement in the quality of product available in terms of design, materials used etc. which is on going and as a result the gap between wholesale and direct to retail has been well and truly bridged. With discount stores making up the majority of our customer base, the value we offer the Irish consumer is unparalleled.

Do you offer point of sale materials for retailers?

We offer a wide range of point of sale support material, including title finders, headers and posters for both every day and seasonal. Wooden card display stands, metal space savers, upright gift wrap stands and spinners also available from 2ft upwards.

Do you have a reliable distribution network and what feedback have you received from your stockists?

All orders are processed and dispatched on the same day for next day delivery nationwide at very competitive rates. With retailers’ time constraints, we offer a very reliable, efficient alternative to visiting the cash and carry through this facility. The most positive aspects for our customers have been the fact that it means very little stock holding which saves money and also keeps stock current, and the speed of turnaround.



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