Driving business on
By offering customers a host of time-saving services, consumers are more likely to choose a particular store for repeat visits; a result which often leads to additional purchases. Research conducted by First Data Corporation shows 69% of consumers purchase a greeting card with a gift card – just one example of the benefits such offerings can deliver
16 June 2016 | 0
Recent years have seen increased competition in the grocery market due to the rise of discounters and a growing consumer demand for value. It’s more important than ever for convenience stores to stand out from the crowd by offering ever-more reasons for customers to visit, through offering a varied range of products and service that make your store a one-stop destination, such as the innovative offerings outlined below.
A gift for retailers
Growing consumer confidence is resulting in a strong performance for the gift card market. The FromMe2You gift card is a new multi-store gift card launched late last year by Retail Excellence Ireland (REI). The organisation says the motivation behind launching the FromMe2You gift card is to enhance competition, reduce retailer commissions that they pay on acceptance and create greater consumer choice. REI says it has brought the new gift card to the market at the request of Irish retailers seeking a fairer deal from multi-store gift cards.
As it stands, the gift card market in Ireland is currently worth over €600m. This is set to rise substantially over the coming years due to the Revenue’s BIK Small Benefit Exemption for employee’s increase from €250 to €500.
The FromMe2You gift card is welcomed by thousands of Ireland’s favourite stores including exclusive retail partners like Smyth’s Toys, Avoca, Butlers Chocolate Cafe, Tiger Stores, Compub, Omniplex cinemas, Homestore+More and more recently Applegreen. Other great brands include Brown Thomas, Arnott’s, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Woodies, Halfords, Boots, and PC World.
“We are delighted to see competition come to the Irish gift card market. We will embrace customers with FromMe2You gift cards in all our stores,” said Blaine Callard, CEO, Harvey Norman Ireland.
The FromMe2You gift card can be purchased in Topaz Re.Store, and the distribution channel is set to expand rapidly from this month. Payzone, Ireland’s largest independent payment network, will be able to sell the gift card through its agents, which will make buying gifts so easy – especially birthday gifts for children’s parties. No more driving down to a particular store and waiting in long queues; customers will be able to pop into their local shop and pick one up there and then, 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Significantly, research conducted by First Data Corporation shows that 69% of consumers purchase a greeting card with a gift card creating additional revenue opportunities for Payzone agents. Exciting times for the gift card industry in Ireland!
Offering essential footfall driving services
Part of the An Post Group, PostPoint was established in 2000 and has been helping local retailers and communities ‘Do More in Store’ ever since.
PostPoint retailers process over 18 million transactions every year, including essential footfall driving services such as mobile phone top up, bill payment, waste management, gift cards, tolling, parking and international calling cards.
PostPoint stores offer products and services which are useful, practical and simple. And, because PostPoint is part of An Post, customers can trust that all payments will be processed safely, securely and efficiently.
Over the last year, PostPoint has boosted its bill payment facility to over 130 billers, one of the largest in the country, allowing customers to pay the majority of national and regional bills through their local PostPoint shop.
In addition to regular utility bills, customers can also pay their Local Property Tax and TV licence renewal as well as many of their local waste payments and local City and County Council Payments through PostPoint.
Added to these services are exclusive An Post products such as postal products, stamps, TV licence renewal and One4all Gift Cards, as well as new innovative online payment products like Paysafecard.
PostPoint supplies electronic services to approximately 1,800 retailers nationwide and works hand in hand with thousands of retailers in every town and every village across Ireland. By joining PostPoint, retailers enjoy the support of a dedicated customer services team as well as an award-winning sales support team on the road.
PostPoint retailers can order stamps and One4all conveniently and quickly through the PostPoint helpdesk. All orders are delivered free of charge straight to the retailer’s door.
PostPoint works with all major retail brands including Spar, Centra, SuperValu, Tesco, Gala, Mace, Londis, Costcutter, Daybreak, Topaz and Applegreen. You can find more information about joining PostPoint at www.postpoint.ie, or you can call PostPoint Retail Support on 1890 20 42 20.
Q & A with… Niall Andrews, head of sales, National Lottery
Q: In the battle for consumers’ spend, retailers need to make sure they are a ‘destination’ for their customers’; how can The National Lottery’s retail offerings help drive significantly higher footfall and increase loyalty?
A: The National Lottery is one of Ireland’s best-known retail brands, with National Lottery draw-based games and scratch cards being the biggest footfall driver in FMCG. National Lottery purchases also remain one of the most impulsive products to purchase – one in every two customers buy draw-based games and four in every five customers buy scratch cards based on decisions made at the point of sale.
To assist retailers, the National Lottery is currently rolling out a new Star Store programme to advise retailers how best to maximize lottery sales in-store and rewarding stores that achieve a high Star Mark – a simple score to measure standards in merchandising and positioning.
Draw-based games, Lotto, EuroMillions and Daily Millions Twice-A-Day continue to be firm favourites, with national adult participation rates exceeding 60% on a regular basis. Well-positioned electronic jackpot boards will continue at the point of purchase to communicate current Lotto and EuroMillions Jackpots.
Positioning the new Lottery Counter Units at the primary till will also ensure the greatest return for retailers on scratch cards. Excellent merchandising of scratch card category favourites such as All Cash, Money Multiplier and Instant €300 and €500 scratch cards will ensure an exceptional return for the retailer.
Retailers should always remember that every community in Ireland has benefitted from National Lottery funding with the monies raised for good causes, to date, topping €4.7 billion, which has resulted in many worthwhile projects receiving support from The National Lottery Beneficiary Fund.
Q: Over the last 12 months what innovations have delivered the greatest sales for retailers?
A: The National Lottery has announced a €3m investment in its new ‘Star Store’ retail excellence programme, designed to drive sales growth and ensure profitability for retailers.
The new Star Store Programme is designed to create a new standard of excellence in lottery retailing. The programme will benefit from a significant investment from the National Lottery, including over €2m in point of purchase equipment, alone, during 2016. The new National Lottery counter units will visually enhance the Lottery offering in-store and drive significant category growth.
The Star Store Programme has been built with the National Lottery retail agent at its core and is designed to drive sales and support profitability in what is already the most profitable two feet of space in-store, due to the share of spend the Lottery category commands.
As part of the Star Store Programme, retailers receive a Star Mark – a simple scoring system – to measure in-store standards of positioning and merchandising. Based on this score, Star Rewards are given out to recognise retail excellence, execution and effort. With our retailers, we devise a store specific Star Plan, to identify opportunities and develop strategies to grow the Lottery business in-store, which is delivering an increased ROI for retailers.
Together with its retailer partners, the National Lottery has significant plans to grow the Lottery business to €1 billion, which will benefit players, good causes and retailers.
Q: Are there plans for any new products in the pipeline?
A: The National Lottery commercial team are continuously working on plans to ensure the product portfolio remains attractive and appealing. Product innovation is at the core of what we do in the National Lottery.
New scratch card products such as the Money Multiplier family and Instant €300 and Instant €500 are proving to be very popular. The Winning Streak TV Gameshow will also return in autumn with scratch cards going on sale in August. Draw-based games are constantly under review to ensure players and retailers have the most exciting and enjoyable games possible.
Retail driven strategies are fundamental to the success of The National Lottery, new customer programmes to improve in-store execution and maximise store potential will continue to be our commercial focus.
Q & A with…
Barry Keegan, sales director at Payzone
Q: Who are Payzone?
A: Today, Payzone has established its position as Ireland’s largest provider of multi-channel consumer payments and owns one of the largest physical retail payments networks in the country with 11,500 points of sale across over 7,000 retail agents. The business processes over 73 million transactions annually across a variety of electronic transactions services, including mobile phone top ups; debit/credit card transactions; M50 motorway toll payments; Leap travel cards; local property tax payments; parking payments, pre-paid utility and parcel collection services.
Q: In the battle for consumers’ spend, retailers need to make sure they are a ‘destination’ for their customers. How can Payzone’s solutions help drive significantly higher footfall and increase loyalty?
A: Independent research undertaken by Red C demonstrated that Payzone services attract a higher volume of customers into retail stores who subsequently bring additional revenue with further in-store spend. One key finding highlights that 80% of Payzone customers choose their local store specifically because it provides Payzone services. Consumer feedback highlights how convenience, choice, ease of use, ability to use cash and control spend, are key factors in why customers like and are drawn to using Payzone services.
Our recent achievement in being awarded the Supplier of the Year, as voted by retailers, at the annual XL Retail Forum, (part of the BWG group), is a real vote of confidence in the work and added value that Payzone delivers for retailers.
Q: What innovations/NPD have you planned for the coming year?
A: Payzone remains very focused on continuing to deliver innovative payment services that drive greater efficiency and increased revenues for our retail partners.
Plans are in place to launch a new distribution deal and service with The Gift Card Company, which will see the multi-store gift card, branded FromMe2You, available for purchase through participating Payzone retail agents nationwide. This innovative service will provide a new attractive offering for retailers and give them a stronger foothold in the growing gift card market, which is expected to be worth over €1 billion by 2017.
Q: What advice can you offer retailers to drive sales in this category?
A: Our advice to retailers is to understand changing patterns and trends around consumer shopping behaviour and react accordingly. They should continue listening and meeting the needs of their customers for a broad and ever evolving range of convenient, low value transactions and services which result in repeat consumer visits to their local store.
For the retailer, this will deliver a loyal customer who sees the retailer as a single destination that can facilitate the purchase of multiple products and services, thereby delivering an increase in the overall basket value.
Controlling the cost of sales should always be a key focus for retailers. Payzone works closely with retailers to identify areas within their business where savings can be made on everyday costs such as payment card processing, cash management and other critical business services, driving greater efficiency for their store.
At Payzone, we are very much committed to supporting retailers to ensure we deliver the services they will require in order to grow their business.