A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Early start to charity boxed Christmas card sales

We decided to kick off access to charity boxed Christmas cards early this year at our online store, and sales have been good.

Some customers purchase only cards while others buy ornaments and other items and add a box or two of cards into their purchase. The basket data is fascinating as we try and figure out the initial shopping intent.

Looking back over the charity boxed Christmas cards sales this year already and for Christmas season last year, not one of the purchases was from a customer local to us. There were several businesses that bought big, which was terrific. In fact, I think this business opportunity is something newsagents could leverage.

We have had this range of charity boxed Christmas cards in the shop through the year and while they have sold okay, it’s online where there is more interest. I guess that is because online makes it easier for us to reach those early seasonal planners.

The other point that is interesting is that shoppers love that most of our charity boxed Christmas cards are Australian designed and made.

What we are doing with this website any newsagent or other retailer could do. For us, our approach is to grow the percentage of revenue the business earns from online versus in-store. Currently, for this shop, it sits at around 40% of revenue, which is at the high end for similar local Aussie retailers. It’s tough and relentless work keeping the data on the site up to date, answering customer queries and fulfilling – but the right processes can help streamline all of this. It pays off when you get good sales and repeat business.

In fact, repeat business is key for this type of seasonally-focussed business.

We are five years in and still growing, which we appreciate.

Anyway, back to my point – people are shopping early for charity boxed Christmas cards so if you have stock in the back room, consider getting it out and pitching it on social media and elsewhere. Being in front of an opportunity and winning business is better for you than someone else getting that revenue.

Footnote: the shop managing fulfilment of these purchases is not the same shop I mentioned in my previous post.

Greeting Cards

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