Loyalty / Sales & Marketing / Software Updates

Spread Joy & Generate Cash Flow With Online Gift Cards

A connection with a customer might start with something as simple as them watching an Instagram Live of yours, or noticing your shop front while strolling down the street… but it might also very well start with a gift card! And while gift cards are nothing new — the concept was invented in 1994 by Neiman Marcus — you’d probably have a hard time naming someone you know who, to this day, has never purchased one.

They’re a powerful asset for businesses and an uplifting gift for those who receive it. That’s why at a time like these, we’re excited to introduce Phorest Salon Software’s Online Gift Cards feature; a great way to keep revenue coming into your salon 24/7!

Table of contents

  • Thousands in revenue for salons and spas in the USA
  • One of the main pillars of the #SupportYourSalon movement
  • Marketing your salon’s Online Gift Cards
  • Further your learning, better your results

Thousands in revenue for salons and spas in the USA

Whether in the process of getting back to business or still closed due to government measures against the novel coronavirus, salons all across the United States are generating revenue with Phorest’s Online Gift Cards feature.

Take Angela Taormino from Union Beauty in New York, who has been one of the many salon owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. She had to close her salon doors in late March with little to no warning and was left with a hefty hole in her income.

Seeing an opportunity in the Online Gift Cards feature, she reached out to Phorest to get it switched on and turned a crisis into cashflow: “We saw many salons were advertising to their clients to buy gift cards for future services. So when we put that out to our clientele, and had a quick, efficient tool in Phorest to point them to, it worked. We added it to our Instagram bio and did a couple of posts on Instagram and Facebook, advertising the promotion. I sent an email to our whole database Sunday morning that included the link, and we also added it to our website.”

Angela noted that having a great client base and good communication was the key to her Online Gift Card campaign’s success, as was being business savvy and giving something back to the community trying to help salons stay healthy.

She explained, “We have amazing generous clients and good client relationships, and that helps because now that we’re asking, people want to help. We’ve sold $15K and counting in gift cards using the link Phorest generated for me.”

Other success stories included the ones of Natalie Grider, Appearances Salon and Retreat, IL who commented:

And of Coral Pleas, Cutting Loose Salons in Florida:

“When Phorest first mentioned the ability of selling Gift cards while we were closed I was skeptical. With their guidance and the ease it was for our guests, we launched it Friday, April 3rd, 2020 and by Monday, April 5th, 2020 we had an additional $10,000 in our bank between our two locations. I feel it was a win/win as the guests were reaching out wanting to help and this gave them the opportunity. Through this COVID-19 experience, Phorest has been a huge support system.”

One of the main pillars of the #SupportYourSalon movement

The #SupportYourSalon movement started shortly after the announcement that the novel coronavirus had become a pandemic; when governments around the world ordered businesses to close temporarily. In response to the financial impact this measure would have on salons and spas, clients were initially invited to reschedule their appointments, write a Google review, share their previous appointment looks to social media and more recently, encouraged to purchase an online gift card. The latter, immediately helping salons with their cashflow.

However, other key benefits include (and always will, even in a post-COVID-19 era):

  • Increased brand awareness
  • More holiday sales (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Friends and Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.)
  • Increased client engagement
  • Convenience (available for online purchase 24/7 and your clients can choose from preset amounts to a bespoke price, bought for themselves or someone else)

Two-fold engagement

Gift cards are unique in the way that they create a two-fold engagement every time one sells. While the giver acts like an ambassador, the receiver, on the other hand, is often new to your brand and ready to embrace the experience fully.

Marketing your salon’s Online Gift Cards

The capability to generate sales like Nathan Jermy, Emma Wilson and Christine Cunningham is at your fingertips too! In three simple steps from within your Phorest software, you can send your first campaign to your clients so you can both stay in touch and turn their goodwill and well wishes into cash in the bank for when you reopen.

The beauty of selling Online Gift Cards is that even during social distancing times, you can see revenue come in at any time of the day. In fact, since April 1st, Phorest salons worldwide have sold over €1million in gift cards to be redeemed once non-essential businesses are allowed to reopen!

A simple three-step process

Step One: Enable online gift card sales in your system — it’s a single click process. If you’re currently a Phorest Salon Software client and would like to set up your Online Gift Cards feature, click here. If you’re not yet a client, request a demo or a quote today!

Step Two: Smart link your gift card purchase link directly into your email and SMS templates from within your Phorest marketing suite. On the purchase screen, your clients will then be able to choose from preset amounts to a bespoke price, bought for themselves or someone else. Our ready-made #SupportYourSalon campaign template was used by 9 out of our top 10 revenue-making salons in April.

Step Three: Copy and paste your Online Gift Card link to your social platforms and let your followers know how they can #SupportYourSalon by posting this video.

“Pledge” wording and COVID-19 related limitations

As you may have heard, some industries have had their CC processing shut down altogether during this time, so we really appreciate our processor working with us to keep this working. As a result of this, some limitations were imposed by said credit card processors:

  • There is a max gift card limit of $400 which may be able to lift back up once the pandemic is over.
  • The purchase page was reworded to clarify better that your clients are pledging the salon the money in return for a complimentary gift card of the same value.
  • There is a limit on the number of times a particular credit card can be used within a month.

You can read more here.

Further your learning, better your results

You might have heard this before, but our Education team goes by the mantra “the more you know, the more you grow.” That’s why we have free learning resources for you to understand the benefits of selling online gift cards, as well as step-by-step guides to help you make your experience a true success story.

Step-by-step guides for Phorest Salon Software clients:

Get Phorest Academy certified

Phorest Academy is the one-stop online education shop where you and your team can learn all about how Phorest works and how it can help positively impact your business. If you’re currently a Phorest Salon Software client, log in and get started with the “Online Gift Cards: Generating Cash Flow” course.

What you can expect from the Phorest Academy:

  • Interactive, online and on-demand training
  • Learning on the go with the Litmos App
  • A library of regularly added and updated courses
  • Interactive Phorest systems
  • Phorest Academy Certification for each course

Neil Ducoff on cash flow management & mapping out a financial recovery

With so many unknowns, building a monthly financial plan can be overwhelming. And like anything overwhelming to us, the best way to reduce stress is to break the task down into bite-size pieces.

In this Phorest FM episode, Neil Ducoff, CEO and founder of business training and coaching company Strategies discusses the current crisis’ financial stressors & shares free tools to both set accurate reopening prices for salon services and map out a healthy cash flow recovery plan.

Click here to find out more about Strategies’ 13-Week Cash Flow Recovery Tool.

If you’ve had great success selling gift cards yourself, let us know either in the comments below or tweet us @ThePhorestWord — we’d love to hear your story! (Pssst! We’re on Instagram too!)

Thanks for reading! #LetsGrow

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