June 19th - that's about 4 weeks away, and an important day if you have a dad, know someone with a dad, or sell to people that have dads. If you're in that last camp, we've put together some helpful hints to prepare for the Father's Day sales rush we're hoping will hit your store.
For many of us, Dad lives out of town, which means we're going to ship him a card or gift. Make things a little easier for your customers by offering free shipping to Dad's house. This takes away an excuse, and might make it cheaper to buy online and ship to Dad than it is to buy in the store and ship on your own.
Certainly not everyone can be Zappos and offer free shipping both ways, but for a couple weeks this might make good business sense. Many of us don't know what to get our Dads anyway, and the fear of an extra shipping cost just to return an un-wanted item will just push potential buyers away.
Just cause he's a man doesn't mean dad doesn't want gift wrapping, and no, opening a box is not the same as unwrapping a gift. It's a holiday and a gift, so give the people what they want.
Guaranteed Delivery Date
Many shoppers procrastinate and get worried their gift will show up after Father's Day because they delayed too long. Instead, gurantee delivery by Father's Day and give yourself an advantage against those who don't. And yes, charge more for shipping as the big day gets closer.
Bundle Items into Gift Baskets
Let's face it, most people have no idea what to get their Dad. Make gift buying easier by bundling items together based on a theme. For example, if you sell sports apparel, pair the Orioles hat and shirt together as a package deal. This makes it easy for a shopper to easily select an option without spending 20 minutes trying to find stuff on the site. Plus, you can throw in a few high margin extras to drive the profit margin up.
Create a "Gifts for Dad" Section
Make it easy to find suggested items that are popular gifts for Dad. Be sure to populate it with high margin products, and platform products where you can suggest lots of accessories to increase the average order size.
Promote Gift Cards
As we've discussed already, Dad can be tough to shop for, which is why God created gift cards. Promote them, use them, love them. If I'm a consumer, it gives me a chance to still love Dad without screwing up whether he likes orange or green better.
As a lazy son, I don't to send a card if I've already sent a gift online. Let me kill two birds with one stone and personalize a message to Dad without having to shop for, write and mail a card, as well.
Show You Care by Donating to Charity
Give a portion of every sale to charity that supports male causes like the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Partner With Something More Masculine Than You
There are many great classy groups out there that you can partner with to drive sales and awareness for both brands. For example, one of my favorites is a site called the Art of Manliness, but something like Lifehacker or Engadget could be a better fit for you.
Buy for Dad, and Get a Deal for Yourself
Sometimes I find things I like for my Dad that I also want for me. Offer your customers a deal, that if they buy one for Dad, they can get a second for themselves at a discount. It's another way to increase the average order size, and it obviously means you don't have to acquire another customer to increase revenue.
Create a Gift Suggestions Wiki
Give all your customers a chance to brainstorm together for gift ideas. You can seed the list with a bunch of ideas, but allow customers to contribute to the list as well. If done well, life just got easier for gift buyers everywhere.
Put a couple ideas into practice and let us know how they go! Everyone loves their Dads, and if you help us out, we'll love you too.