Monday, December 5, 2016

Can a Little Key Tag Really Grow My Business? YES! It Absolutely Can!

It’s almost that time again.  With a new year on the horizon, businesses of all types are trying to grow and maintain customer loyalty.  One of the best ways to do both is to incorporate a loyalty key tag program. 

Who doesn’t love rewards and perks.  You can encourage customers by giving them rewards points, or incentives, for purchases. Signing up for emails on the company website is great, but they can be overlooked.  And it is very simple to scan a barcode to bring up their information to easily apply their reward. You can also apply savings coupons as well, so they can save money.  If you prefer to not have points or rewards, you can still offer account specific savings.
Loyalty Key Tags

Having a key tag right on your customer’s key ring is a constant prompt to use it. Everyone has car keys.  You can’t leave without them; Make them high color with a barcode so they stand out against other items on their key ring to get noticed. It is also great for your employees.  Sometimes customers get sidetracked and forget to apply their loyalty key tag.  If your employees can keep an eye out for members, or non-members, they can provide even better, more personalized service.  

Loyalty programs are growing, and just about every industry can take advantage of this innovative product.  If you are a grocery store or gas station, you can offer incentives for buying food or gas.  If you are a retail store, you can offer rewards points for purchases.  You gain an entire wealth of knowledge because you can track your customers purchases will a simple barcode scan.  It is not only going to retain current customers, but it can give you a gateway to new ones. It is definitely worth the investment!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Do Fundraiser Cards Really Live Up to Expectations?

The answer to that question is YES. Fundraiser cards can absolutely help your organization not only raise money, but keep a large percentage of the proceeds. All it takes is a little planning, and some creative sales, to get a program started and raise money.

Knowing where to start is sometimes the biggest challenge.  Local businesses traditionally like sponsoring home town causes.  It makes them look great and shows their community loyalty. So with that said, the best place to start is going to your local store owners to see if they want to offer a coupon, discount, freebie, or anything that will get customers in their doors and help the cause. Depending on the number of offers you receive will most likely determine what type of fundraising piece to design and order. If you have several offers, 15 or less, then you can use a single fundraiser card to capture all of the great values on the back of the card. However, there are times where you may want to opt for a card/key fob combination if you have the following scenarios:

    Fundraiser Card with Back Offers
  • If you have a business that just wants to have a one-time offer, put that offer on the key fob for redemption; the card portion can be kept for the ongoing promotions.
  • You are offering a value card where family members can take advantage of the offers.  The family member can have a key fob to keep on them, while one member keeps the actual card.
  • Maybe a business wants the extra real-estate to put their information and logo for the ongoing promotion.  The buyer can keep that on their key fob on a key ring specifically for that business for an ongoing promotion. 

Fundraiser Card with 3 Key FobsChoose from 1, 2, 3 and 5 additional key fobs to add to your piece depending on your needs. The nice thing about managing the program yourself, and not having an outside fundraising company help, is you get to keep more of the profits and stay efficient because you are not splitting commissions another company, your operating costs stay down, and there is no product to worry about handing out.  In fact, your operating costs could actually be paid for if you charge the business to advertise on the card. There are many creative ways to get more bang for your buck using fundraising cards. Check out sites such as The Fundraising Authority where there are several articles about fundraising including marketing ideas and various other resources to help you with your next project.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Everyone Eats Right? Why Restaurants Should Take the Plunge and Offer Gift Cards!

Buying gifts for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions is more stressful for some people than the actual holiday itself. Trying to guess what the person wants… will they hate it… will they return it… so much guesswork that is has become very commonplace to purchase a gift card instead of an a actual gift. Many retail stores, and almost all chains, offer them now.  And why not?  It doesn’t really matter what you buy…they just want you to come in and shop. This is why a gift card is perfect: 

    Restaurant Gift Cards from Printingworx
  • They get you in the door to purchase the gift card.
  • You may buy other things while you are there to purchase your gift card.
  • You will turn around and give your gift card to the recipient giving them another customer.
  • The recipient will come in and use their card and either spends more than the card value…or they may even spend less. 

No matter how you look at it, the store has made money…and potentially even more depending on the customer’s behavior in the store.  This should be the easiest way to gain more business. Sooooo….where do restaurants fit in?

Restaurants really have a special advantage.  Everyone eats and most really enjoy it.  If you have great food and service, people want to share that experience.  And lucky for restaurants, people eat out a lot and not just on special occasions or holidays; however, according to the National Restaurant Association 6 in 10 Americans want a restaurant gift card as a holiday gift. So what better way to increase business than encouraging your patrons to buy gift cards from their favorite restaurant.  And it is easy to do. Many establishments offer incentives either by purchasing so much in cards to get a free card for themselves.  Some restaurants even offer free appetizers, drinks and dessert as well.  For some customers who planned on purchasing a gift card anyway, this incentive sweetens the deal. 

If cost is a concern, as it always should be, start small and see what happens.  Many point of sale (POS) systems already have the ability to load cards by barcode or magnetic stripe and many business owners aren’t even aware of the feature. Contact your provider…it may be as simple as turning it on, or just some additional training. Purchasing the actual plastic gift cards is actually pretty easy too.  Many POS providers will tell you that you can only purchase from them, which is not the case. A good plastic card provider can take a sample card and tell you what magnetic strip or barcode to order with your cards, and can guide you through every step of the process.  You can even have the company design your card, or if you are lucky, they offer gift card online design capabilities where you can do it on your own.  The process need not be stressful, but actually exciting; especially when you see your tables full and more profits coming through the door!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Plastic Gift Cards Could Be The Missing Piece to your Puzzle

Are sales exactly where you want them to be? Do you feel like you are doing everything you need to do in the marketing arena, but nothing is bringing in the results you want?  Well, a plastic gift card program may be exactly what your business needs to rejuvenate customers and sales.

Gift Card for RestaurantsWhat exactly do gift cards do that miraculously seems to help sales? If you think about when you get a gift card, most often than not, it seems to be a ticket to over shop.  The mentality is “I can afford to buy those $200 pair of shoes because I have a gift card for $100.” It seems silly, but many feel that way. But on the flip side, you also have the opposite where customers will purchase $28.00 worth of merchandise on a $30.00 gift card and never use the remaining $2.00 for a variety of reasons; most often it is just forgotten.  What does that mean for your business…MONEY! It doesn’t really matter if customers spend more or less than what is on their gift card; your company still wins!

There is also two big perks, as well, to offering gift cards to your customers. First, getting NEW customers! When you purchase a gift card for someone, they may, or may not, be a current customer. If they weren’t, then you now have the opportunity to keep them coming back.  And second, most people want to either give or receive a gift card because it is incredibly easy. According to the National Retail Federation, November 2015, 75% of consumers surveyed planned on purchasing at least one gift card. And out of that 75%, 82% will purchase more than one.  It’s that “more than one” alone that should peak your interest.

From restaurants to spas, everyone is taking advantage of what gift cards can do to help grow their business. There are very few industries that can’t find some benefit to offering plastic gift cards to their customers.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Can Switching Shipping Labels Really Help Reduce Mistakes?

The answer is YES! Switching labels can absolutely help eliminate costly mistakes.  There are varying degrees to how much a change can help depending on your current fulfillment center’s operations; however, if you have discovered a specific issue, you need ways to fix it and become efficient again.
Packing List and Shipping Label Combo

If mistakes are being caused by the wrong packing slip being inserted into the wrong package, there are several products out there that can help eliminate this issue. Integrated labels, full label cut sheets, and other similar combinations where the shipping label and packing list are both printed on the same form, at the same time, could help with this problem.  These label form products work well as long as you drop the packing list in the box immediately after applying the shipping label.  This will avoid accidentally dropping the wrong packing slip into the wrong box further down the line. 

However, if your process is a bit different and your box may be in several areas, or very large, another great product is the fold under label option.  The unique feature on these labels is not only do you print the shipping and packing slip information on the same form, but they never get separated…at least not until the customer has their package in their hands. Meaning when you peel-off the label, you fold under the packing slip, and affix the entire thing to the box. No mismatching!

Regardless of the option you choose, all of the options mentioned eliminate that sometimes dreaded “invoice enclosed” pouch, where you have to take the time to fold the packing list, put it in the pouch, seal it, peel off the backing, and affix to the carton. Not only does this increase your chance of errors, but it can kill productivity in a growing business. Try it for a month…a week…even a couple of days. You will be surprised at how much you can achieve, and even learn, by trying something new in your distribution center.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Shipping Labels That Make You Say HMMMMM…

When you think of shipping labels, many immediately think of the white 4” x 6” labels on a roll that go through a printer and you slap on a box. We have come a very long way, and the development of creative designs to solve unique problems is the fun part of the printing world. Don’t get me wrong, the simple labels play an extremely important role in shipping, but different is great too.
One of my very favorite shipping labels is the fold-under label. This design solved a very interesting set of issues: 

Fold Under Label - Printingworx1.       How can we print a shipping label and packing list in one pass to avoid mismatching mistakes?
2.       How can we save on toner? Or maybe even print heads?
3.       How can we include an invoice to a closed shipping carton without using a plastic “invoice enclosed” pouch to insert it in?

The fold-under label is one big label that had adhesive free areas.  You basically can print both the invoice/packing list and shipping label on one form eliminating costly mismatching mistakes.  Once printed, you can peel off the back label liner, fold the invoice/packing list information under, and affix the label to the box.  When the customer receives their package, they simply follow the pre-printed instructions on the label to tear off the “zip-strip” and they have their packing list in their hands. No more costly “Packing-List Enclosed” pouches.  For productivity, this means a person will not have to fold, insert, seal and affix a separate pocket to the carton and risk it falling off.

Fold-under labels are typically produced on direct thermal material, which obviously means they run through a direct thermal printer.  How does this benefit distribution centers? No toner and print heads which could potentially save them a ton of money.

It is a little mind-blowing that one shipping label can impact an FC so much.  It isn’t an option for everyone, but it is definitely worth a look !

Friday, July 8, 2016

Is Your FC Ready For The 2016 Holiday Season?

Yes…as crazy as it sounds, it is that time again already; time to begin the process of preparing for the
mad rush of orders that tend to flood in during the holidays.  And I know what you are thinking:

Distribution and shipping labels

·         What are my productivity goals?
·         Do I have enough staff?
·         Is my equipment running efficiently and ready to take on the extra load?
·         What are my contingency plans should something go wrong?
·         Do I have enough supplies?

All of these questions are very important to answer; however, out of all of them, there is one that has the potential to bring an entire distribution center to a screeching halt and IS preventable. The last question about having enough supplies is one that, if miscalculated, could cost an FC hundreds or thousands of dollars per every minute their lines are not moving.  Shipping labels, barcode labels, any other process specific distribution labels, boxes, and other consumables are absolutely a necessity to ship out products.  Lose any one of these and you will be in panic mode.

So how do you prepare and know how much you may need?  What happens if you do run out? Those two questions have a loaded answer and they both revolve around research. A distribution center needs to look at historical shipment data and combine that with projected growth percentages to get a baseline approximation of what they will need to stay afloat during the holidays. That is a very simplified way to estimate; however, it is a starting point.  Once you know those numbers, you need to take a hard look at your suppliers and make sure they can keep up with your demand, be able to provide supplies at lightning speed if needed, and do both while maintaining quality and competitive process. 

Printingworx® can do all of these and more! We are a leading expert in providing quality label printing at great prices and we understand the dynamic of distribution centers.  Not just that, we have warehouses and plant locations throughout the United States to make sure if you need labels in a pinch; we can be there!