How Selkirk sold $595,000 of gift cards in one year

Selkirk Biz updated to a modern Gift Card with Miconex January 13th, 2022. Over $595,000 Selkirk Biz Buck$ were sold in 2023

Selkirk Biz is the local chamber of commerce which has served St. Andrews, St. Clements, West St. Paul, East St. Paul and the City of Selkirk since 1901. First launching their Chamber Checks program in 2018, Selkirk Biz updated to a modern Gift Card with Miconex January 13th, 2022. Over $595,000 Selkirk Biz Buck$ were sold in 2023, with over $1.2 million of Selkirk Biz Buck$ Gift Cards sold since launch in 2022. 

Alice Skalesky is Executive Director at Selkirk Biz and told us more about their Gift Card program

When did you launch your Gift Card?

“Our community is very big on supporting local. Chamber Checks were successful but they were only accepted at certain locations. Our reasoning for introducing a new, high-tech Selkirk Biz Buck$ Gift Card was to build on the shop local ethos with a program that was easier for everyone. A benefit of the Gift Card for customers is that it works and looks like a regular Gift Card. It goes into people’s wallets, and seeing it there in their wallet is a reminder to use the card and support local. We’re also fortunate to have lots of businesses who are part of the Chamber, and very involved in our activities. Having a high-tech Gift Card helps us to advertise their businesses better.”

How do you sell your Gift Card?

“We sell our Selkirk Biz Buck$ Gift Card in person from Selkirk Home Hardware, a business that is very involved with the Chamber and also a central, convenient location in Selkirk. Corporate orders of over $1,000 are facilitated through the Chamber office, but we’ve found that people prefer to buy in person and will often go down to Home Hardware to pick up the cards as there is no wait period. At Home Hardware, we have a card swiper, so people can request the amount they want loaded onto the card.

“For places thinking of launching a new Sales Point, I’d suggest setting it up at a popular business that people visit regularly, such as a grocery store or hardware store that will have lots of foot traffic, and is also easy to get to, with good opening hours.” 

What benefits have you seen from your Gift Card?

“Our Gift Card program is thriving thanks to the community's steadfast commitment to local businesses.  The cards, designed to encourage local spending, not only boost the local economy but also foster a sense of community pride and resilience, incentivizing residents to explore and rediscover the diverse offerings of their hometown.

“Corporate sales have grown substantially since we switched to our new Selkirk Biz Buck$ Gift Card. Chamber Checks were confusing for organizations, and as a Chamber, it is much easier to facilitate large corporate orders with the Selkirk Biz Buck$ Gift Card. We have everything you might need right here in Selkirk, accessible through the Selkirk Biz Buck$ Gift Card, and that’s really appealing for organizations buying the card. It also gives organizations a chance to show their support for local through their employee rewards program.

“The Gift Card has also brought benefits for our businesses, in driving foot traffic, sales and promoting their business. I think the pandemic was a big wake up call for everyone. Some businesses had to close and  the Gift Card is a tangible solution to bring new customers to our businesses. We’ve also found that when people spend their Gift Card, they tend to spend a bit more too, so that is additional revenue for businesses.”

How do you promote your Gift Card?

“We promote businesses when they sign up to accept the Selkirk Biz Buck$ Gift, and their name is on our website and the card. At the end of the year, we advertise that we take orders for the Gift Card and word gets out. If we’re holding an event, then we’ll include the Biz Buck$ Gift Card as a prize, partnering with a local business to sponsor the prize. We’ll also use the Gift Card in prize draws that we run. On a day to day basis, we have stickers on the doors of the businesses that accept the Selkirk Biz Buck$ Gift Card to encourage redemptions and also for that constant reminder about the program.”

Do you have any advice for other Gift Card programs?

“Occasionally, you may get an instance where a business has upgraded their POS and forgotten to tell you, meaning Gift Cards would be declined. Keeping in regular contact with your participating businesses, and educating them about the process for letting the Chamber or BIA know if they’ve updated their POS can minimize this issue. For us, as a small community, we have good communication channels so this doesn’t often happen. As a Chamber, we’re happy with how well the Selkirk Biz Buck$ Gift Card is going. Supporting local is such a fulfilling thing to do, and when you’re spending your Gift Card, you’re spending with friends and neighbours.”

Discover the Selkirk Biz Buck$ Gift Card today!

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