KANSAS CITY – Hallmark is partnering with retailers to drive profitability by bringing the greeting card aisle to the online marketplace. This focus on delivering new and innovative solutions comes at a time when the grocery industry is experiencing growth in online sales.
A Food Marketing Institute-Nielsen report states that U.S. online grocery spending could grow during the 2016-2025 forecast period from 4.3% in 2016 to as much as 20% by 2025.
Hallmark’s own research discovered online grocery shoppers are more likely to be card buyers, which emphasized the need to create a dedicated ecommerce team focused on developing strategies, solutions and tools for its retail partners to seamlessly extend their greetings aisles to their online markets. Additionally, consumers expect to find everything they need while browsing online for their weekly groceries – and that includes greeting cards. Showcasing greeting cards online reminds the shopper of her greeting card needs and makes it easy for her to buy personally relevant and rewarding Hallmark products whenever and wherever she wants them.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for us to add to her basket while she is shopping online,” Stacey Howe, general manager and vice president of National Accounts said in a statement. “When she is looking at cake mix or birthday candles, we can suggest she also browse a selection of birthday cards and gift wrap to complete her order.”
Greeting cards help increase the profitability of the virtual grocery basket. They are high-margin, non-perishable, and low-weight so they increase the value of the total purchase without adding complexity. Hallmark builds customized fulfillment solutions to fit each retailers needs so the process of adding a card to the order is simple and easy.
As shoppers buy greeting cards and gift wrap online at a rapid pace, Hallmark is seeing month-over-month growth in all its ecommerce channels. Hallmark’s ecommerce knowledge allows it to help its retailers provide a best-in-class shopping experience for their customer. Shopping for a greeting card is often personal and the experience is tactile as the customer picks up and puts down multiple cards during the selection process. Hallmark provides imagery designed to showcase each card’s design, texture, scale and dimension. Detail-rich descriptions bring card elements to life mimicking the experience of examining a card, reading the sentiment inside, and deciding whether to purchase.
Once they place the order, the retail partner can easily fulfill this product through a tailored program that Hallmark develops with the retailer’s ecommerce team. Each product comes packaged specifically for ecommerce, making it quick and easy to add to a grocery order.
“Our initial partnerships with retailers are already generating strong results and we are taking key learnings from these experiences to optimize our tools and drive even better results,” said Howe. “Flexibility in our operational approach is key. We adapt to fit within a retailer’s existing capabilities, and iterate alongside them as they grow.”