Hallmark is partnering with retailers to drive profitability by bringing the greeting card aisle to the online marketplace. The move focuses on delivering innovative solutions at a pivotal time for the grocery industry, which is experiencing online sales growth. As WGB reported earlier this year, FMI’s and Nielsen’s collaborative Digitally Engaged Food Shopper study projects that while the vast majority of all CPG dollars are presently being spent in brick-and-mortar stores, U.S. online grocery spending could grow to as much as 20% by 2025.
Hallmark’s own research discovered that online grocery shoppers are more likely to be card buyers, which emphasized the need to create a dedicated e-commerce team focused on developing strategies, solutions and tools for its retail partners to seamlessly extend their greetings aisles to their online markets.
Consumers expect to find everything they need while browsing online for their weekly groceries, including greeting cards. Showcasing such items online reminds the shopper of their card-occasion needs and makes it easy to buy personally relevant and rewarding products whenever and wherever they want.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for us to add to [a shopper’s] basket while shopping online,” said Stacey Howe, GM/VP of national accounts for the Kansas City, Mo.-based Hallmark. Whether consumers are looking at cake mix, birthday candles and more, online retailers can suggest browsing the birthday card and gift wrap selections to complete the order.
Greeting cards help increase the profitability of the virtual grocery basket, said Howe. “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.”
Hallmark reports seeing month-over-month growth in all its e-commerce channels, where its knowledge allows it to help its retailers provide a best-in-class shopping experience for customers.
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, Howe said. As such, Hallmark provides imagery designed to showcase each card’s design, texture, scale and dimension. Further, detail-rich descriptions bring card elements to life, mimicking the experience of examining a card, reading the sentiment inside and making a purchase decision. Once a shopper places the order, the retail partner can easily fulfill this product through a tailored program developed by Hallmark and the retailer’s e-commerce team. Each product comes packaged specifically for e-commerce, 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.”