NZFP's gift voucher research results

When a newly married couple who had been given two $200 gift vouchers for their wedding present visited NZ Fine Prints to redeem their vouchers they happened to casually ask Ben what was the most common voucher value that we sold for wedding presents. It wasn't a statistic that we actively measured and it sparked a debate as to whether customers purchased vouchers of different amounts for different occasions - and what was the average value of the gift vouchers we sold anyway?

NZ Prints Gift Voucher
Customers have been able to buy email gift vouchers (pictured at left) through since the mid 1990s and traditional postal gift vouchers have been sold by NZ Fine Prints for longer than anyone working here now can remember (given that prints are the perfect arty gifts from NZ we have been delivering the physical prints as gifts since the 1960s).

It didn't take us long to realise that it was impossible to determine what gift occasion the vouchers were being purchased for - we might have been able to work this out for each separate voucher by analysing the messages sent to the gift recipient but A) We don't retain the gift message on file and B) this wasn't appropriate privacy wise as the information would not be collected for this particular purpose!

However we have worked out our most commonly given gift voucher/certificate is for $100 (although Stats 101 is a long a time ago for this writer we think this number is called the mode). The average amount over the last ten years has been a gift of just over $80, although we can see trend for higher value vouchers over this time - probably simply due to inflation or perhaps the higher value of prints that we now stock (our average sale amount has actually trebled over the past ten years). We sell the most gift vouchers in the two months leading up to Xmas, however January is also the season for weddings in NZ so the month after Xmas is also pretty close to pre-Xmas levels. As an aside paper is the traditional first wedding anniversary gift - something that we are yet to work out a good marketing campaign around (and we have been thinking about this gift buying occasion for years) but many newly weds are already aware of this tradition without our help! We think the neat thing about the couple's choosing a print as their first anniversary gift is that it is a purchase that can be made for both of them and the decision made together, it's an present they can choose together and give it to themselves so they can both enjoy it equally...

There is an almost even split between vouchers being delivered via email and by post. In fact over 2011 we have delivered around 60 postal gift vouchers for every 40 email ones, it seems an email voucher is great when you have left buying the gift to the last minute but a physical voucher through the mail (or at the presentation) is simply a more tangible gift.

And the answer to the question that we asked most often by people buying gift vouchers....the average time from delivery to redemption is just 15 days!

The annual Xmas gift-wrap debate at NZ Prints

The tyranny of choice...
Behind the scenes in late October one of the most important aesthetic decisions of the year takes place at NZ Fine Prints. Yes, we have to choose the colour of the gift-wrap that we are going to use for Christmas!  Our gift-wrap requirements are pretty special, it has to be light (because of the cost of delivering by airmail around the world when we are charged by weight), acid free (so it does not affect the paper the prints are printed on) and suit the festive occasion for which the buyer is giving.

This decision always creates a surprising amount of heat around the office.  In the conservative corner there are strong voices supporting green and red to be used as "traditional Xmas colours", the libertarians want the gift purchaser to choose at checkout time and the warehouse manager wants blue because it is his favourite colour! 

We also were faced with finding a new supplier for our gift wrap this Xmas season because the earthquakes in Christchurch closed down our normal source.   Thanks to the delightfully named "Gold Wing" packaging wholesalers in Auckland (with the rather charming company motto: "They are like trees growing beside a stream, trees that produce fruit in season") we have our 48 boxes of Christmas wrap on the courier to us today. And this Xmas gifts will be wrapped in …. gold!