How to Find Replacement and Substitutes for Your Redemption Assortment

Mike Tipton
Apr 3 · 5 min read

It’s Monday morning after a busy weekend and you’re logged on to redemptionplus.com to place your weekly order. You’re adding all your tried and true items to your cart, but a few of your favorites are out of stock. With an ETA of weeks. Or even months.

We get it! We know it’s frustrating. Especially since we’ve been carefully building Storyboards and sending out merchandising plan refreshes, only to find out that Redemption Plus’ vendor is now out of stock, or our shipping container is delayed (again). Or that an order we placed shows up on our dock with half of the items missing (yes, that happens to ALL of us!). It’s a tough time for the ol’ supply chain right now, and you’re probably experiencing this from other vendors too.

Unfortunately, this worldwide supply chain issue is going to be with us for a while. So many things are out of our control. But, what can be controlled is the fun you can share with your guests as they come back to your centers. You CAN greet them with a full and inviting redemption space. Yes, the Neon Apees we love so much aren’t available right now, but there are a ton of other options that are!

The purpose of redemption is to incentivize gameplay, and a half-filled wall redemption counter just won’t do the trick. Imagine being a 9-year old that hasn’t been to a toy store for a year. It’s literally the shopping experience they’ve been waiting for! So in that spirit, we have to seek solutions. We can’t break any kids’ hearts.

We know that a lot of you are placing orders from your Favorites list, or reordering from past orders. Sometimes, those are the very items that are out of stock. What to do? Well, we are here to help you find replacements! But we want you to know our methodology for finding suitable performing products as a short-or-long term solution to gaps in your assortment.

Watch our Vlog for more insights!

Our advice for replacements and substitutions comes in three categories: Theme, Display Method, and Ticket Value.

Theme

The most important thing to consider when replacing an item is to keep within the same theme. You wouldn’t replace a Lava Lamp with a slime, nor would you replace a plush with a sword. It’d be like going grocery shopping and finding a melon where the frozen pizzas should be. Choose an item from the same theme so as not to disrupt your display or cause confusion. You can shop our site by theme. Find replacements and substitutes by theme here.

Display Method

The second thing to consider is how the item is displayed. If the item in question hangs on a peg, it would do you little good to bring in something that needs to sit on a shelf. You’ll have to rearrange your whole setup. Instead, choose an item that displays the same way: basket for basket, shelf for shelf, peg for peg, etc. You can shop our site by Display Method as a shortcut!

Ticket Value

The third consideration is how many tickets an item costs. If the item in question is a hot seller in the Trader category (250–1250 tickets) and you bring in an item that is 5000 tickets, it’s really limiting the number of guests who will be able to redeem for that item. They’ll move on and find something else to spend their 600 tickets on (likely something within the same theme), you’ll start to move through that second item more quickly, while the 5000 ticket item sits while someone saves up tickets. Our data is showing us that 75–80% of products are redeemed in the Impulse (250 and below) and Trader categories, especially since many places are just coming back online and guests are venturing out for the first time in a while. You want to make sure the bulk of your items are available in those price ranges, and not substitute an item for something that won’t work quite as hard for you.

But we just sent you a new planogram! We just told me to buy all the items on this Storyboard! Yep, you’re right. We’re working really hard to try to bring in as many substitute options as possible to mitigate the supply chain issues. So while we told you to get the Pixel Sword with Lights and Sounds (320893), dang it, we’re out. But hey, we have the new Light Up Blue Pixel Sword 24” (323002). Find replacement and substitute items here.

323002 — Blue Pixel Sword

We might not be able to get an EXACT match, but we’re following our own rules of Theme, Display Method, and Ticket Value. Trying to find and bring in replacements quickly to cause the least amount of disruption to your redemption program. Our partnership with RINCO has increased our buying network (and decreased your prices!) so we have a lot of options and sources to work with.

As soon as we find a replacement, we’ll update the Storyboard planogram image and item listing on our website.

If you have the Balls storyboard and realize that the Monster Balls (321001) are not available, you can load up the storyboard and find exactly what we recommend and where to place it (hint: it’s the Foam Football w/ Fins 5.5” (321080)).

321080 — Foam Football w/ Fins

When you order a new item, be sure to check the box to order a new ticket label or you can go to the Quick Orders tab to order however many labels you need.

The “unprecedented events” of 2020 have some long-ranging implications for the supply chain in 2021. Throw a terrible winter storm into the mix and suddenly we have weeks or months of shipments backed up. We truly appreciate your business and ask for grace as we try to work through all of these supply challenges. You can ALWAYS contact us for replacement suggestions! Our team has tools available to help you locate a similar prize for anything you might be missing. The most important thing is to show your guests a good time and make them happy. That makes us happy.

PS. If all else fails…double face an item. This is especially helpful if it’s a popular, quick-selling sku. You won’t have to restock as frequently!

Insights Empower

Elevating the Family Entertainment & Bowling Center…

Insights Empower

Elevating the Family Entertainment & Bowling Center industry with progressive and innovative best practices for bettering businesses and communities. Also updates from Redemption Plus, learnings included

Mike Tipton

Written by

Insights Empower

Elevating the Family Entertainment & Bowling Center industry with progressive and innovative best practices for bettering businesses and communities. Also updates from Redemption Plus, learnings included