Insights to Help You Change Redemption Vendors

From Vendor X ️☹️ to Redemption Plus 😍

We’ve heard these questions more and more in recent months: “How do we switch up vendors for our redemption?” and “We have more inventory than we know what to do with, what now?”

These are valid questions and we’ve been focused on finding the right solution for our new or expanding customers. The ideal situation is to control cost-of-goods while also bringing in high-velocity product that drives revenue.

Luckily, we can assist with this transition through some basic steps, which help prep your redemption counter and product storage area for switching vendors.

In addition, we offer a Merchandising 101 eCourse and Merchandising services to jump-start your transition to a high-performance redemption program.

1 | 3–2 weeks from your switch, stop pulling product from your redemption wall. 🛑

What?! Yes, you read that right. In order to transition smoothly to a new vendor, keep your wall stocked. Instead, pull items from your back stock. Use a plastic crate or cabinet storage at your counter to put 3–4 of each wall item for your staff to pull from instead.

Why? First, when your wall starts looking empty, this decreases your customers’ drive to redeem a prize. A “picked over” and empty wall is interpreted as “all the good stuff is gone” by your players. Keep the walls looking stocked for as long as possible.

Second, going through your back stock first frees up storage space you’ll need to put excess wall items and new product once you make the transition. The old items will become your Manage Out or Sale section products. (More tips on how to manage excess inventory here).

If you don’t have a lot of storage space or excess inventory to pull from that’s okay, too! Be sure your employees pull items to the front of the pegs, which will allow for your area to look fuller to your customers. We have inventory control clips to help with that as well. Once you start getting holes in your wall, begin ordering from your new vendor in small quantities until your merchandise reset can happen.

2 | 3–2 weeks from the switch, decide which bin items should be a part of your party bags and give away’s.

All that candy shouldn’t go to waste! Distributing it to other parts of your business will make those areas even sweeter.

Pro Tip: Working up to your transition, you could allow your employees to bonus your guests. For every wall item redeemed, throw in a piece of bin candy as a thank you to your customers (Mom and Dad like candy, too, you know). If you don’t move through all of your bin items before your move to a new vendor, that’s okay. You’ll have some back stock for your parties and events in the future!

3 | 2 weeks from the switch, make certain your new vendor has all the correct measurements to make a solid recommendation for your initial order.

Better yet, take some pictures of your walls and counter. It will also help to measure available wall space and count the number of free bins you have. Send it to your account representative before your initial order to help with the order planning process. Knowing what size bins you have also helps your merchandising team make smart inventory decisions.

Let your new vendor know how much storage space you have available, as well. We’ve seen it all: large rooms, broom closets, plastic totes…more broom closets. Knowing your storage situation will save you and your account representative confusion and headache while creating your new merchandising plan.

4 | Let the promotions begin!

The weekend before you make your transition, run a “WOGO” promotion in your redemption area. WOGO? Win One Get One. When your customers redeem a prize of say, 150–500 tickets, they get one prize of equal or lesser value.

Pick a section or two that has the most product to move (but lowest cost to you) and simply give the item within that ticket range to the customer when they’re redeeming their tickets for other prizes.

Pro Tip: As part of your promotion, make the “GO” part contingent upon signing up for your email list. In other words, the prizes you choose to bonus can only be redeemed by the customer if they join your email list. You can easily print out an email sign form and place it at your redemption counter. Be sure to get their first and last name, too! You can personalize your emails in the future.

By the end of the WOGO promotion, your back stock in the ticket range you chose should be depleted of that section’s ticket value range and now you’ll have storage space available.

5 | On the day of your counterset or virtual merchandising session, have the people who work your redemption area come in for at least an hour to get the download on what’s changing.

At Redemption Plus, our professional merchandisers set up your redemption area by product category. The reason for your staff being there is it helps guarantee the high-quality look of your new merchandising plan for weeks after your reset.

In the past, we’ve seen the clean merchandising aspects of the reset wall and counter deteriorate within a few weeks of installing a new merchandise plan. This is because the staff didn’t know WHY the redemption area was set up the way it was. Before long, they begin “plugging in” products that are off-category and slowly, but surely, your once beautifully-merchandised redemption area goes back to being messy and “picked-through” looking.

That’s no good, folks — and costly to your business. By ensuring your staff is there when a new vendor is hired to reset your redemption area, you have enabled crucial Tribal Knowledge.

When your redemption managers get promoted or leave their position, they have at least imparted the basics of themed merchandising to your newbies and up-and-comers.

This transfer of knowledge saves you money and time. By referring to a plan-o-gram or Storyboard, the variations in SKUs and out-of-category purchases are reduced, meaning you keep refilling your walls with the right product. For more on buying in categories, check out this blog!

As always, Redemption Plus is here to help with anything throughout your switching process. We understand making a big change in your processes and vendors can be difficult and risky, so we’re just a phone call or email away.

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Insights Empower is a collection of thoughts & insights to inspire, educate and connect the Family Entertainment & Bowling Center industry. From the team at Redemption Plus, est. 2017 🎉

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