Bringing the Hallmark brand into B2B e-commerce
July 31, 2015 02:18 PM
Hallmark Business Connections, the business-to-business unit of greeting card manufacturer Hallmark Cards, recently appointed as CEO company veteran Tressa Angell, who says one of her key goals is “carrying the standard of the Hallmark brand as more than just a logo.”
And that means using it to build sales in B2B e-commerce as well as in its traditional sales to consumers. With 95% of orders at Hallmark Business Connections placed online, its e-commerce channel is the “right solution” for business buying, says Heather Teskey, vice president of strategy and marketing.
Founded in 2010, Hallmark Business Connections’ operates with two web sites: HallmarkBusinessConnections.com, where business clients can view text and video content and contact specialists at Minneapolis-based Hallmark to help plan and launch employee recognition, employee wellness and customer engagement programs; and shop.HallmarkBusinessConnections.com, where businesses can independently set up such programs and buy physical or digital versions of cards or certificates.
On HallmarkBusinessConnections.com, client companies can view case studies of how other businesses have worked with Hallmark to develop incentive and recognition plans for employees or customers, offering their employees physical or digital cards or certificates along with gift cards for making purchases at a popular retail store. As part of an employee health campaign, for example, a company might encourage employees to participate in exercise programs and receive a gift card upon completion.
Clients can also click directly from HallmarkBusinessConnections.com to shop.HallmarkBusinessConnections.com to purchase greeting cards or employee award certificates after planning their programs. 90% of Hallmark Business Connections online sales come from customers with accounts on HallmarkBusinessConnections.com, and 10% from customers who just use shop.HallmarkBusinessConnections.com.
Hallmark Business Connections receives online 95% of all orders for gift cards, awards, certificates and greeting cards, Teskey says. She notes that Hallmark has “thousands” of B2B customers ranging in size from Fortune 100 businesses to companies with fewer than 500 employees, and from 36 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific. Hallmark, which is privately owned, declines to reveal its B2B sales.
The 5% of orders placed offline are usually large, one-time purchases for which buyers need help from an account manager, Teskey says. “Sprint wanted to reach out to their most important customers, so they ordered one million greeting cards,” she says, referring to the wireless communications services company. “That didn’t come through online. That was a large, one-time order handled in-person. Everything else is usually done online.”
Hallmark Business Connections’ most popular offering is its e-gift card program, particularly digital gift cards used on mobile devices. Recipients enter the gift card dollar amount and award number at redeem.hallmarkbusiness.com, then choose either a digital or physical card to use at a merchant. Options include such major retailers as Amazon.com Inc., Target Corp. and movie theater operator AMC Entertainment Inc. Amazon.com is No. 1 and Target is No. 16 in the Internet Retailer Top 500, which ranks companies on their annual web sales.
Sign up for a free subscription to B2BecNews, a weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes the monthly business magazine Internet Retailer. Follow Nona Tepper, associate editor for B2B e-commerce, on Twitter @ntepper90.