April 6, 2020
Cardthartic splits online consumer sales with brick-and-mortar stores
Cardthartic announced that, since social distancing started taking effect March 13, 2020, and store closures began, the card publisher has been splitting its online consumer sales with the brick and mortar stores that carry the company’s lines. Using the subject line “Payday!” on its email to active wholesale customers, on March 28, company founder Jodee Stevens announced the initiative. “We’re a small business, and we’re a smart and grateful one, too! We recognize that, over the past 28 years, Cardthartic was built by one after another of you believing in us enough to give our cards space in your stores; it’s as if my brainchild grew up playing in your loving homes:)! We know that our online customers could have discovered Cardthartic from only one source: You. And there’s only one way we’ll all still thrive: Together,” noted Stevens.
“We have always enjoyed a large and very engaged following — our Cardies love our cards and the shops where they buy them — so the week of March 9, when it became clear that stores would need to close, we began using our weekly customer e-blasts — our Cardie Newsletter — to encourage our online shoppers to help shore up their beloved local retailers,” Stevens explained.
To make this information clear and easy for their online consumers, the company added a simple fill-in field at cardthartic.com checkout, along with the explanation, “Provide Local Store Name: Cardthartic is splitting the income from all online purchases with our Retail Partners, and knowing your hometown store will help us apply credits properly. If, in better times, you purchase our cards in a store near you, please enter the name of that store here.”
For the past two Saturdays, the company has emailed its store owners a link to an alphabetical list of retail partners that received Cardthartic account credits from orders placed the previous week; the applied amounts either reduced an open balance or will be available for use on future orders. The stores are determined by (1) a cardthartic.com customer used the fill-in field to specify that particular store or (2) if no store was specified, the company matches by zip code. Rep commissions are being applied the same way. “We’ll send an updated list weekly until we’re all back up and happily running again,” Stevens said. “It may not be much, but it’s something!”
Something it is! “The first week, a Cardie ordered $245 in cards and specified that we should split the sale with Frenz Garden Center in Thiensville, Wisconsin. Over the weekend, per Simmons in Norwell, Massachusetts, was named as the retail partner with whom we split the Cardie’s $337 order. It’s so gratifying,” shared Stevens.
To further increase sales, Cardthartic has created and actively promoted timely and sensitive curated eight card collections such as Stay-Connected and Thank the Helpers. As a result, for the three weeks March 13 through April 3, 2020, the company’s online sales are 120% higher than the same period a year ago.
Wanting to be part of this positive action, a number of Cardthartic retail partners jumped on board and sent e-blasts with art the company provided announcing the program to their own customer lists. Store owners like Megan Stockton of The Gifted in Lake Forest, Illinois, quickly posted the offer on her social media, encouraging customers to go buy online and name the store in the space provided. Books and Company in Hamden, Connecticut, did the same and several customers immediately specified the store at cardthartic.com.
“We know how caring our Cardies are,” Stevens said “And, at a time when we all feel so powerless, how eager they are to do something positive, powerful and personal, like sending cards! Just today a Cardie emailed us: ‘I’m telling all my friends, we may not be able to reach each other with our arms, but we can with a card.'”
Cardthartic has now created, and is shipping with every order, envelope stickers that read: “Spread the Love – Not the Virus,” and features an illustrated card envelope flying through the air. Retail partners are welcome to these, too. “For 28 years we’ve been telling our valued reps and retail partners, ‘we’re all in this together,’ and never has there been a more essential time to walk-the-talk.”