In a significant development for the industry, the UK’s largest greeting card wholesaler, Budget Greeting Cards has just gone live on its first ever fully-fledged e-commerce site (https://bgcwholesale.com/), offering over 7,000 different greeting card, giftwrap and party products, with thousands more to follow.
Up until now BGC’s focus has been on wholesaling products (including a vast selection of its own greeting cards) to retailers from its nine wholesale cash & carry branches (comprising 600,000 sq ft display space), located throughout the UK and Ireland.
Now, via the new website it will mean BGC can broaden its geographical reach as well as better serve its customers’ needs, offering a next day delivery service for weekday orders placed before 3pm.
Budget’s serious move into online was mooted in March last year when Canadian-based private equity company, Ardenton Capital acquired a 51% in the business from founders Paul and Martin Lavery. (https://www.pgbuzz.net/51-stake-in-budget-greeting-cards-sold-to-canadian-private-equity-company-ardenton-capital/#:~:text=In%20what%20is%20a%20thumbs,Budget%20Greetings%20Studios%20(BGS).
“The success of our website will inform the future of our business,” Mike Spence, operations manager of Budget Greeting Cards told PG Buzz. “It will signal potential new sites for additional branches as well as highlight product trends. Up until now, our large selection of BGC Studios greeting card ranges, for example have only been available in our branches, this gives us an opportunity to offer them to a much wider customer base,” he added.
Mike, who has been instrumental in the development of the new e-commerce platform over the last six months is delighted by the take-up from customers already, with 600 clicking on the site within half an hour of it going live last Friday. “We are getting the first batch of orders out now,” Mike told PG Buzz yesterday. “We still believe that customers will continue to come into the branches for the bulk of their orders, but the web allows them to top up in between visits.”
The prices are exactly the same whether retailers select them in a branch or via the website. While there are already many thousands of products already loaded onto the site, more will be added daily.
“Our initial focus was to upload our own exclusive ranges of everyday greeting cards and giftwrappings, but we will be adding seasonal ranges as well as those from wholesale publishers,” confirmed Mike. “We will be further expanding the selection of party products as well as adding a comprehensive selection of stationery and giftware,” he added.
While initially, Budget will only be offering the website facility to UK customers the plan is to extend the service to export customers.
As well as providing a live ordering system, the new website hosts several videos which give a flavour of the scope of the Budget business.
Click below to see the one that features on the home page: