Thousands of businesses have discovered that selling gift cards is an effective method to attract new consumers, increase income, encourage expansion, and more. Whether your company has a gift card program in place or is just beginning, the holiday season is the ideal time to maximize the value of your gift cards.
Gift cards are typically a top seller over the holidays. But how can you ensure that your gift card sales increase this year? Here are 5 tips to optimize gift cards in holiday seasons.
What Is A Gift Card?
A gift card is a type of payment that can be applied at retail stores. Retailers or consumers put money onto the card, which can then be used at any store that accepts this form of money.
When launching the gift card program, there are two types of gift cards to consider: open-loop and closed-loop gift cards. Retailers can profit from both of these alternatives, but closed-loop cards are the more suitable option for a small business. Here is the reason why.
While gift cards with an open loop can be used anywhere, those designed just for your shop are known as closed-loop gift cards. We would recommend closed-loop gift cards for small to medium companies. This is because they’re designed to be used just in your store and not elsewhere.
Gift cards are one of the simplest methods to begin if you want to raise sales, establish meaningful relationships with your consumers, improve traffic, and expand your brand. Producing them is incredibly cost-effective, and the potential cash you might generate makes them crucial to a developing company.
5 tips to maximize the use of gift card in holiday seasons
Make gift cards available on different platforms
Greater loyalty and a sense of commitment to a brand can be built by using gift cards. In fact, with the latest developments of eCommerce, omnichannel shoppers also buy more items and shop more frequently than other types of buyers. A modern approach to gift card sales and redemption may be the basis on which merchants develop omnichannel strategies. Therefore, it is advisable to make gift cards available on both online and offline platforms.
When it comes to spreading the word about your gift cards, it can be beneficial to use all of your marketing outlets. In other words, if you use specific platforms or devices to communicate and advertise your products to customers, you should also use the same platforms or devices to communicate and promote gift cards. Some of the most popular channels are physical retail, online, email, and social media.
Integrate gift cards into holiday promotions
For all kinds of companies, creating timely promotions to increase gift card sales may be a win-win approach. Customers who spend a particular amount of money at a fashion store, for example, can receive a complimentary set of accessories. Brands could also think about introducing incentives that are only valid for purchases made using gift cards. Offering such deals will increase total consumer spending and provide a reason for customers to return after the holidays.
Let’s take a successful example of Sephora, a personal care and cosmetic products business based in France. In December, Sephora ran a re-engagement campaign for its loyalty program members. The program gives out $15 gift cards applicable for purchases above $50 for a limited time (11 days), which happened just before the Christmas season.
Make use of technological support
Gift card programs can hardly be tracked manually due to the high risk of errors and the big time consumption. Therefore, it is advisable to use technology to support you in this process.
There are various third-party gift card extensions on the market nowadays. Besides that, a point of sale (POS) system is also another common technological assistance. This is because many of them can support the use of gift card and directly integrate it into sales. If you are looking for a POS that can do so, don’t hesitate to give ConnectPOS a try. As a leading point of sale provider for retailers, ConnectPOS takes pride in the omnichannel features, including excellent gift card integration.
Promote gift cards in marketing efforts
Gift card purchases can also be in marketing messages running up to the holiday, for example, in newsletters, landing pages, etc. Brands should include gift card-related details and emphasize the benefits of using gift cards in their establishments and on their websites, such as when creating Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing sequences.
A great example of this strategy is Vivid Seats LLC, a privately held company that operates an online ticket marketplace. Customers who had previously purchased from them received a $30 gift card as part of a thank-you campaign. This is a great way to market the service while encouraging customers to spend more on the site.
Make a limited gift card version
Gift cards are popular among consumers, especially for special occasions. Not only are gift cards the most popular present item among customers, but they also rank high on the list of products given out over the holidays.
This is why investing in occasion-specific (holiday) gift card pays off. You may consider designing or manufacturing gift cards for particular occasions such as birthdays, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and so on, in addition to the regular cards you give.
For example, Air France is a KLM Group subsidiary and a French airline. They’ve started Valentine’s Day campaign to boost sales of their gift cards. The company gave $30 in bonus gift card credit for each Valentine’s Day gift card purchased, with a personalized message such as “Evelyn, gift card special: $30 bonus for your Valentine”. Just small customization like this can make a big difference in your gift card program.
When it comes to selling gift card during the holiday season, one of the most common mistakes businesses make is failing to advertise them. Remember that many consumers will not buy gift cards simply because they are available. To get the most out of these cards, you should be more active in distributing them and keep upgrading your efforts.
If you want to know more about ConnectPOS and gift card functions, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information!