For a bevy of reasons, the holiday season is when the most gift cards fly off the shelves near your cash register. Since people will be out shopping for presents for their loved once in the upcoming weeks, it’s the perfect time to promote gift cards to your customers and their loved ones.
As the holidays approach, consider the value of gift cards from multiple perspectives and review the best ways to stimulate gift card sales.
How gift cards benefit both business and consumer
The beauty of gift cards is that they’re convenient for everyone involved. Your store reaps rewards when people purchase them, and those gift-givers don’t have to worry about choosing the wrong gift.
Gift cards provide businesses with increased cash flow, extra profits and additional customers. You receive a boost from the sale of gift cards because you’re being paid in advance for your products. While the $50 is already in your account, it may be several weeks or months before it’s redeemed for merchandise.
There are two ways businesses earn more money on gift cards than other transactions. The National Retail Federation routinely finds that people spend more than the amount on the gift card when they redeem it. That $50 could serve as the starter fund for a larger purchase once the customer sees your exciting store displays. Alternatively, recipients may not use the full amount on the gift card when they shop. As a result, that unused balance is bonus income for your business.
Finally, when your current patrons buy gift cards for their friends and family, your customer base is organically expanding. You may also see increased sales on your full-price items when shoppers use gift cards because they feel less restricted to discounted merchandise, MoreBusiness.com noted.
Buying gift cards for loved ones is a great idea because it’s an easy way to please. People who don’t personally shop at your store might not be familiar with the merchandise or have a solid grasp on the taste of the recipient. Instead of hunting for an item that their loved one might not like, they can give the gift of options. Additionally, they can often put any amount of money on a gift card, meaning they spend the exact chunk of change they hoped to. However, it’s a more personal offering than cash or a check because it pertains to one of their loved one’s interests or passions.
On the other hand, receiving a gift card is excellent because you have the freedom to choose any product you want. Rather than accepting a present you don’t need then trekking to the store for a return or exchange, you’re completely in control.
How to market gift cards
Since friends and family often buy gift cards for their loved ones, it’s best to promote the cards to both parties.
An easy way to market your gift cards to people who already shop at the store is online. Assuming they follow you on social media and subscribe to your emails, you should be crafting posts and email releases about the availability of gift cards, if you haven’t already. Don’t forget to mention the upsell – Gift Card Boxes and Folders. You can include a few notes on why gift cards are an excellent option this holiday season to encourage people to add one to their wish lists. The other side of the coin is inspiring loved ones to buy gift cards for your patrons.
It isn’t too late to post signs that promote your gift cards. Make note of the cards near window displays, next to the cash register and on message boards in front of the store. This is a great way to target last-minute shoppers, according to Inc. magazine. Those are the best people to market gift cards to in general, since it only takes a few minutes to pick up a card for loved ones – no browsing or selecting necessary.
If you want to make your gift cards more enticing, consider setting up a system where they can be registered, U.S. News suggested. Whether that means documenting who buys each one or setting up an online form for people who receive the cards, it increases the value for consumers. A record of store credit helps forgetful or disorganized shoppers who misplace their card.