3 Ways to Increase Your Gift Card Sales This Week. And Why That Matters.
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
Many ecommerce-first and digitally native brands currently have a gift card option available through their eCommerce platform such as Shopify or WooCommerce. But what many of those brands don’t know is that the gift card can open a doorway to all new sales they may be missing out on if key strategies are implemented. There’s a reason brands like Nordstrom, Nike, Sephora, and Starbucks all have multi-person gift card teams and it’s not just because they’re a big brand. It’s because they chose to invest in and develop the program for a larger ROI.
Throughout the years, the research is consistent in showing that gift cards not only increase brand awareness and drive spending, but they also increase the average amount a customer spends above and beyond the card, and the longstanding retailers have seen this occurrence year after year. These brands’ programs may be the definition of gift card goals but for most brands, increasing sales and program performance doesn’t require a massive team or even a 12 month road map. On most platforms, it’s possible to see program improvement with a few small and easy tweaks.
1.Let people know about it.
One of the biggest mistakes retailers make is forgetting that their gift card is a product. It is something that needs to be marketed just as anything else sold on the brand website. Think about how your brand announces a new product— often that includes email announcements, social media posts, and key placement on the website to create awareness.
All of these marketing methods can help increase gift card sales as well. A strong push to increase the gift card program is likely to result not only in an immediate uptick in sales but also increase consumer awareness that will show during other key gifting times. With regard to evergreen gift card promotion, a good rule of thumb is that your brand should be discussing and promoting its gift card and loyalty program to consumers as much as it promotes its social media presence.
2.Incentive gift card purchases
You may have seen large brands offer promotions such as “Buy a $50 gift card and get a $10 “bonus card” or other similar incentives. Depending on your gift card platform, a promotion like this can be easy to execute but some platforms may not offer this exact capability. By looking at your program through the lens of branded currency there are other ways to incentivize a gift card purchase beyond providing another card. Most ecommerce platforms allow retailers to send incentives, such as promotional codes worth a specified amount if certain conditions are met.
The difference between a gift card, promotional card, or promotional value may sound like unnecessary semantics, but they are important distinctions due to regulations for things such as redemption restrictions, expiration, and escheatment.
Gift card (physical and digital):
Activated at point of sale
Same as cash
Cannot restrict use
Escheatment laws apply
Can limit redemption times, parameters
Used as credit towards purchase
Escheatment laws do not apply
3. Review and adjust current merchandising strategies
Just like a gift card needs to be marketed as a product, it also needs to be merchandised as a product. It is best practice to have one-click links to your gift card page on the brand homepage above the fold, rather than hidden under tabs such as “shop”, or worse, buried in the footer.
Additionally, your gift card offering should be one of the first items featured in any gift guide and included at the end of every category section for customers who are browsing for a gift. Customers need to be constantly reminded because often the idea of a gift card simply doesn’t occur to them. Because a gift card is so flexible and can easily stand in for any other product, it should have clear and visible placement throughout the website. More advanced merchandising can include having gift card suggested in lieu of an out of stock item page. Further, ensuring that your gift card is included in “suggested product” sections, especially for items under a gifting category can help influence consumers to pair a gift card with smaller items in order to create a full gifting experience.
These are just three ways your brand can start enhancing its gift card program that can provide a large ROI for their brief implementation. For more information about how to increase your gift card sales and improve your branded currency program, check out our bi-weekly podcast, Flourish in a Flash, available on iTunes and Spotify.