Whether it be the holiday season or not, gift cards are always popular as gifts – Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, or any other occasion are all great times for gift cards. In fact, more than 81% of American adults purchase gift cards during the holidays (Nation Retail Federation).

10 Impressive Ways to Advertise Gift Cards Online

So obviously gift cards are popular, but can they be helpful to your eCommerce business? Yes they can! According to Shopatron, gift card holders spend 40% more than the actual value of the gift card, and 41% of shoppers reach a new store because of the gift card. In case that’s not enough, Shopatron also claims that 72% of gift card holders come back to the store as a returning customer!

Gift cards can be used to:

  • - Improve sales
  • - Get new customers
  • - Encourage return visitors

A Side Note about Gift Cards

Before we get going, let’s just take a minute to go over some background information about gift cards.

There are two types of gift cards that you can offer:

A physical payment card: This type of card is shipped just like any other physical item, and therefore will have a production cost of up to$1 for each card. Such a gift certificate is easy to market though.

Electronic gift card number: This type of card is emailed directly to the recipient, therefore the merchant does not have to bear the production cost. Since it is not a physical card, some people find this to be a less appealing gift.

Gift card marketing is regulated at state level, so do check the state laws where your business is located before offering such cards. Now that that is out of the way, let’s take a look at 10 ways to market gift cards!

1. Use Packages to Market Gift Cards

Adding value to a customer’s life is the theme of gift card marketing and for that purpose, sell packages, not just products. Along with gift cards, you can offer a fixed meal, few hours of cooking classes, a day spent in spa, etc. More than selling a product, you are going to provide a solution to the busy buyer. The experience with your products matters the most and appeals the customers to come back again. Most of the times, gift card buyers are not your regular customers and they do not know how much to spend, so guide them with your customized packages and win over their hearts.

By offering packages at your gift card PrestaShop store, you are going to provide your customers a feeling of purchasing a personalized gift. Shoppers may have a long list of holiday or occasion-based gifts, so be prepared about how much value you can offer in packages. Guide your customers through shopping process because sometimes the
shoppers do not know exactly what they want unless given some support.

2. Offer Special Discounts On Gift Cards

This is a common approach to market gift cards online. For example, if you offer a $5 discount on a gift card you are giving a great deal to the shopper by providing a discount, and you are adding extra value for the recipient, because he will be receiving a gift card worth more than he might have received otherwise.
Such discounts can also be used to add value to shoppers’ buying experience. When a shopper picks a$20 gift card, another $30 gift card could be displayed carrying a $5 discount. Some will prefer going for that extra spending, in order to get the extra value.

3. Add Value with Delayed Gift Cards

A shopper may buy gift cards on special discount, but may not get the extra value after specified date. This represents the discounted and delayed gift card scenario. Such approach is used to move sales from some big event, like Christmas, to the slower sale time of the year, like in January. It also helps preventing immediate redemption. For example, a shopper may receive $10 discount on purchasing a gift card online, but the card has specific time limit, after which that could not be used.

Similarly, a shopper may purchase a gift card without discount, but the extra value is tagged with the card value, which should not be dropped after the specified date. If the card value drops below the actual price, the extra value is not awarded. In both cases, the sender and recipient receive extra value provided they stay patient.

4. Offer Donations to Charity Along With Gift Cards

This is another appealing approach that you could take to boost your sales of gift cards. For example, if the value of a gift card is $50 and you offer a $5 donation to a charitable cause in the name of the shopper or the recipient, it will be a big attraction for both of them. This will get more people will to come and make a purchase at your online store. Plus, many charitable organizations spread information about such gift cards on their website.

5. Offer a Kickback On Gift Cards

A great way of getting people to buy gift cards is by incentivizing it. Many online retailers have started offering kickback gift cards, which are offered as reward to the sender of the card. For example, if a shopper purchases a gift card of $100, he/she may receive a $10 kickback. However, the time between actual purchase and sending kickback reward may be up to1 month.

6. Partner With Other Online Retailers

Online retailers, both big and small are starting to use partnerships to market gift cards. Here’s how it works, while a customer is checking out at one eCommerce site, gift cards from other retailers, ready to purchase will appear on their screen. This could be a great way of getting your store in front of a new audience. The best strategy is to partner with related, but non-competing businesses.

For example, if you sell sneakers, you could partner with a health food business. Contact local or regional store chains to see if they are interested to market your gift cards. They may ask for some share of the gift card price, or they may ask you to reciprocate the same favor for them. Another popular trend in the US is to market gift cards in grocery stores.

7. Utilize the Power of Fund Raising

Organizations are always looking for more money. Why not tap into that niche by contacting schools or charitable organizations to market your gift cards. The organization may sell your cards at lower discount than the actual one you offer, and then the extra money they earn will go straight to them. If you pitch it well, this could be very appealing to schools and other non- profit organizations.

8. Use Cards For Out Of Stock Items

It is by no means uncommon for popular items to be out of stock. You can actually sell what you don’t have by selling gift cards for your “out of stock” merchandise. Here’s how to do it: When a customer comes to your store and sees that an item is out of stock, invite them to buy a gift card. You should then inform the customer of the exact date that the item will be in stock. In order to give a little extra boost to this deal, you can also offer special discount on such gift cards for out of stock items. This will get customers to act now, rather than simply waiting until the item is back in stock.

9. Offer Personalized Gift Cards for Different Occasions

You can improve your gift card sales volume by giving your cards different themes for different occasions. For example, you could have special cards for holidays, birthday, wedding, newborn baby etc. Offering a variety of gift card themes will attract more customers.

10. Offer Special Incentives

You can also offer special incentives, not just kickbacks, to both purchasers and redeemers of gift cards. For example, you could give someone a discount on their next purchase as a thank you for buying a gift card. Or you can encourage someone who redeemed a gift card to become a returning customer by offering them a discount on their next purchase. Use Gift Cards to Boost your Sales Gift cards and certificates are an easy approach to increase sales and revenue. Don’t waste time; utilize the power of gift vouchers, not just to make money, but also to become popular in the eCommerce world.

 

Author: Alastair Brian from "FMEModules" - a brand well known for top of the line reliable PrestaShop Add-ons, themes, extensions and services. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google plus.

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