Growing a business is hard. With intense competition online, retail traffic falling & new competitors popping up every day, attracting new customers to your business can be difficult. Gift cards are a great way to get some new business through the door & get your brand out in the market. And with hundreds of thousands of gift cards sold around the Christmas period alone, if you’re not running a successful gift card program you could be missing out on a big piece of the retail pie.
Why gift cards?
Gift cards are a great way for your loyal customers to share their love for your business with their own friends & family. Whether they’re giving or receiving, your gift cards are finding their way into the hands of people who have never interacted with your business. This makes it a perfect marketing & branding opportunity for your business.
Not to mention that gift cards are easy to stock & sell, and can encourage repeat business, which is crucial when you’re trying to grow sales. The problem is, gift cards don’t sell themselves. Here are a few tips to give your gift card sales a bit of a boost:
Make sure your gift cards look amazing
The biggest point to remember is that your gift cards are going to be given as ‘gifts’. So they need to look amazing and represent your business well. Shoddy or cheap looking designs, low resolution prints & cheap plastic aren’t going to make for a great looking gift and could turn off your customers. And it’s not just the actual card that matters. The card will likely come in a carrier of some kind – a tin, a message card or a small box. Whatever the packaging, your gift card & carrier need to look amazing! The better it looks, the more your customers will be happy to buy and give them away to someone special.
Make sure your gift cards are visible on the counter or at your online checkout
The old saying is true today: out of sight, out of mind. The same can be said of anything in retail. If your gift cards are hidden from your customers as they shop in your store or buy online, it’s likely they will never think to buy one. Make sure that your gift card display is positioned on the front counter so everyone can see them. Ask your employees to remind customers of your gift card offering at the end of each purchase.
Offer online gift card purchasing
It’s essential that people can buy gift cards easily from your business, so make sure to provide a way for them to purchase without having to come into the store. Many of those purchasing cards might be buying for someone who loves your business and so haven’t been to your store before – so make it easy for them! If it’s too hard, they will likely go elsewhere. Most businesses have an online presence now days, and this could be a fantastic way to increase your gift card purchasing.
Ramp up marketing around holiday periods
Mothers Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and other holiday periods are prime times for gift card purchases. Plan for an increase in marketing for your gift cards in the lead up to these holiday periods. You could send an email to your customer database, put up shopfront posters with “treat your mum this Mother’s Day” or post on social media. Think about your business and where your target customers are congregating and advertise your gift cards there.
Get creative & sell an experience
Instead of just selling gift cards for a specific value, why not put together a great package or experience? Putting together a beautiful Mother’s Day experience for mums at your day spa (special relaxation massage & facial for mums) or fashion store (personalised styling session) will add a lovely personalised touch to the gift card. In doing this, you are clearly articulating who the gift card is for and planting the thought in the minds of potential buyers: “mum would love that!” It will also convince those that view gift cards as a little impersonal and provide the opportunity to give a thoughtful gift.
Run a discount with any gift card purchase
If you’d really like to ramp up your gift card sales, think about offering a discount for customers with any gift card purchase. For example, a 15% discount on their next purchase for each gift card bought will give your customers a great incentive to buy and get them thinking about who they could buy it for. While this is a higher upfront cost for you, it could well be worth the return with exposure to brand new customers. Get creative! Figure out what your customers love and build it into your gift card marketing.
Track your gift cards
As with anything in your business, it’s important to track your gift cards & the return they bring back into the business. Review how many gift cards you’re selling, what percentage of those are redeemed and if the gift card holder is spending above the gift card amount when coming back to your business. It’s important that you understand exactly how valuable gift cards are so you know whether or not to prioritise them. While many big businesses like Myer & Village Cinemas have gift cards to thank for a large part of their annual sales, small business can benefit too – by using gift cards as an effective marketing tool.
We can help you promote your gift cards
The team at Redegroup have helped hundreds of businesses with their gift card programmes. We can help you find the right custom design & shape for your plastic gift cards & card carriers, to ensure your business is being represented properly. And we don’t just print the cards and leave you to deal with the coding. We generate the data and choose the right coding to work with your system. Find out more about our gift cards here.