How to Increase Sales with Gift Cards

  •    Carrie is a designer and content marketer. She works promoting the Roanoke Region of Virginia and has more than 10 years of media and marketing experience.

Looking for a better way to connect with customers on your website? Try gift cards.

Gift cards are a great way to encourage sales from current customers and direct new users to your eCommerce website or store. Not sure where to start? Here are a few reasons to use (and start selling) gift cards right away.

  • Generate new business: Gift cards are a great way of expanding your customer base. Your current customers will often purchase gift cards for their friends and family, hopefully turning them into repeat customers as well. A massive study by First Data found that 11 percent of gift card shoppers are visiting a business for the first time.
  • Compete with larger retailers: Gift cards are an incredibly popular option for gifting, and they reduce the risk of returns. In order to compete with big-box and large scale retailers, you need to offer the same easy shopping experience.
  • Increase sales: Gift card purchases come with a significant uplift, with 72 percent of customers spending more than the value of the gift card, First Data reported.
  • Shift sales to slow seasons: Gift cards have a lasting impact. Think of all the cards sold during the Christmas season; redemption is often weeks or months later, during the slower business season. This makes gift cards a good tool for helping to create a more consistent business and inventory cycle. Make sure to feature gift cards as a primary item during the holiday season, in particular, to encourage sales.
  • Drive return visits: Gift cards that can be used multiple times will keep customers coming back to your online shop. Offer gift cards in denominations that are higher than price points for a single item to encourage shoppers to come back for subsequent purchases.

What Type of Card Should You Choose?

Once you've decided to start selling gift cards, you have to decide whether you prefer physical, plastic card or digital certificates. While it is a matter of preference, digital gift cards can be easier for you and more customer-friendly.

An eGift card is sold just like any other product in an online store. Gift cards are purchased by customers to gift to a recipient via email, and hold a specific amount of money. They can be redeemed and applied to an order at checkout. One of the distinct features of an eGift card is that it can be issued immediately and printed as many times as needed until fully redeemed.

Digital gift cards don't have to be mailed or printed so the cost to you is significantly lower. Plus, managing digital gift cards can be integrated right into your eCommerce platform so you know what dollar values are outstanding for each card.

Another bonus for shoppers? The same gift cards you sell digitally online can be used at your physical location as well.

​Tips for Selling Gift Cards Online

If you are selling gift cards for the first time, you need to consider creative ways to market this product. The trick is that you need to make it easy for customers.

  • Create an attractive eGift card image.
  • Allow users to choose different denominations and personalize each eGift card.
  • Consider a gift card discount, such as a $50 gift card for $45, or give the purchaser an additional gift card when they buy for someone else ($50 to gift and $5 for you!).
  • Place gift cards in a prominent sales location, such as on the homepage as an oversized button or on every product page.
  • Allow users to combine discount codes and gift cards--always treat them like cash—to make shoppers feel like they are getting great deals.
  • Create a space on your website where users can track the balance of their gift card or add value.

Conclusion

Gift cards are such a popular option, there's really no reason not to add them to your product offering. They can help you gain access to a wider customer base, create more loyal shoppers and entice users with special deals or promotions.

Ready to try using gift cards on your website? Weebly's new Performance Plan comes with gift card creation system for your online store.