How to boost gift card sales during the holiday season?

by | 23 Nov, 2021 | INSIGHTS

Christmas is a decisive period for many brands and retailers. It represents a peak in traffic and most importantly an increase in sales. To face the competition, some brands have decided to offer gift cards, which are often at the top of consumers’ gift lists. Gift cards are an important part of the holiday season. Not only do they have a positive impact on sales thanks to the customers that buy them, but they also lead the beneficiaries to spend more than the card’s amount. In short, gift cards are an ideal product for brands.

But are brands really using the card to its full potential? How can you maximize your gift card sales? Here are a few tips.

Increase your gift card’s visibility before, during and after the holiday season

First and foremost, in order to generate sales, it’s important that consumers know your gift card exists. It seems obvious, of course, yet we’ve noticed that many retailers or brands don’t highlight this product. Sometimes, they even try to “hide” it. If consumers are not aware of the existence of the product, it will never work, and retailers will not be able to take advantage of it.

Highlight the e-gift card on your website

How to make this product more visible? Just as physical gift cards have a dedicated display, digital gift cards should be featured in the main menu of the brand’s website. 

Very often, we find the e-card in the “gifts” or “gift ideas” section. A strategic point given that, during the Christmas period, consumers will tend to look for it in this category.

It is also important to go beyond the menu, especially during Christmas when customers are actively looking for gifts. During this period, it is interesting for brands to work on pop-ups or banners on their sites, to highlight the e-card. Given that gift cards are an increasingly popular gif, they can become a real asset for brands. In addition to the website, brands can create posts on social media or on their blog, if they have one.

Boost visibility through online advertising

Digital and offline advertising can be another way to increase visibility and, consequently, profits. Towards the end of the year, a large majority of consumers are actively looking for gifts and, to do so, they use several channels such as search engines or social networks. 

It can be very fruitful to invest in those channels and advertise your gift cards. However, careful not to miss the target! When advertising for gift cards, brands must adapt to the specificity of the product they’re selling. For example, for a women’s cosmetics brand, it is relevant to target companions, husbands, or even fathers in addition to the initial target. This kind of marketing will be more effective and will boost the e-gift card sales.

Turn cards into a real Christmas gift to generate sales

You can implement all kinds of promotional and marketing campaigns, but nothing will work if the core offer isn’t efficient. It’s exactly the same thing for digital gift cards. From the card itself to the customer experience, nothing should be left to chance. Simply offering a digital gift card to send is no longer enough. You need the little extras that make it possible for the buyer to swiftly give a thoughtful gift.

Practical features

This starts with the gift card solution’s features. Can the customer choose between instantly sending the card by email or delay it until December 25th? Can they choose between printing the card or ordering it in physical form? Can they turn it into a group gift? …

More customization

Everything related to customization is also a prerequisite for the e-card to be a good gift.  The more personalized it can be, the more the buyer will be able to give a unique gift, reflecting his affection for the recipient. It is important to provide them with several visuals specifically made for Christmas, so that they can choose one and create an e-card specifically for the holiday season. And giving them the opportunity to create their own design, by uploading a photo and adding a personalized message, makes the gift card much more personal.

Complementary products

To make sure consumers regard e-gift cards as an actual gift, some brands offer their customers the possibility to combine the card with other “small” products, such as a box of chocolate or a scented candle, … It is a good option for consumers who are afraid the gift card alone isn’t deemed good enough.

Launch strategic campaigns at the end of the year

Gift cards attract specific types of consumers, which can be profitable for brands. To boost sales, brands can consider launching strategic communication campaigns at Christmas, including through email and social media.

3 types of consumers should be targeted during the holiday season:

  • Those in a hurry: These consumers need to buy Christmas gifts but don’t have time to search or go shopping, so the internet becomes their best bet to find the right gift, and to be quick about it. They will be very interested in e-cards. To reach them, the brand must emphasize the fact that digital cards can be ordered in just a few clicks and sent instantly.
  • Those without ideas: Many people have trouble coming up with ideas for gifts. They are often stressed and are afraid to give something the recipient won’t like. The e-gift card can come to their rescue. Retailers can target them by pointing out that gift cards allow recipients to choose the gift that really makes them happy.
  • Those who wait last minute: Many people wait until the very last minute to buy their Christmas gifts. Last minute shoppers are a lucrative market for brands and retailers. But, without a solid logistics strategy, it is complicated to offer products that can quickly be delivered via the Internet. That’s when e-gift cards become an interesting asset. In this case, it is important to communicate on the instantaneous aspect of sending an e-card, it can be bought just a few hours or minutes before the deadline.

If the budget is kept under control, the campaign costs will quickly be amortized by the additional revenue generated thanks to the gift cards. That is, the difference between the amount on the cards and the actual amount spent, which is often higher.

Ultimately, there are no secrets to boosting gift card sales at the end of the year. A good digital gift card solution is the key, just like with any other product. But you also need to boost visibility and create relevant campaigns for specific targets during the holiday season.

To significantly increase sales, and have a successful return on investment, brands can also scale up their gift card programs. First, brands can form strategic partnerships and distribute their cards through third-party distributors. And second, besides individual customers, the brands can turn to the B2B market, by offering their digital cards to businesses and corporates…

Suggestions for further reading

Gift cards : a formidable marketing tool

White paper e-gift card for Christmas

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