Tuesday 10 December, 2013

Holiday Ecommerce – Gift Cards for the Holidays

A survey by the National Retail Foundation found that 81% of Americans will buy a gift card this holiday season. Of those who receive holiday gift cards, 70% will spend more than the card’s value.

Offering holiday gift cards is a great way to boost your sales around the holidays. It’s also a great way to take part in the holiday season and it makes you look like a more established retailer.

How Holiday Gift Cards Work

The way it works is that your customer buys a gift card just like any other item in your store. After they go through checkout and make the purchase, they get an email with a code in it. They can enter this code when shopping on your website and it uses the gift card balance. The cool thing is that it’s all electronic so there’s no need to send anything.

There are ecommerce services like Shopify that handle the technical aspects of it. If you buy an ecommerce package from your service provider, they may offer gift cards as a regular feature. Through these services, you can set prices, personalize emails, and use tools for managing gift cards for your customers.

Selling Your Holiday Gift Cards

People like to buy gift cards but there are some things you can do to sell more of them. One way to sell more is to offer the card at a discounted price. For example, a $25 gift card gives the customer $30 in credit. This increases the value of the gift card. Another way to do this is to offer discounts only for gift card purchases. Amazon does something like this.

Another way to increase the value is to offer a kickback. This is similar to a discount but the customer gets a rebate when they buy with the gift card. For example, after using a $100 gift card, they get a $10 coupon as a bonus to use at the store.

It’s important to offer the kickback at the end of the gift card. This way, you get them to come back to your store after the card is gone and shop more. There’s also a good chance they’ll spend more than the coupon balance.

You can appeal to your socially conscious customers by making a charitable donation out of each gift card purchase. With the trend away from giant corporations, this is a good way to show that your small business cares. It also helps with branding because you can donate to a charity or non-profit that fits with your niche.

Promote Your Gift Cards

Finally, you have to make sure your customers know about the gift cards you offer and the benefits that come along with them. Display the card prominently on your website and mention it in all of your marketing materials everywhere you are online and off.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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