If you own a retail store, you will likely benefit from gift card sales around the Christmas period. However, to make sure you are getting the maximum amount of profit from your gift cards, you must follow these ‘best practice’ techniques we describe below.
Following these techniques will ensure your gift cards are highly visible. This advice also ensures your staff are motivated to promote your gift cards amongst your customer base. We also outline little-known ways to promote your gift cards that could bring in many thousands of pounds in revenue.
The many benefits of gift cards at Christmas
Before we outline how you may increase gift card sales, we will outline some of the benefits you will derive by following this advice.
Firstly, when people are given gift cards, they are known to spend more money in your store than the value contained within the gift card. For example, if Carl gives his wife Laura a gift card for the value of £20, there is every chance Laura will spend £50, £100 or even £200 when she buys from your store to redeem her gift card. This means gift cards are a powerful means of initiating cross-sell and up-sell purchases.
Another benefit of gift cards relates to foot-fall. Many people who receive a gift card from your store may not have visited but for the gift card. This means gift cards increase the number of people coming into your store. These people may also bring along friends or family members into your store when they redeem their gift card. These friends or family members may also purchases items at the same time.
How to increase gift card sales this Christmas
Now we outline practical steps you may take to increase gift card sales this Christmas. We outline six proven strategies to achieve this end.
#1. Ensure gift cards are highly visible to your customers
This technique may sound like common sense to many of you. And you would be right. However, you will be surprised to discover how many retail stores choose to keep gift cards locked away in draws or in cash registers. Gift cards are thus ‘available upon request.’ However, this strategy ignores the fundamental psychology taking place when gift cards are purchased.
Essentially, gift cards are often an ‘impulse’ purchase. Buying gift cards is somewhat similar to buying sweets from a checkout aisle at a supermarket. Many buyers of gift cards won’t know they want to buy a gift card until they see them for themselves. If your gift cards are not on show at the point of purchase, you are unlikely to sell any gift cards whatsoever!
It follows from this that if you plan to sell gift cards, you must make them highly visible at the point of purchase. If you do not have anywhere to display your gift cards, simply search Amazon, Google or EBay for ‘gift card displays’ are you will discover a number of highly inexpensive solutions to your problem.
#2. Ensure your staff are promoting gift cards amongst your customers
Do not rely on your display to sell your gift cards. Many customers are busy and distracted, so they will fail to notice your gift card display. This means many gift card sales will be lost. To combat this, it’s essential for your staff to actively promote gift cards, particular at the point of sale. Perhaps you could prepare a standard sales script your staff members can use when promoting gift cards.
#3. Promote gift cards on digital channels
If you own an e-commerce store, then you will likely have an email database to promote your gift cards to. Many people on your email database are likely unaware of your gift card offerings. Informing them of your gift card offerings is likely to increase the sale of gift cards during the Christmas period. Even better, include a link to your gift card section of your website each time you send out a newsletter or promotional email, no matter what time of year it may be.
We advise you to send out emails promoting your gift cards well in advance of the Christmas period. However, it’s equally important to promote gift cards closer to Christmas. A failure to do so will mean you miss out on last minute Christmas shoppers. Studies show more than 50% of gift card sales at Christmas occur on Christmas Eve!
Additonally, on your e-commerce store, have banners designed in prominent places that promote your gift cards. This will go some way to increasing gift card sales. You may be advised to place these banners on your website far in advance of the Christmas period. This ensures your customers and prospects are aware of your gift card offerings when the time to choose Christmas presents arises.
Many e-commerce stores include a permanent gift card banner in place throughout the year. Why? Because this banner helps to remind your customers of the fact you sell gift cards. Likewise, this is also likely to increase the sale of gift cards during the Christmas period.
Lastly, ensure you mention your gift card offerings on social channels you are investing in. This may include Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. Have a professional designer prepare the imagery to promote your gift cards on social platforms.
#4. Tailor gift card specifically for Christmas
This technique requires you invest in gift card design that’s specifically targeted to the Christmas season. This is known to increase the sale of gift cards during the Christmas season. This technique equally applies to other important occasions such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day.
#5. Advertise to people likely to buy your gift cards, not the ultimate receivers of gift cards
It may seem obvious to point out that people who buy your gift cards are not the same people who actually benefit from them. Yes, the clue is in the name: GIFT cards. If you sell gift cards for expensive jewelry or for a weekend luxury spa, you must appreciate who is likely to buy these gift cards. In this case, it’s likely to be husbands buying these gift cards for their wives. It’s thus essential for your advertising to reach husbands and not wives.
This fact should influence the advertising message you select, as well as where you choose to advertise. Focusing on the store selling luxury spas, they might want to advertise in publications read by affluent males aged between 30-55. If they advertise on Facebook, they may wish to target a similar demographic. If you focus your efforts on outlets targeted to the end users of gift cards, you are likely to sell no gift cards at all!
#6. Offer financial incentives for buying gift cards
This is a practical and highly actionable technique. Offer customers an additional £25 when they purchase £100 worth of gift cards. This acts as a powerful incentive to purchase gift cards, since most people react to offers where they believe they are getting something for free.
Many customers who buy gift cards will buy gift cards for many different friends and family members. Offer £25 free for each £100 spent on gift cards will motivate these people to buy all of their gift cards from your retail store rather than splitting their spend amongst yourself and your competitors.
Many people receiving a gift card will not spend the full value of the card. Furthermore, many people will spend more than the value of the card in your store when they come to redeem. This means you should expect to rake in an amount of money greater than then the £25 you are ‘giving away’.
If you seek a plastic gift card manufacturer, contact PSC Systems today on 0151 346 1640.