How To Get The Most Out Of Your Gift Card Program
US consumers spend over $100 billion dollars on gift cards every year. Whether youre a restaurateur or retailer, a gift card program is a fantastic tool to help you not only attract customers, but also make more money.
Well show you a few simple ways you can take your gift card program from ordinary to extraordinary and get the most out of these popular schemes for your business.
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Spreading The Word About Your Gift Cards
Whatever method you choose, make sure to spread the word about your gift card sales. Right now, people are eager to support small businesses, but they dont always know how. Tell them where and how they can purchase your gift cards.
Add an update or a new page to your website for gift cards. If youre offering paper gift certificates, you likely wont be able to sell them directly from your website. You should still post an announcement and maybe create a webpage for gift cards, instructing customers to call to order and explaining delivery.
Be sure to post notices to your social media accounts and in your storefront window, even if youre closedthat way, people passing by will know how to support you. Post the information anywhere and everywhere you can. Send an email to your local news source to let them know that youve responded to social distancing measures by selling gift cards, in case they want to include you in a story.
The key is to be transparent with your customers. If they can buy gift cards now but they wont receive them for a couple of weeks because you have to wait for physical gift cards to arrive or youre in quarantine yourself thats okay. Communicate the delays and causes to your customers openly and honestly to avoid any miscommunication-born frustration down the road.
They Can Be Used To Manage Returns Rebates And Rewards
If a customer wants to return an item to your store but doesnt have a receipt, offering a gift card is a great way to keep their dollars in your business. This can also be an option if a customer wants to return an item after your regular grace period. By providing the customer with an option, youre more likely to keep them satisfied and coming back to spend the amount later.
Retailers can also use gift cards as a reward for employees and customers. Offer your best salesperson a gift card as a reward for their hard work, or give your VIP customers a gift card as a thank you. You can also incorporate gift cards into your loyalty program as a reward for multiple purchases with your brand.
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Ask Your Friends And Family
A great place to look for discounted gift cards is from people you already know. Ask your friends and family if they have gift cards lying around that they’re willing to let go of.
They could offer you a bargain of 10% to 20% of the total face value. This means that you could purchase a $100 gift card for $80, which leaves room for profit-making.
Gift Cards Are A Secure And Handy Way To Give Money
Traditional paper gift certificates have had a lengthy period of popularity and are still viable at the small-business level. On the other hand, digital gift cards are safer and more accessible than paper certificates, which were susceptible to loss, theft, and fraud due to duplication in the past. To make things convenient, you may take gift cards in the same ways you accept credit and debit cards: online, through your app, or in a physical shop.
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The Cons Of Flipping Gift Cards
Optimize Your Gift Card Design For Sales
Also, use your gift card design to get shoppers excited about your brand by creating a visually appealing design that reflects your brand. A bland, unoriginal gift card wont get people motivated to shop in your store. Use colors, images and typefaces that fit in with your brand style guide to create a truly unique gift card that stands out from your competitors.
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How Do I Create And Design My Gift Cards
Most gift card providers allow you to upload your artwork or personalize gift cards with templated designs via a web page or online portal, similar to how many business owners order custom business cards online. Once you design your gift cards, you can contact your provider to place an order or submit the request via their online store.
Donate Cards To Fundraisers
When schools and charitable organizations ask for fundraiser donations, offer gift cards instead of merchandise or full-value services. Youll reach more potential customers and dont have to give away merchandise that might not be appreciated. For example, if you donate a gift basket filled with $100 worth of products, the goods leave your store and you will likely never see the person who won the basket. If you donate a $100 gift card instead, the merchandise stays put and the winner will have to visit your shop in order to redeem the card. Two $50 gift cards will net you two customers, and so forth.
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Choose A Free Template
Business owners can easily create digital gift certificates with Adobe Spark, Canva, Microsoft Office and other apps or software programs. Canva, for example, offers free gift certificate templates that can be customized with your logo and message. Users may choose the desired size and shape, add frames, upload images and change the fonts. When you’re done, you can send the gift certificates directly to your customers by email or download and print them.
Another popular choice is Adobe Spark. Simply choose a theme and size for your gift certificate, select a stock photo or upload an image that reflects your brand and then add your logo, message and business name. Next, download the design to your computer or smartphone and print it out or share it on your website and social media pages.
These apps don’t offer the same functionality as a POS system or a more advanced program like Square, Shopify or Toast. They only provide a free gift certificate template and no analytics or marketing tools. A better option is to set up an online gift card program that allows you to track customer engagement and other key performance metrics. Although you may need to pay a commission per sale, you’ll gain valuable insights into your audience.
How To Run A Successful Gift Card Program
Growing a small business is tough. With so many other merchants in your area offering similar products and services, attracting and retaining customers can be quite the challenge. In many cases, your loyalty and incentive programs are the only opportunities you have to set your business apart from the rest.
Running a gift card program serves two purposes: increasing revenue and customer loyalty. When youre seeking a new and creative way to give yourself a leg up on the competition, a gift card program may be the solution you didnt know you needed.
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Why Gift Card Programs
With so many other ways to drive business, from successful marketing campaigns to loyalty and discount programs, you might be wondering how a gift card program would benefit your business. Offering gift cards to your customers can help you:
- Increase sales and generate cash flow, regardless of whether cards are redeemed
- Bring in new business, especially when given as actual gifts
- Promote impulse buys, as shoppers are more comfortable investing in additional goods or services when part of the purchase is covered. 65% of gift card users spend more than the face value of the card.
- Improve brand awareness, as most gift cards are branded with logos and business colors
- Offer real-time tracking, simplifying reporting and management
- Possess superior security measures to reduce fraud and minimize duplicate usage
- Offer speedy transactions with immediate benefits to the user
- Track sales trends and monitor outstanding activity
Affordable and practical, gift cards can provide plenty of opportunity for your operation. With so many advantages, the better question is, why not gift cards?
Gift Cards Help To Raise Awareness Of A Companys Brand
Gift cards are a cost-effective form of promotion that may assist in keeping your company at the forefront of your target markets thoughts. Traditional plastic cards are wallet-sized ads that may be used to spread your companys message, and they are far less expensive than an actual billboard. In addition to being convenient, virtual gift cards may help you market your brand messaging to online clients.
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How Can Gift Cards Benefit Your Business
- How can Gift Cards benefit your business?
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There is something beautiful for everyone to enjoy with gift cards. Digital gift cards are a popular choice among customers for various reasons, including seamless simplicity, purchasing flexibility, availability of choice, and consistent gift-recipient acceptance.
Gift cards are becoming increasingly popular among businesses. Merchants use gift cards worldwide to create awareness of their products and increase sales. Including gift cards in your marketing mix may help you interact with customers on a deeper level and keep them coming back.
Because of the continued transformation of the retail business brought about by online shopping and worldwide e-commerce, digital offers have boosted the popularity of gift card programs even more. According to Blackhawk Network, a global leader in the prepaid and gift card industries, digital gift cards are becoming increasingly popular with customers.
According to Blackhawk, shopping frequency climbed by 69 percent among merchants who accepted digital payments, while spending quantity increased by 54 percent among retailers who did not. Additionally, 85 percent of buyers who took part in the poll said that digital wallets made their shopping experience more convenient overall.
Give Your Business The Gift Of Gift Cards
Gift cards can become the gift that keeps giving. Not only can they make perfect gifts for people to offer friends, coworkers, and loved ones, but theyre gifts to the business as well driving new and repeat customers to your storefront.
To get in on this marketing and revenue-driving product, determine what options are available to you . From there, consider what creative solutions you can implement, and then voice these new products to your community.
If you are a local business, claim your free Business Page to get started on Nextdoor. Resources on how to use Nextdoor to stay connected with your local customers during coronavirus, pertinent news affecting businesses, and more, are available in our Small Business Guide for Coronavirus Relief.
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How Gift Card Laws Apply To Your Small Business
Let me preface this section by saying that I am not an accountant, lawyer or tax adviser and cannot give specific advice for your business. The summaries below should be used for general informational purposes only and are not a legal reference. Please consult professionals in these areas for information on how to apply both federal and state gift cards laws to your business.
They Encourage Loyalty And Repeat Visits
Several merchants offer gift card promotions, especially around the holidays, and they can be a great way to increase loyalty with your current customers. For example, offer a free $10 gift card to customers who purchase $100 in gift cards.
This type of offer might encourage a purchaser to spend more money, driving up the average amount of your gift card sale. You can make the bonus gift cards valid after the holidays and for a short period of time, boosting slower sales during the first quarter of a new year.
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Trust The Duracard Plastic Card Printer Team To Provide You Top Superior Quality Unmatched Service And Exceptional Value
Duracard® Brand custom plastic gift cards are durable, beautifully designed and competitively priced to fit your marketing budget. Our friendly and experienced design team is happy to work with you to create your custom gift card or you can upload your own artwork. Our custom plastic gift cards can be designed for compatibility with most POS software or service providers.
Moving Forward With Gift Cards
Now that you understand how important gift card sales can be to your business, its time to add them to your inventory. Nearly 93% of American consumers have given or received a gift card, according to Gift Card Granny. Selling gift cards is an easy way to meet your shoppers demands and offer them full service. Not only are they a popular sale theyre the gift that keeps on giving for retailers.
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Getting Your Own Gift Cards
To move forward with using gift cards to drive retail revenues, youll need to acquire the cards you want to use and create a strategy that makes sense for your unique retail business.
You can sell branded plastic, digital, or paper versions of gift cards in your store and several services make it easy. The quickest place to look is with your current many offer a gift card program that integrates with your current point-of-sale equipment. For example, Shopify POS allows merchants to create digital or paper gift cards and email them to customers or print them on the spot. You can also use a tool like Giftly, which is software that allows you to create, sell, and market digital cards.
If you want to sell physical gift cards, one option is Duracard, a company that creates custom plastic gift cards that include a magnetic stripe or barcode used to load a dollar value. Duracard has designers that can create a card style for the merchant, or you can upload your own art.
Another provider is Roller, an app that allows you to sell and redeem digital and physical gift cards directly from your website. Roller offers fun gift card options that customers can personalize with photos or even videos that are sent electronically to the recipient.
Unused Cards Are Pure Profit
This one speaks for itself, sometimes gift cards go by unused for whatever the reason may be. When this happens, its pure profit for your business.
Whether your goals include building relationships, generating more revenue, or increasing traffic to your business gift cards can help you reach new business goals.
If you want to learn more about gift cards, download out free “Ultimate Gift Card Guide for Business Owners”:
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Epos Nows Complete All
As well as using your mobile device, you can also create an online gift card program that integrates with your POS system.
Lots of cloud-based POS systems offer this functionality, by either having their own gift card service or integrating with third-party gift car apps. Setting up a gift card service directly through your POS is quick, easy and very affordable.
They Increase Your Revenue
Gift card sales bring in money when theyre purchased, but they also offer an opportunity for additional revenue when theyre redeemed. The average card user will spend an additional $38 on top of the card’s pre-loaded amount, according to a survey by First Data.
Shoppers with gift cards are also more likely to purchase some of your higher-priced items since they see the gift card as being free money to spend. And heres another fun revenue fact: 72% of people who go to a store to purchase a gift card for someone else end up spending money at the on themselves, according to Retail Touchpoints.
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