What is an eGift Card? A Guide for Small Businesses

By 2024, the Australian eGift card market is expected to hit $4.3 billion value, and with more and more people buying online than ever – it’s a market you don’t want to ignore. Here’s what you need to know about how eGift cards can benefit your business.

What Are eGift Cards?

Gift cards are a form of payment that’s used to make purchases at retail stores, restaurants, cinemas, petrol stations, day spas, and essentially anywhere you buy products or services. They are generally purchased by someone else, and given as a present for Christmas, birthdays or even just a “job well done”.

There are two types: open loop gift cards that can be used anywhere the brand of card is accepted, such as a Visa gift card that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted; and closed loop cards, which are only to be used at a particular store, such as places like Woolworths, BWS, Big W, or stand-alone retail stores.

eGift cards are electronic gift cards or digital gift cards. They are generated online, rather than being made from hard-cardboard or plastic.

How Do eGift Cards Work?

Rather than receiving a physical card, the recipient instead receives a unique digital code number that they can use to make purchases on products or to book services. This is sent to their email address. It can also be sent via Apps to people’s mobile phones or via text message. There are four simple steps:

  1. Purchaser signs up for an eGift card online.

  2. A copy is sent to the recipient.

  3. Confirmation sent to the purchaser.

  4. Recipients can use a code to purchase items or book services.

eGift cards can be used online or instore, or both. It depends on the retailer. If you are using it online, you’ll usually need to put the code in at the Checkout. For in-store, you’ll need to show your eGift card on a digital device when making your purchase.

Square Gift Cards

Boost sales for your business with Custom and eGift Cards from Square.

Benefits Of Selling eGift Cards

The biggest benefit of selling eGift cards for your own business is that they are designed to generate new customers. eGift cards are generally purchased as the name suggests – as a gift. They are normally purchased by someone who has shopped with your business before, and highly recommends you to their friends and family. This means you are opening up your market to a range of new customers.

Not only that, but you’re also building your relationships with current and previous customers by providing them with another fantastic service that will get their attention. Here are a few of the other benefits:

  • eGift cards are a great idea as presents for someone who might not live within close proximity to a major store - that way they can buy online instead..

  • Great gift ideas, they make for easy marketing material when you’re getting ready for holiday sales and special events.

  • Easy and convenient for your customers to use.

  • Can be sold 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you’re never closing the doors on sales for your business.

How To Sell eGift Cards

Now you know why you should sell eGift cards, here’s how to go about it.

One of the easiest ways to get started with eGift cards is with Square’s digital gift card. Here’s what you need to do:

If you are using the Square POS app, simply log in, tap on the three horizontal lines, and hit Settings. Go to Gift Cards, Sell eGift Cards in Store, and then add your minimum and maximum load amounts. You can also add a customer policy at this stage.

From your Square Dashboard, head to the Gift Cards section of your online Dashboard, select eGift cards and then hit Configure. Choose Sell eGift Cards in Store, which will enable the feature and then choose a design or upload your own file.

It’s that simple.

You can then manage your settings and designs, changing them as you please, and you can also edit the amounts you have on offer. If you decide you want to stop selling eGift cards you can disable the option.

Customers will purchase the eGift cards from your order page on your Square site, adding a personal message if they wish.hey can even order through our Give and Get Local Directory which makes it simple for consumers to search for local businesses that offer eGift cards.

You can also sell your eGift cards via a number of online directories, such as Vouchie or Spend With Us; and of course, promote them anywhere you can – including on your Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

With Square, you can sell your eGift cards straight from your POS system, making it even more convenient to sell in-store. You’ll find everything you need to know about Square eGift cards here.

Things To Keep In Mind

If you’re making the leap to selling digital eGift cards, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • 1. Timing your marketing and promotions. You want to make sure your marketing is targeted at the right people, at the right time. For example, if you have a florist shop, you may want to target your marketing to men in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.

  • 2. Make sure you allow for all the right details to be included in the purchase. This includes having a feature that allows the purchaser to write a message for the recipient. You might also include a feature that ensures the purchaser types out the recipient address twice (confirmation of address) so there is less chance of it being incorrectly delivered.

  • 3. Follow up. If someone has an eGift card sitting in their cart, make sure you follow them up with an email to let them know it’s still sitting there with email marketing

  • 4. Remember to stipulate on your page whether the eGift card can be used online, in-store, or both. It’s up to you what you offer, just be clear about it so customers understand the terms of use.

Given the increases in online shopping in the past 18 months, eGift cards have seen steady growth and are a great way for consumers to give gifts to those that matter. If you haven’t already jumped on board, instead of asking yourself why you should, ask yourself “why not?”.