Does your retail business sell gift cards? If you don’t already, it’s something you should definitely consider. Gift cards are a great way to grow brand awareness for your business and increase your customer reach. Sold instore and online, physical and digital gift cards can introduce an entirely new revenue stream to your retail store.
The Australian gift card market grew at an average of nearly 30% during 2015-2019, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this growth in the last 12 months. Whatever the size and style of your business, if you don’t sell gift cards – or struggle to sell them well – you’re missing out on a piece of this ever-growing market.
Whether you’re new to gift cards or looking to give your gift card sales a boost, consider these tips for selling more gift cards in your retail business.
Make your gift cards visible
Do you make it easy for customers to see and buy your gift cards? Put yourself in a first-time visitor’s shoes and see if you notice that your business sells gift cards during a brief visit instore. Are they proudly displayed near your point of sale and in other high-traffic areas where customers often buy gifts? Or tucked away in a drawer and only pulled out if someone asks for them?
If your retail gift cards could benefit from a bump in visibility, ensure that they’re displayed prominently on your sales counter. Gift card racks are a popular option – if you go down this route, ensure they’re not hidden behind other merchandise at a busy point of sale. Give your gift cards space to be noticed and consider an unusual or quirky gift card holder to draw attention – if you’re a coastal homewares store, pop them in an oversized shell or prop them up on a piece of coral, for example.
Undertake the same assessment of your brand’s website. Review the online experience to check that someone visiting your online store would know that you offer gift cards after spending a short time on your website. Is there an opportunity to mention them on a scrolling banner or include ‘gift cards’ as a prominent clickable button or link on your Home page?
Go digital with online gift cards
Online gift cards are an increasingly popular gifting choice as they offer attractive benefits to both retailers and customers. Buyers can purchase at any time from anywhere, with instant delivery and no shipping costs. They’re also a great option for retailers as they allow businesses to capture valuable information about both the buyer and the shopper who redeems the card.
Square’s digital eGift cards let your customers buy online or in person and email an electronic gift card to their friends or family. It’s free to set up and sell eGift cards online – all you’ll pay is a 2.2% processing rate when a customer purchases an eGift card from you. Square eGift cards integrate seamlessly with Square Point of Sale and can be sold online and instore.
Display your gift cards at nearby or complementary businesses
Look for opportunities to display your gift cards at other retail stores in your area that sell complementary products. If you’re a plant store or a florist, consider reaching out to a local homewares store to ask if they’d consider stocking your gift cards, with you doing the same for them. You could even look at selling gift card packages that allow the recipient to spend at both stores.
You might also consider approaching other stores on your local strip – perhaps you could provide them with some greenery as a thanks for displaying your gift cards. Think creatively about like-minded businesses and cast your enquiry net wide.
Promote your gift cards on social media
If you sell retail gift cards, they should feature on your social media feed. Mention them across your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages – you can even add a shoppable link to your eGift cards to allow visitors to buy directly from your Instagram feed using Square Online Store.
Social posts are a great way to capture sales for last-minute presents for occasions like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas. Offering eGift cards means your customers can buy 24/7 without coming into your store and either print or email your gift card to the recipient.
Leverage email marketing to promote gift cards
If you send regular email newsletters or promotions, make gift cards a part of your marketing calendar. You could even add a permanent link to your eGift cards to your email signature, so there’s a gentle reminder for your customers each time you send an email campaign.
Many retailers don’t offer gift cards at all, with those that do often considering them more a passive source of sales than actively promoting them. Both physical and online gift cards are a great way to get your brand in front of fresh eyes and provide a flexible option for last-minute shoppers or difficult-to-buy-for recipients.
It’s quick and easy to get started with Square gift cards today. You can launch a complete gifting program with online and plastic gift cards, and track gift card performance from your Square dashboard. Start selling gift cards in a few clicks - you can set up eGift cards instantly and design either quick gift cards or custom gift cards from $1.30 per card.