Gift cards are incredibly popular and during the pandemic their usage soared. The second half of 2020 saw a 117% rise, according to KPMG. And gift cards can offer big benefits for business owners, too. A study by First Data US:FDC found that 74% of consumers spent an average of £41 on top of the original gift card value when spending it. You can even work out the average additional sales from gift cards for your specific business with the tool on our site.
Whether you’re a retail store owner, a personal trainer, or opening a restaurant gift cards are a great way to connect with your customers and offer a simple, effective way for them to give their favourite thing — your business.
But there’s more to gift cards than just setting them on your counter (although making them visible is important). The more creative you get with your gift card marketing, the more return you’ll see from them.
Here are a few ways you can up your gift card game:
1. Offer digital and physical gift cards
Customers want the option to shop and buy wherever they want, whether that’s online or in person. Gift cards are no exception to that rule.
Digital gift cards are one way to up your omnichannel strategy. E-gifting is growing quickly and the UK market is worth £7 billion. Square offers free digital gift cards, so your customers can buy gift cards online and email them to their friends and family.
And don’t underestimate the value of physical gift cards. With the high street back in business, sales are expected to rise again. Square has regular gift cards available that can be customised for your business.
Square Gift Cards
Let your customers give the perfect gift — gift cards from your business.
2. Create a guide
Why not let people receiving a gift card know what they can use it on? Whether they’re loyal customers or new to your space, a short guide can get gift card recipients excited about your store’s offerings. A guide could show favourite products, new offerings, behind-the-scenes looks or upcoming events. You also might theme your guide for upcoming holidays or seasons. Don’t forget to include your social media handles in the guide so customers can look you up online too.
3. Encourage treating yourself
More than half of digital gift card purchasers are buying for themselves. A 2020 gift card industry publication, showed self-use was the second most prominent driver of gift card sales, representing over £1 billion and 21.8% expenditure on gift cards. It’s an easy way for customers to gain loyalty points or rewards, or to create a set amount for spending at a location (to budget for coffee, for example).
You might encourage this behaviour by creating an email or social media campaign that promotes purchasing gift cards for personal use. Or consider implementing a loyalty program to encourage customers to return and utilise gift cards for rewards.
4. Use gift cards as a loyalty reward or upsell
Speaking of loyalty programs, gift cards can be a great reward for your most loyal customers. Whether you have a program based on number of purchases or purchase amounts, offering a £5 or £10 gift card is a nice incentive to keep customers coming in.
Another way to keep customers coming back? Consider offering a gift card as a reward for money spent. For example, a £5 or £10 reward for a larger purchase. You’ll be able to thank your customers while encouraging them to come back soon.
5. Promote gift cards for all holidays
Gift cards are great for major holidays like Christmas or Mothers’ Day, but you could also think about marketing gift cards for other special days, like World Mental Health Day or even World Ice Cream Day, or create your own!
6. Create a gift card co-op
Work with other local businesses to create packages of gift cards for complementary services, or create a group of businesses that sell each other’s gift cards in their shops. It’s a great way to get exposure in other spaces and encourage customers to shop in your neighbourhood.