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How to Sell More Gift Cards During the Holidays

Alise Bailey, Editor
Square

*Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be construed as legal, financial or tax advice. Please always consult a knowledgeable professional advisor. *

This holiday season, selling gift cards is all the rage. According to research by The Gift Card & Voucher Association, gift card sales are set to grow 24.7 percent over 2019–25, with the total value of the market hitting £8.71 billion by 2025. In fact, 67 percent (or £4.65 billion) of the overall £7 billion card market in 2019 was derived from consumer spending on gift cards.

During the holidays, you’ll find it’s not hard to sell gift cards. Holiday gift cards are a brilliant option for consumers. They’re a no-brainer gift to give, and who doesn’t love to receive cash to spend in a favourite store?

Gift card sales are even better for businesses. A MarketWatch study found that in 2019, 74 percent of consumers with gift cards spent an average of £41 on top of the original gift card value when they used them, and around 35 percent said gift cards spurred them to visit stores they normally wouldn’t. When you increase gift card sales during the holidays, you give your business a nice boost in sales, which helps with cash flow during the first few months of the new year.

Square makes it easy to sell gift cards—whether in your brick-and-mortar location, online, or both. There’s no subscription or redemption fee to run a gift card program with Square, and you can sell, redeem, track, and reload without any additional tools (it’s all integrated in your point-of-sale system). You can also work with pre-designed templates (for both physical or e-gift cards) or create your own custom look.

That means that all you have to do is sell the gift cards. If you’ve never thought to offer gift cards before—or you already offer them but need some ideas to jumpstart sales—here are some ideas to help you increase gift card sales this holiday season.

How to sell gift cards in your store

At your brick-and-mortar location, there are plenty of opportunities to showcase and promote your gift card offerings. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Use visual displays and signage: Give your gift cards pride of place next to the register to maximise gift card sales. You can set them up on stands, on the pickup counter, or in window displays. You can also showcase them on your signage—places like menu boards or sidewalk signs.
  • Utilise receipts: Include a callout to your gift cards on your receipts (you can add and customise these customer-facing messages on your Square receipts in your Dashboard).
  • Go omnichannel: If you offer e-gift cards, consider posting signs to let customers know that you sell gift cards online.
  • Offer a deal: Consider sweetening a purchase by offering a gift for the person buying the gift card. For example, “Buy a £50 gift card and get a candle for yourself.” Or offer a discount on the gift card, such as selling a £100 gift card for £80.
  • Join together: Create a gift card co-op with other local businesses to promote shopping in your community and expose your business to new customers.
  • Be bold: Make gift card designs bold so they’ll stand out. Try a festive interpretation of your logo or a fun image, or purchase holiday-themed cards for the season.

How to sell gift cards online

If you have a website, make sure your Square eGift Cards are in a prominent space for shoppers to see. You might even consider adding a banner or simple pop-up message to encourage clicks and garner interest. If your website includes eCommerce, add a link to your e-gift cards order page. You might also create discounts and promotional codes from your Square Dashboard for your holiday gift cards.

Square customers that sell e-gift cards are also added to Square’s Give and Get Local directory where consumers can look up what stores in their surrounding area sell online and in-store gift cards.

In addition to selling gift cards online from your website, you can sell them on social media—like Facebook or Instagram-—or on marketplace sites like Etsy. These sites are especially good if your own website doesn’t have eCommerce capabilities.

It’s important to be strategic about which sites make the most sense for your products, brand, and customers. When posting, ensure your gift cards get visibility in relevant searches by tagging your ad with keywords and phrases (or hashtags on social media) that shoppers might use to find your products or services.

How to promote gift cards on other channels

The advice above works if you can get someone to your store or website, or to your profiles on social networks or marketplaces. But if your customers don’t know you sell gift cards, they can’t buy them. So, you need to
create a gift card strategy and invest in promotions and marketing.

Get the word out to your current customers through your social media channels and through email marketing. Create fun campaigns that include photos of your gift cards with your products and mention any promotions you’re having. Remember when contacting customers to make sure you always adhere to the relevant rules around data protection, GDPR and ePrivacy.

If you want to use your customers to get the word out about gift cards, try a social campaign that gives them away. Invite people to submit some kind of holiday content (this could vary based on what your business is) with a hashtag specific to your business, or photos of what they would purchase with their holiday gift cards. Then award the best submissions.

How to take gift cards in your stores

Gift cards are integrated right into your Square POS and Dashboard. When a customer pays with a gift card, just swipe the card and the balance will update automatically. Customers can easily add more money to their gift card at any time.

All gift card transactions will show up in your reporting, and you can export a full report of gift card sales right from your Square Dashboard. And once you’re up and running, you’ll receive transfers for gift card activations instantly, or within one to two business days.

Our new holiday gift card designs have just arrived. There’s no better time to stock up so that you’re prepared to sell gift cards during the holiday rush.

Alise is an editor at Square, where she writes about how to start, run, and grow a business, highlighting our sellers around the world.