The holiday shopping season is really starting to gear up, and now is the time for business owners to start thinking about their year-end sales strategies.
Today, I want to talk to you about gift cards. While these versatile pieces of plastic (or pixels, in the case of e-gift cards) were once considered the go-to for uninspired and last-minute shoppers, they have now evolved into powerful tools for your business. Not only do they serve as a convenient gift choice, but they can also boost your sales and increase customer loyalty—especially during the holiday season.
With a bit of strategic planning, gift cards can be a significant part of your overall sales and marketing plan. In fact, in some cases, your gift card strategy can mean the difference between a good year and a great one. Curious? Let’s take a look at some gift card sales ideas you can take advantage of this holiday season.
1. Unique & Attractive Presentations
A beautifully presented gift card can elicit the same delight as a traditional gift. By emphasizing the experience as well as the gift itself, your business can transform a gift card from a transaction into a cherished memory.
Create Unique Designs that Make a Statement
Work with local artists or designers to produce distinct card designs. Not only does this offer a unique selling point, but it also celebrates and supports local talent. From winter landscapes to festive characters, let these designs capture the essence of your brand and the spirit of the season.
Turn Simple Cards into Thoughtful Gifts
Who said a gift card should feel any less special than other presents? Packaging plays a pivotal role here. Consider using recyclable or reusable materials like cloth pouches or metal tins. It’s eco-friendly and adds a touch of elegance to the simple act of gift-giving.
Incorporate Personalized Messages
It’s the thought that counts, right? Let your customers express themselves. By offering a simple way for buyers to add a personal message or choose from a range of heartfelt holiday greetings, you’re giving more than a card – you’re facilitating a connection.
2. Convenient Purchasing Options
The holiday rush can be overwhelming. You can attract frazzled shoppers by making sure the process of purchasing gift cards from you is as easy as possible (and maybe even a little bit fun!)
Offer E-Gift Cards
In an age of digital convenience, e-gift cards are a necessity. They’re not only instantaneous but also environmentally friendly – and they’re perfect for those last-minute gifters.
Set Up a Dedicated Gift Card Check-Out
Time is of the essence during the holiday shopping season. Consider setting up a dedicated checkout for gift cards. If space and resources allow, you might also host an outdoor tent or drive-thru, ensuring customers can swing by, purchase, and be on their way without delay.
Consider Special Delivery Options
A personal touch, like hand-delivery to local addresses, can create a memorable experience for the buyer. It emphasizes care, attention to detail, and a commitment to exceptional service.
3. Target Employers for Bulk Gift Card Sales
Many businesses are looking for unique ways to appreciate their employees, especially after a challenging year. Gift cards can be the perfect solution. They’re versatile, thoughtful, and can play a vital role in boosting team morale during the festive season. Capitalize on this by making your business the go-to choice for bulk gift card purchases. Here’s how…
Promote Bulk Discounts for Employers
Consider offering special discounts for businesses looking to buy gift cards in bulk. This not only attracts corporate clientele but also ensures a large sale in a single transaction. Advertise this offer across all your marketing channels, reminding employers of the convenience and appeal of gift cards as a universal gift.
Tailored Packaging for Businesses
Differentiate bulk orders with specialized packaging. Perhaps a branded box or a festive sleeve that companies can personalize with their logo or a festive message. This added touch can make each employee feel special, turning a generic gift card into a personalized token of appreciation.
Flexible Options for Employees
Businesses appreciate flexibility. Allow companies the option to choose varying denominations for their gift cards. Maybe even offer a feature where the recipient (the employee) can choose from a range of services or products your business offers. This ensures the gift feels personal and tailored to individual tastes.
4. Use Charitable Gifting to Enhance Your Strategy
The festive season isn’t just about gifts, it’s also about giving back. By integrating charitable options into your gift card sales, you can appeal to the altruistic side of your customers, making them feel good about their purchase.
Gift Cards that Give Back
For every gift card purchase, consider donating a percentage to a charity. Choose a charity that aligns with your brand values, and let your customers know that their purchase is making a difference. This not only boosts sales but also enhances your brand image.
Special Charity-Themed Cards
Launch a range of gift cards with designs themed around charitable giving. These could feature messages of hope, unity, and love. Sales from these cards could contribute a higher percentage to charities, making them a heartwarming choice for buyers looking to spread the festive spirit far and wide.
Employee Appreciation with a Twist
Encourage businesses to add a charitable component to their bulk gift card purchases. For instance, for every bulk order, pledge to donate a certain amount or percentage to a charitable cause. It adds another layer of meaning to the gift, showcasing corporate responsibility and goodwill.
5. Create Innovative Promotions & Bundles
Creating compelling packages that offer more than just a card value can be the key to standing out in a crowded market. Aim to create bundles that evoke emotion and create a sense of value.
Enhance Your Gift Cards with a Tangible Gift
By pairing your gift card with a tangible item, like a beautifully crafted ornament, a branded keychain, or even gourmet chocolates, you enhance the overall perceived value. It’s not so much about the worth of the additional item but the experience of unboxing a thoughtful package.
Tiered Spending Rewards
Gamify the gift card experience by offering tiered rewards. For instance, a $50 card could come with a bonus $5 card, while a $100 card might offer an additional $15 value. This not only encourages higher spending but also instills a sense of getting more bang for their buck, enhancing the overall purchase experience.
Exclusive Early-Year Deals
The holiday fervor does eventually wind down, but who says the shopping has to stop? Offering exclusive deals for gift card holders in January can maintain the sales momentum. It’s an incentive for consumers to use their cards early in the year and helps businesses kick off the year on a high note.
6. Embrace the Trend of Self-Gifting
Gift cards don’t just have to be gifts for others – they can also be a way to treat yourself. By promoting the idea of self-gifting, businesses can tap into the growing trend of self-love and self-reward.
Promote the Idea of Self-Care
Self-care and self-love have never been more topical. As the year comes to a close, campaigns that promote the idea of rewarding oneself for the hard work you’ve done and the challenges you’ve overcome can be particularly effective. Emphasize the joy and value of buying a special something for yourself.
New Beginnings in the New Year
There’s something refreshing about the start of a new year. It’s a time for new resolutions and new beginnings. Promote the idea of customers buying a gift card for themselves to usher in the new year, and a promise to treat themselves to something special in the coming months.
Exclusive Self-Gifting Packages
Curate exclusive packages or products only available to those purchasing gift cards for themselves. These could range from limited-time offers to special editions, creating an allure around the self-gifting experience.
7. Focus on Strategic Placement for Maximum Impact
Being seen is half the battle. By emphasizing the visibility and allure of your gift cards, you can make sure they catch the customer’s eye and pique their interest.
Enhanced Visibility Strategies
Gift cards should never be an afterthought, hidden away at the back of the store or a minor link online. Instead, place them front-and-center with eye-catching displays, both in physical locations and on your website. Consider collaborating with complementary businesses to cross-promote and feature your gift cards at their checkout points as well.
Add Extra Post-Purchase Value
The journey doesn’t end after the gift card sale. Engage buyers with appreciation emails, offering them insights, tips, or even small discounts on their next purchase. As the new year rolls in, send gentle reminders to encourage them to make the most of their gift cards.
Unlock a Gift Card Goldmine
As a business owner, it’s important to remember that gift cards can be so much more than a simple last-minute purchase. Today, they hold the potential to enhance customer experiences, promote brand loyalty, and significantly boost sales. The beauty of a gift card lies not just in its convenience, but in the memories and experiences it can facilitate.
Your challenge is to figure out how to transform gift cards from a purely monetary gift to one that’s special, thoughtful, and creates connection. By considering the tips above and modifying them in a way that works with your unique brand, you can attract more sales during the festive season while also making an impact that will last well into the New Year.
Ready to Make this Holiday Season Your Best Ever?
My free e-book: The Ultimate Holiday Marketing Guide for Small Business Owners” covers everything you need to know to boost your holiday sales and turn holiday shoppers into loyal customers. Don’t miss out, this could be a game-changer for your business! Click the link below to download the free guide now. 👇