How to Get Consumers to Buy More Gift Cards

by Marisa Cogan

Stumped on how to sell more gift cards?  Check out our Slideshare below to help kick start some ideas!

How to Get Consumers to Purchase More Gift Cards cover

 

How to get consumers to purchase more gift cards

#1 Do More In-Store Promotion –  Can your customers easily find your gift cards in-store? Do you display them in more than one location? As a professional in the gift card industry, I often look for gift card displays in stores and I am surprised by how difficult they are to find sometimes. Don’t make your customers seek them out! As the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. Definitely display them at your checkout area and, if you can, promote them with plenty of signage. Mirror clings in the bathroom, sign clings on windows and doors, and buttons for the sales team are just a few ways to give customers a gentle reminder that you do, in fact, sell gift cards.

#2 Promote gift cards across multiple channels – Promoting cards in-store is great, but that marketing push is only hitting customers that already shop your store. What about everyone else? A great media mix always yields better results than selecting one marketing avenue – so mix it up! Do you prominently promote gift cards on your website? Do you market gift cards across your social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? Create a campaign that not only brings awareness to your gift cards, but also helps to sell them. Buy one – get ones, contests and discounts all help to drive gift card sales.

#3Consider the design –  We often buy based on how we feel about a product, both emotionally and tactilely. The texture, color and design of a product can either prompt a sale or dismiss a sale. The same can be said for gift card purchases. For example, a gift card with an image of a father and son fishing can spur a purchase because the recipient loves fishing with his son. Or, if a woman is looking for a gift card for her trendy daughter and comes across one that includes a carrier that looks like a shopping bag, she may purchase just because of the carrier. Offering more card designs, different substrates or unique carriers can all contribute to increased gift card sales. Consumers want something special – something that speaks to them.

#4 Partner up – Although gift card malls are a great way to increase visibility, it’s not the only way to merchandise your gift cards in additional stores. Consider partnering with other merchants to cross-promote each other’s gift cards. By partnering with a complementary brand (i.e., a home improvement store and a furniture store), you can gain extra exposure for your brand without the risk of losing customers to your merchant partner. Start with an extended promotional campaign to test the waters (neither party will want to lose valuable floor space if it is not a beneficial partnership.) Building partnerships can help you reach new customers and improve brand awareness.

#5 Appeal to all demographics – While the majority of millennials are“all digital, all the time”, there is still a huge population that has not embraced the mobile lifestyle. To appeal to the widest set of consumers, you must offer both physical and digital gift cards. Physical gift cards provide consumers with something tangible that can be given as a gift, whereas digital cards provide the immediacy that is sometimes required for those last minute gifts. Even when it comes to selling gift cards on your ecommerce site, both options should be available. There are even a few gift card companies that can manage the fulfillment of physical gift cards to both consumers and businesses, so that you don’t have to.

#6 Who doesn’t love a discount? – We often see the“BOGO”campaigns during the height of the holiday season, but they disappear after December 31st and don’t reappear again until holiday time rolls around the following year. Presenting this offer at another time of the year, perhaps in the spring or summer, would be a great test as to how well a promotional offer helps boost gift card sales outside of the holiday season. The only caveat here is to be mindful of how often you present this offer, as it can cause consumers to delay their next gift card purchase if they know another promotion is just around the corner.

#7 Plant an idea –  Sometimes people don’t even realize they need a gift card until they see one. Your gift card display at the point of purchase is great, but what if you added a few more items to create a complete gift (and increase the value of the sale)? Displaying a complete gift package can help consumers by giving them gift ideas. This could be as simple as a button-down shirt with a gift card peeking out of the pocket or a flower pot complete with gardening tools, seed packets and a gift card. Sometimes people just want to make the gift a little more personal and by adding additional products, they can really create a gift that is tailored to the recipient.

#8 Run a contest –  Giveaway gift cards as part of a contest. Not only is it a great way to generate awareness of your cards, but you’ll also benefit from gift card lift AND you’ll be able to collect customer data in the process that can be used in your marketing efforts.

#9 Don’t forget your loyalty –  Finally, don’t forget about tying in your loyalty program. Run a campaign that gives customers rewards points (or maybe triple points) whenever they purchase a gift card.

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