How to increase gift card sales

Businesses use gift cards to increase brand awareness and sales growth. Here are a few practical tips to boost your gift card sales and revenue.

How to increase Gift Card Sales.

Traditionally customers have regularly used gift cards to make purchases at restaurants, retail stores, gas stations, and other places. Consumers have adopted digital gift cards, alongside physical cards, but how do stores and restaurants need to adapt to maximize gift card sales in today’s environment?

Focus on Gift Card Marketing Gift card ROI is focused around customers spending much more than the value on the card. Marketing your gift card brings in not just the revenues associated with the gift card load value, but also an average of 60% (depending on the sector) of the customers own funds. Gift card is a great way of maintaining an income stream if a customer’s options to buy are limited, and a year-round marketing tool to attract and retain Review Your Website Your online environment creates a lot of benefits for your customer.

Customers won’t need visit the store to purchase cards, allowing them to avoid the hassle of crowds and busy parking lots. So make it easy for your customers to find your gift cards online. Optimize the user experience by using targeted Call To Action buttons, review all links to ensure they are working, and focus on streamlining the checkout process. Implement eCommerce landing page methods to maximize on-page conversion rates. Develop user-friendly purchasing, giving, receiving processes. Offer multiple formats to ensure your gift cards are applicable and relevant to larger audiences.

That way, you can increase the probability of reaching your sales goals. Create a dedicated landing page for your gift cards and showcase them as popular items with a compelling and clear call-to-action(CTA). Add a clear and bold sentence at the bottom of each product description; letting your customers know about card availability. Identify gift cards on your header banner. Hiding your gift card link in menus or in a footer that nobody reads, significantly decreases your sales opportunities. Be loud and proud with your gift card. Plan for Holiday 2021, when you are past shipping dates, a digital gift card is the only product that will reach the customer in time, so maximize that opportunity on your website You can sell both physical and digital cards on your websites, but digital cards enable your creative juices to flow. Refresh your design inventory and with digital card you can cheaply expand the choice of designs for occasions, customer types, events. You can even to test how well designs do, before the expense of creating physical cards. Send emails to previous customers, promote your gift cards on social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. Send thank- you emails to new customers after their purchases with links and images to showcase your gift cards.

Businesses with brick-and-mortar locations can increase gift card sales by displaying them in prominent positions. For example, you can display gift cards at point-of-purchase and through ancillary displays. Just like greeting cards, customers like to look at design choices, so give them the space to do that without a line of impatient customers behind them.

Focus on offering generic, season-based, and occasion-based cards and messaging for versatility. Make sure your employees understand the program, how to and promote it actively and what to do if card stocks run low. A simple audit based on these factors can increase your gift card sales and revenue.

Add signage to curbside pickup area

Curbside pickup is beneficial for customers, saving the wait time of order delivery and reduces the time for browsing and shopping…but it means customers are blind to any in-store merchandising and messaging for gift card.  Make sure you have a gift card purchase option on your curbside delivery checkout or encourage your customers to add gift cards to their order with curbside signage and purchase through a mobile POS system.

Develop a B2B program

Developing a gift card B2B program is a vital approach to increase brand awareness and sell more gift cards. B2B enables you to reach employee and incentive programs that attract new customers. Depending on your sector, B2B sales can be 20-40% of your gift card sales potential.

Gift cards are excellent tokens of appreciation for achieving customer loyalty. Invest in fundraising programs to encourage customers to use gift cards. Membership benefits and affinity marketing relationships are other B2B channels that will use your gift cards to reward consumers.

Make sure you work with a professional and experienced gift card program manager, especially the one who has expertise in the B2Bchannel. Seek out professional advice and benefit from the experience, research, and customized plans, leading to increased gift card sales.

Final words

Gift cards are a practical approach for businesses to attract new customers. However, it is often challenging for companies, retail stores, and restaurants to increase their gift card sales. Hopefully the tips given above will inspire you to boost your gift card revenues. We are here to help with any questions that you have and support that you need.

‍Let Savvy help you to increase your profit center today.

Kind Regards,


How to prevent gift card fraud

As with any payment method, gift cards can be a target for fraudsters. Whilst combatting some of these fraud types require secure technology, there are some practical steps that you can take to minimize fraud impact on your gift card program.

‍There are different types of fraud to be aware of, that fall into these general categories:

1. Credit card fraud – A criminal can steal a customer’s debit or credit card information and use it to buy your gift cards. Fraudsters often use these cards to purchase product or resell them for cash.

‍Ensure that you identify fraudulent transactions where gift cards were purchased. Ensure you have processes that enable you to quickly remove the available balance on those gift cards, to minimize any loss.

2. Account takeover – Fraudsters hack into or phish for genuine account information, and login as the customer to redeem value. Educate customers on how fraudsters work, how to identify fraudulent emails and the dangerous links that are contained in emails.

3. Gift card hacks – Fraudsters hack into gift card databases, running bot attacks to find card number and PIN combinations.

‍Ensure every entity that is hosting your gift cards have the appropriate security. Use specialist security companies to test that security. Look at how you can increase PIN digits and use non-sequential card numbering.

‍Any balance enquiry capability should be secured by PIN and any online balance enquiry transaction should additionally require CAPTURE as a minimum, together with IP monitoring and blocking capabilities.

4. Return fraud – Criminals steal product, then return the product in exchange for a merchandise return card.

‍Although some loyal customers may have a frustrating experience when you require receipts for returns, this strategy prevents fraudulent returns. Make sure you provide your customers with detailed information and clearly mention the return policy in your store or online to avoid discouraging your honest customers.

‍Train your in-store employees regarding checkout procedures. For example, your in-store staff should verbally inform your customers that the store will require receipts for returns. Any time a customer visits your store for returns, the team will verify ID and receipts, before issuing a merchandise return card.

5. Victim assisted fraud – Fraudsters call customers pretending to be from a government agency, law enforcement etc. and demands payment from the victim by having them purchase gift cards and reveal the card numbers and PINs.

Provide messaging wherever you sell gift cards, letting people know the dangers of Victim Assisted Fraud. Train your team to look for signs of customers buying high values of gift cards and enable them to alert customers to the dangers.

6. Engineered/Internal fraud – Fraudsters target your employees to load stolen cards or reveal secure data to enable the fraudsters to redeem cards with an active balance.

‍Communicate with your team so they are aware that impersonators may call requesting gift card information and to never give out information over the phone. Operate dual person controls wherever complimentary gift cards are being issued.

7. Product tampering – Fraudsters copy or note gift card numbers, PINs and barcodes, so cards can be redeemed once an unsuspecting customer loads value onto the card.

‍Your team are your best allies in the fight against fraud. Make them aware of potential fraud and keep them alert to the warning signs. Do not sell any gift card that looks tampered with – check that the scratch of panel covering the PIN is intact and has the original design elements. Fraudsters can remove and replace adhesive panels, or scratch the panel and replace it with a lookalike adhesive panel. Fake Fraud – We’ve even heard of fraudsters claiming to be victims of gift card fraud, to receive compensation!

‍A solid audit trail always works against the fraudster. Fraudsters hope that retailers will quickly concede to their claim without evidence.

‍Final words

‍Gift cards are a fantastic tool for customer acquisition, but their popularity attracts fraudsters too. Make sure that you are aware of the risks and implement best practices to protect your gift card program.

‍If you are interested in finding out how Savvy processing can protect your program, contact us today.

The benefits of a gift card program

Gift cards continue to deliver for business. In fact, in 2020 gift card sales increased, and an effective gift card program, including digital and third party sales capabilities became an essential competitive tool. So what is it about gift cards that makes them essential in today’s retail and restaurant business?

‍Gift cards attract and retain customers

‍Firstly, the majority of gift cards involves two customers – the buyer and the recipient. Whilst there is a market for self-use cards too, most gift cards are used for gifting. That will typically involve either:

  • A customer buys your gift card because the recipient likes your brand. In this case you are exposing the buyer to your brand and the potential that they will buy additionally as they shop for the gift card, or
  • A customer buys your gift card because they like your brand, and gift it to the recipient. Studies have shown that a significant percentage of recipients of an unfamiliar brand will stay loyal to that brand.
Gift cards are money in the bank

‍As soon as a gift card is purchased, the loaded funds are yours. Those funds will help your cashflow. As COVID hit, gift cards were sometimes the only income stream available. Gift cards retain those customers, ensuring their spend does not wander to your competitors.

When customers redeem the magic happens

‍We want customers to redeem their gift cards. They exist to enable the customer to experience the brand and treat themselves. But when a customer redeems, the gift card has a psychological effect, encouraging the customer to spend more than the card value – in fact around 60% more than the value on the card. Of course, if the customer never redeems the card, depending on your local regulations, there’s the ability to retain some or all of the funds, but we’ve then lost the chance to engage the customer.

‍Increases sales and customer reach

There is a vigorous third party and gift card market. This enables you to open up new sales opportunities, in particular broadening geographic reach if your brand is online. With a large percentage of gift cards purchase in B2B for employee benefit, reward and recognition and supporting promotions, gift card gives you the opportunity to increase your brand awareness and meet new customers.

Gift cards are cost-effective marketing spend

‍Unlike other marketing methods, gift cards are sales. You are not measuring views or clicks, you are measuring actual business and providing a product that your customers want. Gift card is the #1 requested Holiday gift.

‍Conventional marketing strategies take time to increase sales and yield lower a return on investments. Using your marketing budget to sell gift cards generates quick revenues and returns.

‍When recipients are given your gift cards, they hold the currency of your brand – a billboard in their wallet.

‍Promotional gift cards also create excellent returns. Customers see gift cards as something tangible – something lost if they do not redeem by the expiry date. Gift cards are more emotional than voucher codes and attract greater customer engagement.

‍Turn returns into additional sales

‍Using gift cards as a merchandise return tool is a profitable alternative to refunds. Encouraging customers to refund onto a gift card ensures the funds stay in your business. More importantly, just like gift card dynamics, merchandise return cards are typically redeemed for 60% more than the loaded value.

‍Final words

‍Using gift cards as part of your overall marketing strategy, will prove a reliable source of regular sales. Customers love gift cards and they know gift cards. Financially, your leadership team will love them too.

‍Interested in increasing your sales and attracting new customers?

‍Setup a chat with us today!

How gift cards can improve loyalty programs

Loyalty programs are vital instruments for businesses to retain customer relationship management. Modern retail and dining categories are complex, requiring businesses to make substantial efforts to develop innovative strategies to attract and retain customers to their products in the market.


How gift cards can improve Loyalty programs.


With new marketing technologies and channels, and increasing competition, acquiring and retaining customers is getting costlier day-by-day. Often overlooked in loyalty strategy is the ever-popular gift card. So how can loyalty programs, both new and established, utilize gift card in a supportive strategy?

Know your gift card manager and your gift card program 

Basic right? Well, you’d be surprised (…or maybe not) how often departmental silos can push divisions between the same business objectives. It’s not uncommon to hear loyalty folks comment that they either don’t know about their gift card, or even if they have one. Take time to understand the synergies between your gift card and loyalty program and cross promote to your customers.

A gift card is a customer waiting to happen

A gift card sale is a sale. It’s money in the bank waiting for the consumer to spend. Use the fact that gift card is not a click or a like, it’s business that is going to happen. When a consumer receives a gift card, there’s one of three options:

  • They are an existing customer that belongs to your loyalty program
  • They are an existing customer who is not in your loyalty program
  • The are not an existing customer

Whichever of the three options is true, also true is they will be a customer. So, employ that to guide them into your loyalty program:

  • Is there space on the gift card to put a loyalty URL?
  • With around 30% of gift cards now being digital, there’s plenty of room for loyalty links and ad banners on your digital gift card
  • If you company enables gift card in Apple/Google wallet, you have a direct line to the customer for targeting loyalty messaging
  • Discuss with your third party gift card sales partners, who you can incorporate the promotion of your loyalty program
Gift cards drive additional spend

One of the key business drivers of gift card is that it drives additional customer spend. The amount depends on the business sector but 60% is a good average. Giving your customers the opportunity to turn loyalty points into a gift card, enables you to both keep the funds in the business and have the customer invest even more when they redeem.

Some business use gift card rails to run their loyalty card, with the card holding the currency value – enabling the customer to additionally load and redeem value (think Starbucks), with loyalty bonus placed directly onto the card, allowing the customer to up-spend.

In some cases, especially where you are looking to divest of the loyalty point liability, you can even offer gift cards for other brands, as a means to encourage points redemption. You might not get that value back directly, but you do keep a customer satisfied – that’s a treat at another outlet, but you’ll be associated with that treat.

If you have a loyalty app, ensure that customers can buy and send gift cards from the app to friends/family members – they’ve already invested in having your app on their phone, so give those ambassadors the ability to share your brand. Gift card is always the consumers’ #1 requested gift.

Combine gift card promotional mechanics with loyalty

Gift cards can have different parameters applied, that make them an ideal tool for promotions. By using gift cards in your loyalty campaigns, you increase the ability to engage with customers.

When a customer signs up for your loyalty program, send them a gift card. OK, so you can add extra points to their loyalty program, but they will feel a deeper connection if they receive something tangible. Once they have the card they will either:

  • Spend the card and up-spend on the loaded value, or
  • Gift the card to a friend/family member and you have another customer
Use gift cards to surprise and delight your customers:
  • Send out random gift cards to loyalty customers for…no reason at all
  • Use gift card promotions that offer random value awards to create mystery value programs, to draw new customers in and reward existing ones
  • Offer gift card rewards in social media for review of the week/spot prizes etc. to keep customers engaged and reward them for participation

Understand what you gift card manager is doing to promote gift card and see how you can introduce a loyalty angle.

Repairing relationships

Sometimes, as retailers or restaurants, we screw things up and give our customers a poor experience. If that happens, don’t lose loyalty – use gift cards to repair relationships. Especially using digital gift cards, you can quickly and efficiently say “sorry” and provide a financial gesture…and when that customer redeems the gift card, guess what? They’ll spend 50%+ more than the value on the gift card!

Final words

Brands work so hard to acquire and retain customers. Sometimes the best tools for doing that are right on your doorstep. Integrating gift card into your loyalty strategy is both straightforward and delivers proven results. Tear those silos down!

If you are interested in expanding your customer base and driving sales, and would like to know more about how a gift card program can boost your loyalty platform, setup a FREE consultation today.

Best practices for online gift card sales

Digital technology and smartphone devices have become ubiquitous for consumers and companies, allowing them to perform day-to-day tasks, including banking and shopping. Across 2020 there was a rapid rise in the use of digital gift cards and gift card sales through online storefronts. This trend is expected to continue with shoppers who have transitioned from brick and mortal stores to online.

‍In addition to that, social media is becoming an increasing essential component of online marketing, so linking your gift card to your social media strategy, is a great way to increase participative engagement.

‍In today’s article, we will discuss some of the best practices for online sales of gift cards. Read on!

Website optimization

Website optimization is the best way to increase awareness of a gift card program. A restaurant or retail stores that increase gift card sales through their business website implement these tactics:

‍A persistent header, footer, and navigation bar link to the gift card offerings page

‍Don’t relegate gift cards to just a footer, which only gets 1% visibility. Look at how the big online sellers have gift card prominently featured in their header. Gift card will be one of you best-selling products, so give it the TLC it deserves.

‍Ensure that you offer digital gift cards

‍Physical gift cards are great, but increasingly often consumers want the ability to instantly send a gift card to a friend or relative. Digital cards should always use two factors of authentication, so a card number and PIN for example, for validation when the gift card is redeemed.

‍Display and offer multiple gift card designs that customers can purchase

‍Two important considerations here. Differentiate the cards offered by design and not by amount. Nobody wants to see an entire screen of the same gift card design with $10, $20, $30…yawn…

Give consumers a reason to buy. Inspire them with Happy Birthday, Happy Holidays, Thank You, Congratulations, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day….let your creative juices run wild!

Keep the gift cards open value between your minimum and maximum amount. Maybe suggest a $40 or a $100 card but by letting the consumer chose the amount, you’ll add an average 15% additional to the load.

Enable the customer to personalize the gift card with a message…it’s a gift, so let the consumer create an emotional link by expressing how they feel,  using your product to do it.

‍Use your gift card images as a component of your SEO

‍Ensure you use relevant descriptions on your gift card images on your website, to include the relevant tags to assist in SEO.

‍Design separate website pages to provide detailed gift card information

‍Take time to explain to customers how gift card works, the terms and conditions and where they can get help if they have a problem.

‍Create a holiday strategy for digital gift cards

‍Your Holiday season doesn’t need to stop at the last shipping date. As soon as you can Holiday ship no more, flip your website to maximize digital gift card sales. Digital gift cards biggest selling days are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after Christmas.

‍Enable bulk buying of cards with discounts for loyal customers

‍There are businesses that want your gift cards to send to their employees, suppliers and customers. Make it easy for them by creating a separate web space to explain your bulk order process for gift cards, with the appropriate contact details. Offering discounts for good values of bulk purchases is a great way to incentivize repeat customers.

‍Use your own gift card as an online promotional tool

‍Gift cards as promotional tools consistently outperform discounts and vouchers. That promotional value gets reinvested in your business and customers consistently spend more than the gift card value.

‍For instance, spend $150 to receive a $20 gift card or buy an item for $250 and receive a $35 gift card. Include these online promotion features on the header and footer section of your website to increase visibility.

‍Use gift card to support your social media campaigns

Research shows that over 500 million people check Instagram stories every day, and one in four individuals look for product or service stories they want to purchase.

‍Retailers and restaurants that look for new ways to sell more gift cards, can use social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, to attract more customers by letting them know about gift cards. Facebook and Instagram have introduced a new feature, allowing you to add a gift card button to your profile, giving an instant link to your online gift card page.

‍Use your gift card to reward customers who actively engage with you on social media. It provides an unexpected surprise for the recipient and showcases your gift card to your social media audience.

‍Targeted facebook ad campaigns

Use Facebook Ads to promote gift cards by targeting them to a specific audience by location, age, gender, interests, buying behavior, and other factors. Facebook enables you to create all elements for the ad campaign, including text, images, the target market, and the daily budget. Don’t forget to add a “gift card” reference in the headline to attract more people to the sales page.

‍Final words

Although technological advancements persuade people to shift from physical to digital gift cards, the Covid-19 pandemic has spurred more and more people to buy online gift cards. That’s why all businesses, including retail stores and restaurants, look for new ways and practices to increase their gift card sales online. The tips given above can help you streamline your gift card sales and boost returns on investments (ROIs).

If you are ready to boost your online sales, setup a chat with us today!

How do you implement a gift card program?

“How do you implement a gift card program?” is a thought that crosses the mind of many retail and restaurant businesses, both large and small. But where do you go from there? Actually launching a gift card takes some consideration to ensure that you have maximum opportunity for whatever the future brings. In fact, it’s even a consideration before you decide on your platform provider, because as your business expands there’s a whole world of gift card opportunity that you will not want to miss.

How do you implement a gift card program?

So before we get into the nuts and bolts (unless you just want to scroll down), let’s take a step back to remind ourselves why gift card is so important.

  • They are consistently the #1 requested gift for consumers. Rather than being a last-minute purchase, gift cards are the considerate gift that allow the recipient to purchase what they want. Everyone knows and loves gift cards.
  • They are increasing self-purchased by consumers that want to treat themselves or to budget their spending.
  • They encourage additional spend. Depending on the business, consumers typically spend 50%+ above the gift card value.
  • Gift cards attract new customers. Typically, the purchase involves two customers –the buyer and recipient – and they gift card funds can only be spent with your business. Gift cards introduce new customers, some of whom will be life-long customers.
  • Gift cards are the currency of your brand. They are billboards that represent actual revenue, rather than just clicks and likes.
  • Gift cards help with cashflow, as there is typically a lag between gift card purchase and redemption.
  • Gift cards can also be used for merchandise return/customer appeasement and promotions, all of which keep funds within your business and trigger additional customer spend.
  • OK, that’s probably enough, although there are additional advantages.

So, stepping forward again, “ How do you implement a gift card program?”. What do you need to consider?

Translate »