You don’t need us to tell you that gift cards are a real boost to business, whatever sector your company is in. However, with the chaos of running a business, seasonal promotions and new product launches, gift cards can often get left by the wayside and not given the exposure they deserve.
But of course, gift cards won’t sell themselves! That’s why it’s important to sufficiently market your gift cards and make sure they’re at the forefront of your customer’s minds.
Need a little inspiration on how to improve your gift card marketing? Savvy is here to help.
Levelling up your gift card marketing
There is a multitude of ways you can breathe a little life into your gift card marketing activity, from easy wins and beyond. Plus, when trying to nail those promotions and campaigns, Savvy’s Gift Card Management and Analytics platforms can be your best friend when ensuring success… Let’s explain.
Improve your gift card visibility in-store
So, how can you get customers to take more notice of your gift cards? It’s actually pretty simple. It may sound obvious, but making your gift cards more prominent within your stores can be enough to make a big difference.
Think carefully about how your gift cards are displayed in-store. Gift cards are tactile – are you offering customers the space to freely browse your choice of designs? They are commonly located at the register. Whilst this is great for planned purchases, it’s also a good idea to not confine them here. You should also display them around the store to maximise those impulse purchases too.
Gift cards shouldn’t be an afterthought, pushed to a dusty corner of your store or wherever there’s a bit of unused space. Pull your customer’s attention as soon as they walk through the doors with eye-catching visuals and point of sale (POS) material.
And why just leave it at visuals? Use signage for clever taglines to showcase the reasons why a customer should purchase your gift card. Perhaps it’s made from eco-friendly materials. Perhaps you’re currently offering a free £5 gift card balance top-up with every new purchase. Shout about the benefits to tempt those sales.
Your gift card display should be treated with as much care and attention as any other area of your store. Are the designs up to date or are your Christmas-themed cards still out in January? Are the terms and conditions still correct or do they need replacing? Keep it fresh and keep it relevant. Your customer won’t value your gift cards if you don’t!
Educate your team
Sure, you understand the value of your gift cards – but that doesn’t mean your in-store teams will too. And if they don’t understand the value then there is little chance that they will be focused on ensuring gift card sales are maximised.
If this is an area that could do with a little development, spend some time educating store staff on the importance of gift cards to your business. You could even incorporate gift cards into your sales and customer training, highlighting the dynamic of sales, redemption and lift. Guide your staff on the situations where they may be able to boost gift card sales. For instance, if a customer is looking for advice on a product to gift or if a product they are looking for is out of stock.
Consider assigning a member of staff to take ownership of gift cards within store. Store managers already have a lot on their plate. Look to more junior members of the team who would enjoy the extra responsibility. Ask them to ensure the gift card display is in-line with the plan and to reorder designs when they start to run low.
Drill down into the data with Savvy’s Analytics platform to show your teams how successful gift cards can be and why they need in-store prominence. Create the business case for fresh new card designs, attractive displays and persuasive signage with your gift card sales and redemption numbers. By consistently reporting gift card activity to your team, gift cards will stay at the forefront of their minds.
And lastly, everyone likes a bit of healthy competition, right? Using Analytics to report on gift card sales and redemption levels across stores, show each in-store team how they compare against each other. Incentivise them to generate more sales and secure that top spot. A reward for the best-performing store is sure to get those sales brains ticking.
Use gift cards as incentives and rewards
If you thought that all gift cards were good for was gifting and simply loading value to be spent, then think again. Gift cards can also be used to inspire your customers to spend more when used as incentives and rewards.
For example, let’s say you want to boost sales on your clothing website. Offer a £15 gift card to those who purchase to a particular threshold such as £100. You might just inspire someone to add that extra item to their basket that they were umming and ahhing over, resulting in an extra sale with just a small cost to you for the customer reward.
Or, let’s say you want to reward the loyal customers of your coffee shop. Perhaps once a customer purchases 10 coffees with you, you offer them a pre-loaded gift card for their next visit as a treat on you. As a result, the relationship between your brand and your customer is strengthened. You pretty much secure a return visit. Plus, 72% of gift card users spend more than the original value of their card, so you’re likely to still make money despite the freebies.
Gift cards work hand-in-hand with loyalty. They allow you to attract customers by encouraging them to sign up to your loyalty program. They allow you to reward the customers who spend with you and even reach out to customers who have lapsed their spending with you.
Similarly, social media can be somewhat of an untapped avenue when it comes to gift card marketing. Explore the possibility of running a social media competition with a pre-loaded gift card as the prize. With the above uplift statistic in mind, you’re likely to get some extra sales out of the winner’s spending. Not to mention the benefits of engagement and brand awareness that social media competitions hold.
If you are a Savvy Analytics customer, use our platform and your analytics data to understand your average load by channel. How can you use this intel to push your customers to the next level?
Leverage key events
There are certainly dates in the calendar when your gift card sales are likely to benefit from a bit of a boost. For instance, every single December, Google searches for ‘gift cards’ see a spike and gift card sales skyrocket as people prepare for the biggest gifting period of the year. Gift cards make the perfect present for any gifting season as they reduce waste and give the recipient the much-appreciated gift of choice.
But which other key events can you leverage? Amp up your gift card marketing around key shopping events such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween and Black Friday. Depending on the nature of your business, you could even take advantage of more niche events such as International Womens Day (8th March 2023 globally), National Burger Day (28th May 2023 in the US) or National Book Lovers Day (9th August 2023 globally). Check out this National Day Calendar for key dates.
Savvy’s Analytics platform arms you with the ability to identify which periods of the year suffer weak sales and a drop in footfall. Perhaps your phone stops ringing in January. Maybe the Summer months drag on with few customers coming through your doors. A little forward planning into key dates that you can leverage and create exciting marketing campaigns around can help you boost your sales during these identified weaker periods.
Utilise the sales channels available to you
A huge driver for marketing activity is to build awareness and connect with new customers. To do this, sometimes you need to look a little further afield. Are you making the most of the sales channels available to you?
A simple place to start would be gift card malls. Gift card malls can be found either online or within stores such as supermarkets. They offer gift cards from hundreds of different brands all in one convenient place. Could you explore putting your name amongst them to broaden your reach?
Gift cards have also become incredibly profitable within the B2B channel. More and more organisations are investing money into employee benefits and customer rewards. Gift cards offer the choice and flexibility needed to please the masses, making them the perfect reward to cater to all kinds of people effectively with just one product.
In fact, the Gift Card and Voucher Association (GCVA) reported in their State of the Nation March 2022 report that over the last three years, an almost equal proportion of consumers received a gift card as a reward or incentive as the proportion that had purchased gift cards for themselves. There’s no denying that this channel for gift cards is going from strength to strength and tapping into the B2B rewards market could be well worth your investment.
Not sure how to utilise these channels? At Savvy, we have access to all the major API sales channels to help you broaden your gift card programme’s horizon – including gift card malls and B2B channels. Plus, with our Analytics platform, you can use real-time data to prove to your business that the returns by each channel and channel partner justify the third-party commissions.
Understand your redemption lift
Are you aware of which marketing channels generate the most redemption lift for you? For instance, have you seen evidence that customers who come through your paid ads or email marketing channels spend more on top of their gift card value than those in-store?
When it comes to marketing, it’s never a good idea to just ‘wing it’. In order to maximise your marketing channels, you first need to understand them. By understanding who is spending the most and where you can hone your efforts on the best-performing channels or use this knowledge to bring others up to speed.
With Savvy’s platform, you can view redemption lift by:
- Card type
This allows you to build current and future marketing campaigns around this knowledge with the added peace of mind that you are spending money in the right areas.
Complement this with our Analytics data to show your business the impact of gift cards and redemption lift, for both gift cards and return cards. By proving the business case for gift cards, you have a better chance of gaining that all-important internal buy-in for additional gift card initiatives.
Limit exposure and maximise sales
Gift card promotions need to make money, not lose money. Although not losing money is rarely something you can guarantee in marketing, grasping and controlling the return on investment of your promotions by applying a variety of rules and restrictions can make it a lot easier to avoid.
With Savvy’s Gift Card Management platform, you can apply validity rules such as whether a gift card’s validity is open-ended or has a redemption end-date, time and date restrictions, basket rules and sales channel rules.
Let’s say for instance that you’re running a Black Friday promotion on your gift cards. However, you don’t want the value of any purchased gift cards to be then spent on discounted items in your store over the sales period. You could either restrict the usage to full-price items only or perhaps add time and date restrictions so that the card can only be spent once the Black Friday chaos has been and gone.
Studies have shown that senior leaders often know little about just how powerful gift cards can be. And you know what else is powerful? Knowledge. Savvy can give you the knowledge to help you understand exactly how customers are using and engaging with your gift cards. This is a vital part of driving your gift card marketing forward and making better, more informed decisions for your next campaign.
Turn to Savvy to help you take control of and understand your gift card marketing activity. To learn more about how our Gift Card Management and Analytics platform can help you, just contact us and let’s start a conversation. We’re available via our website or give us a call on 0870 735 2829 (UK), 0190 22752 (Ireland) or 001 (502) 489 4439 (USA & Canada).