Gift cards are a huge area where retailers can increase sales, promote loyalty, and improve bottom lines. According to new data from Capital One, the global gift card market is valued at $899.3 billion and is expected to grow to more than $2.3 trillion by 2030. The US alone makes up 38% of this market, valued at $339.5 billion and projected to grow at an annual rate of 8.2%.
So, it is clear that gift cards hold a lot of potential and that people are buying them in droves. In this article, we will look at 14 gift card promotion ideas so that you can start capitalizing on its potential and learn how to sell more gift cards at your store.
1. Host Gift Card Giveaways
One way that you can promote your gift cards is by tying them to a giveaway. Maybe every dollar spent in a certain period counts as an entry, maybe entries are given for social media follows or engagement, or maybe customers receive an entry for every store/site visit—the terms are up to you. But drawing attention to gift cards via a giveaway will help remind even non-winners that you offer gift cards and that they are a great option.
2. Discount Your Gift Cards
Everyone loves a discount, so why not extend a discount promotion to your gift cards? Create a sense of value by offering a $100 gift card for $90, or whatever discount you prefer. You can also increase the discount as the gift card value increases. So, $90 for a $100 gift card, $120 for a $150 gift card, $150 for a $200 gift card, and so on. This will inspire even larger gift card purchases, offering more value for customers and a higher ticket value for you.
3. Offer Gift Cards After Hitting a Spend Threshold
Another way that you can promote your gift cards and increased customer spend is by offering gift cards when customers hit a certain spend threshold. For example, at my store, we would offer a $25 gift card for the customer’s next purchase if they spent $500 with us. Not only did this inspire shoppers to want to spend $500, but it also incentivized them to come back to shop another day.
4. Use Gift Cards to Spark Reengagement
You can also use gift cards to bring customers back into your store with reengagement gift card offers. For example, say a once-loyal customer has not engaged with your store for six months. Try sending them an email with a small gift card, say $15, to try and get them to come back and shop with you again. In all likelihood, they will spend far beyond the gift card’s value, meaning that this strategy will not only promote loyalty but will also drive your bottom line.
5. Promote Your Gift Cards Around a Holiday
Holidays mean gifts and gift cards are some of the most popular gifts for any holiday. In fact, 90% of people consider gift cards to be appropriate gift options. This means that the holidays are a great time to promote your gift cards. Consider adding gift cards to a holiday display, sending out promotional emails when the holiday is coming near, and adding special holiday designs to your cards to make them extra relevant to the specific holiday.
6. Create a Gift Card Display
Another way that you can promote your gift cards is through your merchandising. Consider adding a display for your gift cards, like the image above. This is a simple way to draw customer attention to your gift cards and involves little investment. In addition to the display above, you could add your gift cards to your cash wrap for easy add-ons, to a table display, a wall display—the possibilities are endless when it comes to merchandising and displaying your gift cards.
7. Add Gift Cards to Your Gift Guides
Around holidays, it is common to release gift guides with present ideas that feature products from your store. This is a great opportunity to feature your gift cards and promote them as a gift idea for shoppers. In fact, gift cards are already the second most common gift category, with 44% of holiday shoppers buying them as presents. Try taking the angle that gift cards are great for picky gift recipients, people shoppers might not know as well, or are simply a quick and convenient option that people always love.
Using gift guides as a gift card promotional strategy is also great because it will inspire two customer visits: one from the gift card buyer and one from the gift card spender.
8. Use Gift Cards as Loyalty Rewards
Another way that you can promote your gift cards is by offering them to customers as a loyalty reward. With most loyalty programs, customers receive some sort of reward for supporting businesses routinely. Instead of the typical rewards—points, exclusive access, discounts—you can offer gift cards to your loyal customers.
This is a great way to remind customers that your gift cards exist, it opens the possibility for them to give the cards to a new customer as a gift, and it continues to promote their loyalty by inspiring a new store visit.
9. Offer New Member Gift Cards
You can also offer gift cards as a new member sign-on benefit for your loyalty program or other membership options. This strategy will not only incentivize people to sign up for your program, it will also inspire them to actually come back and shop with you afterward.
The image above shows a gift card valued at $100, but you do not have to offer nearly that much to create an impact. Starting at even $10 is great and will create the incentive you desire, but consider offering more if you are promoting a paid membership program.
10. Offer Free Shipping on Gift Card Purchases
You can make people want to spend at your store via a gift card over their credit card by offering free shipping on orders placed using a gift card. This is typically a strategy that will work best for ecommerce, but you can also offer this benefit for in-store shoppers, especially if you sell oversized items or your store is located in an area that attracts tourists who might want their items shipped directly to their homes.
11. Promote Gift Cards in Outreach Marketing
Another place where you can promote your gift cards is in your email and text marketing initiatives, otherwise known as your outreach marketing. Email and text marketing are a huge part of any successful retail business’s marketing scheme, so you should feature your gift cards here to ensure maximum visibility that will drive sales potential. Gift cards are a hugely popular gift option, so you want to be sure that shoppers remember you have them during the holiday season especially.
12. Offer Birthday Gift Cards
You can also promote gift cards by offering them as birthday gifts. Send over a small gift card for customer birthdays, somewhere in the range of $5–$15. People love to treat themselves on their birthdays, and your gift card might be the little push that inspires them to get their birthday treat from you rather than somewhere else. You could also sweeten the deal by adding a special birthday design and personalization, especially if the card is sent virtually.
13. Offer Special Packaging or Wrapping
One of people’s top qualms with giving gift cards is that they never seem personal. You can help to ease this worry by offering gift wrapping services or special packing for your gift cards. You can find all kinds of gift card sleeves, some even with customizable designs, on sites like Etsy, Envelopes.com, Target, and more.
14. Use a Punch Card System
One way that you can inspire people to buy gift cards from you routinely, either for themselves or as gifts, is by putting your gift cards on a punch card system. For example, for each $25 that a customer spends on gift cards, you could offer them a punch in their punch card.
Once they get nine punches, you offer them a free $25 gift card. This is an especially great strategy for businesses that see “regular” customers, like coffee shops, groceries, cafes, spas, etc. as it will inspire them to buy via gift cards rather than their personal cards and will keep them coming back again and again.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Click through the questions below to get answers to some of your most frequently asked gift card promotion questions.
Promote gift card sales by pushing them in your marketing, featuring them in your merchandising scheme, tying them to special offers (like giveaways, holidays, and spend thresholds), and making them special with designs and wrapping options.
Gift cards are a huge market, valued at over $339 billion annually in the US alone. They hold huge potential to drive sales and increase the visibility of your business.
Gift cards are important in retail because they represent a huge market and can help drive your bottom line, increase customer loyalty, and are an important gifting option that shoppers expect.
Gift cards are a key part of a successful retail business as they can drive sales and promote loyalty. However, if your customers don’t know you offer them because they are not a part of your business’s marketing and merchandising scheme, the potential that they hold can be lost. Use the gift card promotion ideas in this guide to reinvigorate your gift card sales and start selling more gift cards.