Gift cards are the top in-demand gift this holiday season. Don’t believe it? 59% of Americans plan to buy one—or several—this year, says the National Retail Federation (NRF).
Consumers plan to buy three or four gift cards at an average $47 per card, the NRF says. That totals $27.5 billion. With numbers like this, you need to make sure you offer gift cards in an array of prices.
Gift cards appeal to consumers for a lot of reasons. 46% say gift cards allow recipients to select their own gifts. 29% say it’s faster and easier to buy a gift card than choose a traditional gift. For retailers, gift cards are a great way to boost holiday sales.
And gift cards aren’t just for retailers. They’re popular items at restaurants, salons, and gyms. Service entrepreneurs can sell gift cards too. Cleaning companies, car washes, contractors, graphic artists, and more can all market and sell gift cards.
1. Display gift cards at checkout
Often, gift cards are an impulse buy—a treat shoppers buy for themselves after a long day shopping for others. If you sell physical cards, make sure you have envelopes (free) or gift boxes (for a small charge) available. Or place them on display tables or shelves where you’ve curated gifts for specifics groups.
2. Highlight gift cards on social media
As with any other product, you need to market your gift cards, especially if consumers don’t expect your business to offer them. Use your social platforms to let your customers know you have gift cards available. Send an email announcing the availability of gift cards. You can even add a simple “Gift cards now available” line to your email signature.
3. Reward spenders with gift card perks
Consider offering gift cards as promotional incentives. For example, you might offer a $10 gift card for every $100 a customer spends. Or package the cards in bulk and give them to corporate customers at a small discount. If you have a loyalty program, offering gift cards as rewards—instead of “points”—gives customers something more concrete to work toward. This incentivizes them to become repeat customers.
The real value of gift cards
Small but mighty, gift cards can have a lot of value for small business owners. For one, some gift card recipients never bother to redeem them. But more important, consumers with gift cards often spend more than the face value of the card when they redeem them. Don’t miss out on the chance to maximize your business’s appeal this holiday season.
Rieva Lesonsky is the CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for free TrendCast reports.