4 Tips to Increase E-Commerce Sales of Gift Cards
With consumer demand for gift cards sustaining even after peak interest during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers and brands are in search of ways to boost the performance of their gift card programs (i.e., drive more sales), particularly online. To help in that quest, NAPCO Research, in conjunction with Blackhawk Network, conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the state of U.K. merchants’ gift card e-commerce offerings. The assessment evaluated 50 brands across more than 100 unique criteria, including things such as ease of discoverability, offering flexibility, checkout/post-purchase, customer service, among others.
In addition to ranking the retailers evaluated based on the established criteria as well as providing analysis into the trends that the data were revealing, the report features a section on best practices that merchants can implement to improve the performance of their e-commerce gift card purchase process. Here are a select few of those best practices:
- A personalised experience is not optional. Personalisation is a necessary component of your gift card programme and a valuable tool in differentiating it from others in the market. Providing a truly bespoke experience consumers will remember will help build long-lasting relationships and can be particularly useful in appealing to a younger demographic who are personalisation natives thanks to the omnipresence of platforms such as Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify.
- Overlook discoverability, and consumers may overlook your brand. Making consumers aware of your gift card offering, as well as ensuring gift cards are easy to locate and accompanied by relevant information and a straightforward, aesthetically pleasing experience, should be the first step on any merchant’s journey to a more successful gift card programme. Creating a strong gift card offering but leaving it buried, obstructed, or difficult to find is counterproductive.
- App optimisation may hold the key to an untapped opportunity. The merchants that are not offering their gift cards within their mobile apps are missing the chance to meet their customers where they are. By not including gift cards within their mobile apps, merchants are failing to provide a valuable, revenue-driving product in a channel their customers frequent. By optimising the gift card purchasing experience across devices, brands can allow customers to engage with the programme on their terms, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
- Innovate to differentiate. With a few exceptions, innovation among the merchants assessed in this report was generally low, even among brands that are known for being creative and inventive outside of gift cards. To capitalise on the significant gift card market, brands should be extending the innovation that is apparent in other aspects of their business to gift cards. Doing so will help them to stand out from the competition, form a deeper and more personal relationship with customers, and drive revenue.
For more tips on how you can increase e-commerce sales of gift cards, check out the 2021 UK Merchant Gift Card E-Commerce Evaluation. You can download the full report, which includes the rankings of all 50 merchants (including by product category) as well as more valuable trends and tips gleaned from the data, here.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.