Tips for Increasing Gift Card Sales
In the recently released report, 2022 Merchant Gift Card Omnicommerce Evaluation, AUS Edition, produced by NAPCO Research and Blackhawk Network, there were actionable tips featured to help merchants improve the performance of their gift card programs across three primary channels: e-commerce/digital; in-store; and mobile. Merchants should consider implementing these tips as they seek to capture additional market share and boost sales in the rapidly growing gift card industry. These areas are particularly ripe for improvement.
Personalize the experience. Consumers, particularly younger demographics, increasingly expect to be catered to as individuals. When it comes to the experience of giving and receiving a gift, the personal touch is key. Advanced personalisation scores were low, across card type and devices. In fact, averages were all under 10 percent. Retailers can take the following steps to better personalise both physical and digital gift cards:
- provide a wider range of faceplate options;
- enable more denomination flexibility; and
- allow purchasers to add a personal message to recipients.
Introduce omnichannel options. The rise of online shopping isn't slowing down. Delivering a flexible, seamless experience includes offering the ability to purchase a physical gift card online and pick it up in-store, yet merchants scored 15 percent for this criteria on desktop and just 12 percent on mobile. Make it easy for consumers to purchase gift cards, no matter the channel or purchase journey.
Cater to B2B buyers. Sixty percent of merchants evaluated did not have B2B gift card programs, and the overall average score was 33 percent for this criteria. Corporate gift cards are a substantial growth driver and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Add checkstand gift card displays. Maximise in-store opportunities by designating more space to checkstand fixtures and ensuring they're organised and positioned well to catch the eyes and imaginations of your customers. Shoppers that have come to your store are already engaging with your brand and your products, so why not make it as easy as possible for them to engage with your gift card offering? Yet only 54 percent of the retailers evaluated had checkstand gift card displays.
Use gift cards as a promotional tool. A 2020 Blackhawk Network and BrandedPay™ survey looking at Australian attitudes around shopping, payments, gifts and rewards reported that approximately 80 percent of Australian shoppers seek out promotions. In spite of this, very few merchants evaluated included gift cards as part of sales promotions in-store or online, highlighting a significant advantage for those merchants prepared to enhance their gift card offerings with promotional tie-ins.
Launch an app — and sell gift cards within it. Just 4 percent of retailers evaluated in this report had a mobile app, but those that did scored very well on app-related criteria. Compelling findings from Hootsuite and We Are Social’s ‘Digital 2022 Australia’ should empower businesses to embrace apps. Australians:
- downloaded 788 million apps during 2021; and
- spent AUD$3.24 billion both on apps and on in-app purchases in 2021, a 21 percent increase year-over-year.
Offer mobile payment options. For example, accept contactless payments for in-store gift card purchases. The more payment options (and direction on how they can use such options), the better the experience for the customer. And the better the experience, the more likely the customer is to come back to purchase again.
Download the full report, which identifies the top five merchants' omnicommerce gift card programs, as well as more valuable trends and tips gleaned from the data.
Related story: 2022 Merchant Gift Card Omnicommerce Evaluation - AUS Edition
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.