A successful gift card program can be a useful sales channel and more. When used rightly, it can do wonders for your Shopify store’s brand awareness. Starting a gift card program doesn’t require you to write lines of code, nor does it take up a lot of time. It is simple, affordable, and low-maintenance. There are several gift card software that can make it easy for businesses to set up their own gift card program, with the help of a few clicks, and nothing more.
According to a study conducted by Murphy Research, the percentage of consumers who use gift cards increases as generations get older, here are the numbers– Gen Z(78%), millennials (91%), Gen X (96%), boomers (97%). This is a telling statement about the acceptance of gift cards among the general populace.
In this article, we look at 5 must-have features for a successful gift card program on your Shopify store, including why you must start one right now.
Why do you need an eCommerce gift card program?
- A gift card program can do the following for your business
- Generate cash flow, no matter whether the cards are redeemed or not
- It increases impulse buys as gift card recipients’ part of the purchase is already covered
- You can track the number of sales and get access to a variety of reports in the analytics dashboard
- It reduces instances of frauds
- It helps you gain access to a new set of customers who would have been unaware of your brand
- Use it as a promotional tool to persuade customers to make the purchasing decision
- Track the trends of sales and monitor your activity
- Gift cards act as an ever-present advertisement for your brand
- 69% of employees prefer getting gift cards from their employees as a reward for their work, according to a study by Blackhawk Network and Market Research
5 must-have features for a successful gift card program:
- Personalization abilities:
The ability to change your gift card’s design cannot be overlooked. Imagine if you could only create gift cards that had the same bland design everywhere. Considering that gift cards are usually given as a gift to a loved one, it would be appalling if there is no room for creativity at all.
Your objective should be to make it as memorable as possible for the recipient. The customization options does not refer to just adding the name of the recipient on the gift card. It includes the ability to customize the gift card design, restricting which products they can be used on, setting an expiry date, and adding a personal touch to it by writing their own messages. The customization options should be advantageous for both customers and the business.
- Below are a few interesting customization options
- The ability to target specific group of customers
- Limitation on the number of times the gift card can be used
- For business clients, add their branding elements such as text, logos, images, etc
- Limitation on the products that can be bought with it
- Ability to set an expiry date
- Offer the ability to write personal messages
By using API, you can connect two systems that are separate. Without API integration, your scalability and the speed at which you can function is severely compromised. If the gift card software does not offer API integration, you would have to hire a coder to connect you with third-party systems you want to work with. For a business owner who is already swamped with getting leads, maintaining website, taking care of returns and refunds, the hassle of having to hire coders whenever necessary is futile.
With the right gift card program, connecting with other marketing tools such as a CRM tool or a payments system would be a breeze. There would be no need to build an infrastructure from the ground up. An ideal gift card software wouldn’t need the services of a web developer.
The ability to segment your customers into different groups based on shared characteristics is the first step that any legit marketer does. If you were to share the same copy and messaging to a 20-year old student and a third-generation business person, the outcome is going to be poor. By segmenting your customers, you will be able to create unique messaging for each segment, thereby hitting the right buttons.
Here are some of the characteristics that can be used to segment customers:
- Demographic information like name, gender, income, educational background, etc
- Website and mobile app behavior
- Purchasing triggers
- Order history
- Preferences based on saved items, bookmarks, and repeat visits
- Custom customer attributes
By segmenting customers, you will be in a position to push the right copy and offer to the right target audience. A Redpoint and Harris research report says that 66% of consumers would be happy to share personal data if it translates into good customer experience. Take this as inspiration and send online surveys, conduct focus groups, or face-to-face interviews to understand more about your target audience.
While gift cards by themselves are great for your brand, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not tracking important sales metrics. To make business decisions that will yield positive results, you must have access to relevant data. A decent gift card program will give you real-time numbers on sales, refunds issued, and more.
Track the performance of your gift card program so that you can use the present results as a benchmark to improve. It will help you improve your incumbent strategies and make data-driven decisions. You are advised to go through every single metric like a hawk. Look at the bigger picture, but do make it a point to have a clear idea about your gift card program’s granular-level performance. By using a gift card program like 99minds, you can easily and quickly export data to a business intelligence software like Datapine or QlikSense to make sense of the data.
Make sure that your customers get a variety of choices when it comes to payment methods. Mobile payments, debit cards, credit cards, wire transfer, PayPal, etc., are some of the most popular payment options available. When the payment options are aplenty, you make it easier for a wide spectrum of customers to access them.
Customers want to know how much money they have in their gift cards. Most retailers don’t offer such options and they force you to come to the store for the information. This will inevitably cause friction and can easily spoil the relationship. Enable your gift card recipients to check their gift card balance through your mobile app or desktop website. It helps them know how much cash they have so that they can make their purchasing decisions accordingly.
To have a successful gift card program, you must find one that fits your needs, and is easy to work with. The lesser the learning curve, the better it is. Write down the list of features that are important for your business. Make sure that the software you choose makes the life of your customers easy and gives them what is promised. The last thing that you must keep in mind for your gift card campaigning is to finalize one that fits your budget, once you go through the above steps.
If you are looking for a gift card program that has a powerful suite of features and functionalities to take your eCommerce store to the next level, 99minds is here for you. With a suite of products that include a loyalty and referral program, coupon creation, automated workflow creation, and a gift card program, it has everything that your store needs for higher growth and better customer experience.