Gift cards appear to be popular with everyone, especially customers. Givers will appreciate how easy and convenient it is to give a gift card. Gift card holders have a lot of options and a simple to use payment method.
Gift cards have even more benefits for businesses like yours. Gift cards are used by merchants all over the world to drive Brand awareness and overall profitability of the company. Gift cards are a critical part of a stacked marketing mix to engage customers and encourage return visits/transactions.
In a year marked by lifestyle shifts, personal pivots, and corporate adaptations, 2022 may be remembered as the year of the gift card, with surveys indicating a significant increase in sales.
Is your company prepared to benefit? Gift card programs are flexible and economical for businesses of all sizes throughout the year.
So, returning to the original question, are gift cards solely used during the holidays or for seasonal sales?
Let’s flip the question on its head. Should business be done solely during the holidays or all year? Holidays drive gift card sales/activation. The rest of the year helps to drive redemption of those gift cards. Companies work to drive redemption throughout the rest of the year in order to reap the benefits during the holiday sales/activation season. Similarly, gift cards aid in driving brand awareness of a company throughout the year, with the benefit accruing over the Holiday selling/activation season. Businesses benefit over the Holiday season as a result of their efforts and promotions throughout the year. Gift cards play a crucial role in accelerating these sales and enhancing visits/transactions during weaker parts of the year (January-April).
Consider the following seven ways that gift cards can be useful throughout the year.
- Throughout the year, gift cards help to raise brand recognition.
Gift cards are an easy form of promotion that helps to keep your brand top-of-mind with your target market throughout the year. Traditional plastic cards are wallet-sized advertisements that customers carry with them. Virtual gift cards allow you to market your brand messages to customers online, in addition to being convenient and accessible from a customer’s smart phone, computer, etc.
- More Holiday sales are captured with year-round campaigns using gift cards.
Traditional retail enterprises no longer see only Christmas holiday sales peaks. Gift cards are a great way for all kinds of companies to get in on the holiday excitement throughout the year (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthdays). Gift card programs make the holidays brighter for everyone, whether it’s for gym memberships, car wash subscriptions, lawn mowing, or salon services, as long as they’re used effectively.
- Customer interaction is fostered via gift cards.
A relationship with a customer may begin with a gift card, but it should not end there. Gift card programs allow you to engage your customers more deeply and expand your marketing opportunities. Gift givers are acting as brand ambassadors for your company. The recipients of gifts engage in feeling uplifted.
- Gift card campaigns run all year round provide useful data.
Gift cards open avenues that allow you to better serve your clients. Gift cards might assist you in gathering crucial information that will help you better understand your market. Gift cards can also be linked to online registrations, allowing customers to voice their preferences and help you serve them better.
- Gift cards are a safe and convenient way to give money.
Paper gift certificates have a long history of popularity and are still feasible on a modest basis. Gift cards, on the other hand, are safer and more handy than paper certificates, which are prone to loss, theft, and fraud due to duplication.
When it comes to convenience, gift cards can be accepted the same way credit and debit cards are: online, in-app, or in-store.
- Gift cards are simple to distribute.
Gift cards are a great way to make the most of your in-store space. Gift card “malls” in larger establishments, such as grocery stores, expose your brand to an even larger audience. In conclusion, gift cards will assist you in luring clients even during non-holiday periods. Convenience and availability drive distribution and brand awareness. Your brand wants to be where other brands are.
- Gift cards help with cash flow.
Year around gift card programs can help with cash flow, especially when compared to other marketing strategies. Traditional marketing tactics that have a proven return on investment require time to produce revenue. You can drive company cash flow and financial health with gift card sales.
Thinking beyond the holidays
According to a survey conducted in 2018, the winter holidays are only the second most popular time to give gift cards. Gift cards are an efficient sales booster throughout the year, as evidenced by the giving trends below.
- Birthdays account for 68 % of all birthday gifts, followed by the holidays.
- Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, gift cards accounted for 38% of all gifts for Mom and Dad.
- Valentine’s Day – Gift cards accounted for over 27% of all Valentine’s Day gifts.
- Baby Showers/Birthdays – A gift card accounted for 32% of these gifts.
- Weddings — Present cards were the most popular wedding gift, with nearly half of individuals giving them to newlyweds.
The most common reasons people acquire gift cards are:
- They’re one of the most popular items on wish lists, with 61 percent of individuals requesting them.
- Gift cards are preferred by 24% of consumers because they are less time consuming than traditional holiday buying.
- 64% of people purchase gift cards for themselves.
- They’re ideal for people who procrastinate. In fact, in the days leading up to December 25th, gift card sales skyrocket.
For multi-unit restaurants, retail establishments, and convenience store chains, implementing year around gift card programs is a winning strategy. Retailers, on the other hand, must be able to effortlessly produce, sell, and manage gift cards while also providing a great customer experience at every interaction. Whether a consumer interacts with you in person, on a mobile device, on a social media platform, or online, the experience should be consistent. In reality, the most successful gift card programs make it simple for customers to purchase them, whether in-store or online, redeem them for services/products, and validate balances.
A well-managed gift card programme can significantly boost restaurant and retail sales. Gift cards are an efficient sales tool in all sorts of restaurants, and creating a multichannel program that combines both physical and e-gift cards will increase overall restaurant sales, especially during the Holiday season.
Many people bought online gift cards as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Experts expect that gift card sales will continue to rise in 2021, despite the fact that there will be fewer in-person gatherings.