Suppose your sales numbers are stagnant and there are not many prospects in the pipeline. In that case, you are in an unenviable position. No matter how good your products are, they need to sell. Attracting new customers is a task that you should have your best minds occupied with. Retaining your existing customers is another way for you to ensure that your sales pipeline never gets rusted.
Having a gift card program in place lets you do both- increase your sales and make your customers more loyal.
Do you offer gift cards to your customers?
If gift cards have not been a part of your plan yet, then maybe you should start a program for that. Gift cards are easily the most convenient form of gift that your customer can give to a loved one without even having to make the difficult decision of thinking too much about what to give.
Apart from being extremely convenient for customers, the advantages it has for small business owners is incredible.
Let us look at how you can drive sales through gift cards:
Bonus Cash Card:
Do you want to incentivize your customers to buy gift cards? Here is a strategy that you can use. Offer a limited-time plan where customers who buy gift cards for $X will receive more cash loaded into it. Even customers who were not looking to buy a gift card will find the deal appealing. It will add more money to your bottom line as well.
Free gift card with purchase:
Want your customers to revisit your store? Here’s what you can do. For every customer who buys from you for $X, offer them a gift card for $Y. It is a great way to ensure that your customers will come back to your establishment and is also an opportunity for you to provide an excellent service for your customers- again.
Free gift card with gift cards:
Offering a gift card on top of a gift card is a smart move to make. One, because the second gift card can be marketed as a gift card that they can give to their friends.
Sell holiday-themed gift cards:
If Valentine’s day is around the corner, then create gift cards that are exclusively designed with this theme in mind. Do not miss the opportunity of using popular holidays and occasion-specific gift cards. When you sell themed gift cards, please ensure that you tell your customers that the gift card is valid for as much time as a regular gift card. Many customers tend to assume that gift cards that are meant for special holidays are only valid during those holidays. Such themed gift cards can also be marketed as a souvenir, and collectors would love to have a piece of them.
Create specialized marketing for gift cards:
Most customers will not know that there is something called gift cards in the first place. You need to proactively tell them that your business has gift cards for customers. Spread the word about it on different channels as well as your physical stores. Tell every customer that walks into your store about the gift cards.
Promote your gift cards on social media, mention them on banners in your website, send details about it to your email list, and even use advertisements to get the ball rolling.
Create a shareable experience:
Humans are social animals. We want to tell other people how we are enjoying something. Why else would the first thing that most people do after a vacation be uploading photos on Instagram? How can you create a shareable experience for your customers when they buy gift cards from you. You need to create positive emotions by providing a delightful and unexpected experience, which will increase the chances of them sharing their experience with others.
Ensure that your gift cards are as personalized as possible, which increases the propensity for them to share their experience.
Sending complimentary low-value gift cards:
There are three categories of customers.
Category #1 Customers who frequently buy from you.
Category #2 Customers who bought from you once but haven’t purchased anything in quite some time.
Category #3 These are customers who are part of your email list. They will click on the occasional email but have never purchased anything from you.
Moving the last two categories of customers to the first category is what businesses should be aiming to achieve. Segment your customers, send emails to customers in categories #2 and #3 saying that you are offering them a $10 gift card. It will come as a surprise for the customer because it was totally unexpected. Customers who have never purchased from you have an incentive to try it out and see.
Even if these categories of customers don’t purchase from you, they will remember that you exist, associate positive emotions with your brand, and so on. Bulk gift card campaigns like this will drive a lot of engagement from your audience. You can also use the same strategy to increase email sign-ups, where you offer a low-value gift card to them.
Market your gift cards at other retail stores:
Is it possible to use your gift cards at other retail stores too? Maybe you can come up with a plan where they can take a commission for each gift card of yours that they sell at a retail store. You can also engage in a quid pro quo deal where you display their gift cards in your retail store in exchange for them doing the same. It is a win-win for both brands. If you can find a chain of stores, then it gets easier to have your gift cards in many stores with the minimum effort.
The marketing power that gift cards have is immense. They are great for increasing your customer base as well as improving your sales numbers. The gift card buyers are more often buying it for their friends and family, which means that the likelihood of them being gifted to someone who is not your customer yet, is high. It means that you will get introduced to new customers without even having to try much. By personalizing your gift cards, you will be able to create a positive experience for your customers, and they are more likely to share it on social media channels for their friends and family.
If you are looking to set up a gift card promotional plan for your eCommerce store, the team at 99minds will be happy to guide you. We handhold you from the ideation stage to executing the gift card promotions for your eCommerce store.