People love buying gift cards for teachers, coworkers and friends. These desirable gifts are easy to purchase — even easier to wrap — and they are gifts that recipients truly appreciate. There are so many pros to giving and receiving gift cards you might think they would sell themselves.
It’s not quite that simple, however. Small to medium-sized restaurants may have to work a little harder to sell gift cards than large chains, but the payoff is worth it — literally. According to giftcards.com, consumers spend more than $100 billion on gift cards every year, and more than 72 percent of people who shop with a gift card will spend more than the value of the card.
With the holiday shopping season getting underway, here are a few tips that can help you improve your gift card sales strategy:
Start spreading the news: To maximize gift card sales, start advertising now, before peak holiday shopping, and get the word out both in-store and online. Consider incentives and bonus offers to jump start gift card sales such as “purchase a $100 gift card and get a $10 gift card free,” which may help people cross two gifts off their lists for the price of one.
Offer both traditional cards and eGift cards: Buying gift cards should be easy, so make sure people have multiple options for purchasing them. eGift cards give your customers the ability to buy and send them online, whenever it’s convenient. For frequent customers at your physical locations, have gift cards displayed by the register and at other visible locations, so customers are reminded to purchase them when they stop in.
Reward loyalty: Some of the most effective gift card programs are the ones that integrate with a restaurant’s loyalty platform. Customers can recharge gift cards and keep using them to accrue points for free beverages, food, or products. You can offer different incentives to improve your gift card sales and keep people coming back like automatic card reloading or a bonus for adding a minimum dollar amount.
Look gift ready: Whether it’s the holidays, a birthday or another special event, consider ways your customers can present your gift cards with style. Some restaurateurs wrap them in gift boxes, while others offer decorative envelopes or bags. You may also want to consider creative ways your customers could “wrap” your gift cards, such as attaching them to a bottle of hot sauce or to a box that includes a bakery item, which customers could purchase as add-ons.
Post-holiday promotions: Giftcard.com notes that 90 percent of people who receive gift cards will spend them within 60 days or less. Receiving a gift card during the holiday season probably means it will be redeemed after New Year’s Day. Consider offering incentives to encourage people with gift cards to spend them in January along with extra purchases. This will help you start the year with strong sales numbers and people will appreciate a little something extra for redeeming their gift cards during the promotional period.
Gift cards are the perfect present for just about anyone and a smart way to improve your bottom line. The holiday festivities will be starting soon, so make sure your gift card displays are stocked and your shop and website are ready for action!
Contact us today to learn how your point of sale system can help you improve your gift card sales strategy.