There’s a certain simplicity in letting friends and loved ones choose the gift he or she wants rather than just guessing at a particular person’s tastes. Gift certificates and plastic gift cards are becoming a more popular purchase for people who aren’t quite sure what to get for the ones they are shopping for. You may already be offering gift certificates or gift cards to your customers, but are you using them to your best advantage?
Gift cards can actually be used to increase your sales, not just as a way for customers to redeem a pre-paid purchase. Here are three ways to use plastic gift cards bring in more money than ever this year.
- Use your plastic gift cards as a way to give back to the purchaser and not just the recipient. For example, it’s a common practice to have sales of ten or twenty percent from time to time, so why not treat the card as a sale purchase in itself? In other words, advertise that when any gift card is purchased for someone, the buyer gets a “bonus” gift card worth 10-15% of the amount the original card. The buyer will have a greater incentive to buy a gift card since he or she will be getting one to keep as well. In fact, buyers will have a desire to buy gift cards with higher amounts on them because they will be getting something back in return. And as far as your profits are concerned, it’s the same as if you had run a sale for the bonus amount.
- Print a special offer on the gift card itself as a way to entice a larger purchase when the recipient comes in to redeem it. If you set up your gift card printing so that cards have specific amounts appearing on them, you could arrange that the special offer is valid when an amount higher than the face value is spent at your business. For example, a $50 gift card may offer a 10% discount when $100 or more is spent in your store at one visit. Your customer will be enticed to spend the extra $50 just to get the $10 discount – but will in all likelihood spend even more.
- Make your gift cards reloadable. By purchasing cards with a magnetic stripe on the backing, you can give customers the option to add money onto them when they bring them back into the store to be redeemed. You’ll want to make sure to give them a compelling reason to do so, such as a 5% cash bonus on the card or a special gift of a low-margin item from your inventory. Customers love the idea of getting something as a bonus, even if they have to spend more to get it.
These three tips can take an ordinary paper gift certificate offering and turn it into something that adds more to your bottom line every year. Consider using any or all of these tips and create a powerful sales tool that puts more money into your pocket. Using your business gift cards strategically will keep customers coming through your doors long after they receive their gift cards.