You’ve heard it dozens of times throughout your life, perhaps you’ve even said it once or twice yourself: “Gift cards are a thoughtless gift you buy when you forget someone’s [insert big day here].”
But if our shopping habits are any indication, this common zinger is completely wrong. If you’re an operator, you can capitalize on this trend in consumer behaviour to boost your profitability year-round. We’ll show you how to do it, but first we’ll explain why you should.
Gift cards are incredibly popular across all demographics--and they have been for 10 years running. During the 2016 holiday shopping season, for instance, 80% of consumers said they planned to purchase at least one gift card, and most of them estimated that half the gifts they purchased last year were gift cards.
There’s one other fact you should keep in mind, as well. It turns out that our decade-long demand for gift cards is driven by a desire to give (and receive) experiences rather than material goods. Research shows that experiential gifts bring more happiness than traditional gifts*. And as we’re fond of pointing out, FEC’s succeed when they provide the best customer experience possible.
We know this often easier said than done. So to help you sell more gift cards online, here are a few tips to drastically increase your results:
Target a specific audience
93% of women describe themselves as the primary gift buyer for their household vs. 70% of men. For your gift card campaign, you’ll want to speak to that demographic and address the goal they’re trying to achieve. This will affect everything from the Facebook ad copy or email you write to the product page you post on your website.
Here's an example of what it could look like:
Offer something of value before trying to sell your gift cards
If you’ve been in sales for a while, you know that people love to buy but hate to be sold. This means don’t just sell without giving them a reason why they should buy. One way to go about this is to write a blog post on15 Brilliant Gift Ideas for the Husband Who Has EverythingorWhy you should give the gift of epic experiences this holiday season.
The logical call-to-action at the end of the blog post would be to “purchase your gift card now!”
Sell the experience, not the gift card
When you’re selling anything, you’re selling the desired outcome. While flat out selling a gift card can work at times, you’re going to increase your chances of selling it if you talk about what that gift card will do. Trywriting seductive copyfor the gift card page on your site and see what happens.
Offer a promotional sale for your gift cards
82% of gift card shoppers took advantage of promotions when purchasing gifts. This is a powerful incentive for those gift givers who are on the hunt for a good bargain.
A conversion path is the process by which an anonymous website visitor becomes a known lead or, in this case, a customer. Optimizing your conversion path requires that you improve the visitors’ end-to-end experience on your website so that you sell more gift cards. Put another way, you should have an understanding of what your website visitors need, when they need it, and then literally show them how to convert. When you’re ready to take a deeper dive into conversion paths, this post will get you started.
Now over to you
The trend in consumer behaviour toward giving the gift of experiences is a great opportunity for those who are prepared. If you’re not selling gift cards online, it’s the perfect time to get set up with online capabilities. If you are selling gift cards, use this post to elevate your efforts.
*This is probably why restaurant, coffee shop and entertainment/movie gift cards were three of the six most popular gift cards given in 2016.