The holiday season is fast-approaching, meaning it’s time to buy gifts. Gift cards are more popular than ever. According to the National Retail Federation, the average shopper will spend $163 on gift cards this year alone. That brings the total gift card market to an estimated $29.8 billion – that’s a new record!
With all that said, it’s not hard to see the quickly-growing potential of offering gift cards. In fact, over 60% of those surveyed said they plan on giving gift cards. In a day when shoppers are increasingly spending their holiday money at online retailers, offering gift cards can be very effective in not only increasing your holiday sales, but also building your overall business.
They aren’t easily lost
Paper gift certificates range in size from business card size (easily lost) to huge, bordering on novelty golf check sized (won’t fit in a wallet or greeting card). I’ve lost a few gift certificates, and it’s very frustrating. Options for a reissue open up a whole host of problems, including burdening the person who originally gave it to you.
The experience of receiving
Paper certificates can look cheap. Plastic gift cards represent your business much better and lend a much better experience for the receiver. Gift cards are oftentimes presented in a nice looking carrier or little box which can easily take the place of a greeting card.. Either way, there is a perceived premium not only to the gift recipient, but also to the gift buyer who sees a sense of premium when they shop at your business.
Minimizes duplication and fraud
Paper gift certificates can be easily duplicated by anyone with a printer and/or access to design software. Signatures can also be easily forged. Plastic gift cards provide much more security, and can easily be tracked after they leave your business giving you peace of mind that you’re not being scammed or losing money.
Plastic gift cards result in more business
When a customer redeems a paper gift certificate for a purchase less than the amount of their certificate, they are provided change. If a customer has been given a paper gift certificate for $75 and they make a purchase for $61, they’ll get back $14 in cash instead of money redeemable back on their gift certificate. The other option is to mandate that the gift certificate be used in full at once, which can be extremely off-putting to potential new customers.
In this same scenario, if this customer had been given a plastic gift card, they would retain the card, coming back another time to spend the small balance, resulting in an additional sale. Furthermore, if this customer has never before been to your business, having them come in multiple times exponentially increases the odds they will become a regular customer.
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