With that in mind, we introduce you to our newest feature: You Asked, HQ Answered. And being that this is unofficially our holiday issue, we thought what better time to answer a few questions about gift cards.
Who doesn’t love gift cards? When you consider how hard it is to buy a present for friends and relatives who already have everything, it’s no wonder that gift card sales annually reach $200 billion and save millions of people from receiving fuzzy slippers and huge cans of cheesy popcorn in the process.
For small businesses, gift cards might fall into the “nice to have” category, but smart retailers should take note of the benefits that gift cards can, and will, deliver to their bottom line.
Customers shopping with gift cards are less price-sensitive than those spending their own money. They often pay full price for products and services rather than rummaging through clearance racks and worrying about deals.
Gift cards may be worth more than their actual value. A study by First Data reported that 75 percent of gift card shoppers spend more than the original gift card value when redeeming their cards.
Additionally, when redeeming their gift card, 25 percent purchased an item they had not planned to spend money on; 8 percent bought a more expensive version of an item; and 3 percent purchased an item from a store where they don’t normally shop.
Gift cards are a great idea for the holiday shoppers. With incentives for the giver like buying a $100 gift card and receiving a $10 promotional gift card, you can reward both parties and encourage return visits.
Gift cards are pretty much hassle free for you and your customers. Some credit card processors offer gift cards that you can use with the help of your POS system to automatically keep track of the balance. Having your logo on front of the card is a constant reminder for the user to come in and check out the merchandise.
While a bit of an old-school option, you can also print out paper gift certificates. Canva.com offers a wide variety of templates that are easy to customize and print. One drawback of paper gift certificates is that they can be counterfeited. Adding a code number to each certificate and recording that in your ledger will help prevent the Grinch from ruining Christmas.