eCommerce Cultivated | Episode 004

Offering Gift Cards to Boost Online Store Sales

In today’s episode we are discussing the power of gift cards for retailers. If you have a retail business gift cards are going to be a great way to bring in extra revenue why still continuing to serve your audience. Pop on your Airpods and listen to today’s episode.

Apple | Spotify | Stitcher

In today’s episode we discuss

  • The benefits of gift cards
  • How to make sure they are set up for better conversions
  • How to gift cards to your marketing
  • Plus more!

Join the conversion

  • Join the conversation by commenting on this post
  • Or connect over on Instagram at themaycreative

Show Transcript

Ready to reduce abandoned carts, convert more traffic to sales, plus more welcome to brand cultivated a podcast dedicated to helping your e-commerce lifestyle or beauty brand grow. I’m Karen, the founder and creator behind The May Creative, which is an e-commerce web design and development business that reimagines possible ideas into reality. I’m excited to have you here. So grab your favorite class and let’s dive in.

Hi there. I hope you are doing well and I am doing well so far. Thank you for asking LOL. Today I wanted to pop on and talk to you about gift cards, especially as a retailer, and just give you some tips on how you can better utilize them in your business, because if you are listening to this right now, you know, everywhere in the world, we are going through a pandemic right now. And it has resulted in a lot of businesses having to pivot almost overnight.

It seems to, you know, operate and do business a different way, which means a lot of people are doing businesses online, which is fortunate that we have technology to be able to do that and, you know, make it pretty fast and efficient. For those of you who have already been operating online in a business capacity, it’s definitely a lot easier for you because you’re already familiar. But for those who have not really touched the surface of online retail, it can be a bit of a transition and, you know, a different set of expectations and execution when it comes to operating your business.

And so I want to. Talk about today, one method that you can use to bring in additional revenue into your business, which is gift cards, but going forward in some future episodes, we’ll be talking about more unique situations that you can possibly use for your business that may or may not work for you just depends that you can consider so that you can continue to generate revenue because we want you to still thrive. And of course, with technology, it will allow you to do that.

You just have to have the right practices in place and be able to pivot when you need to easily and know how to do it. So we’re going be talking about gift cards and how they can help you. All right. So the main thing is that a gift card is great for your business because it is a way to bring in additional revenue. It is a quick win for your business and it’s easy for customers, you know, your business.

If you’ve been operating primarily with the physical location, you might have seen a dramatic difference in the way your revenue is coming in, coming in now, because, you know, a lot of your you know, your profits came from that foot traffic going into your store. And so now if you’re just really touching the surface of online retail, it can be a challenge because not a lot of people were familiar with you in terms of shopping your online location.

So it can be kind of like a dip in your income. So gift cards will offer you a way to kind of recoup that revenue part of it, and maybe not all of it, but part of it so that you can, you know, pay for things that you need to pay for. So it’s an additional revenue source for your business in the fact that people are buying a pre loaded amount of money in sense to shop with your brand.

And then when they go to redeem it, they’ll have that money to apply towards their purchase. And that’ll be a great benefit to them because, you know, people who typically use gift cards or redeem them actually end up spending more because it’s almost like they are waiting for that moment where they can actually just spend a little bit more in terms of their investments to get things that they really, really want. And so gift cards are a great way to do that.

And it’s great for you because it allows you to take in money now for future purchases. And then once they actually redeem the gift card, it is actually an opportunity then for this for them to spend more. So you’re actually getting more money in a sense, when that happens. So gift cards can be a great way to not only get money now, but also increase the amount of money and income that you’re getting for the future. And also gift cards are great right now because people are still having celebrations and special occasions that they want to offer.

And if you are, you know, providing a gift card that they can easily purchase, it still gives them a way of giving a gift or saying a thank you to someone special that they care about without them feeling like they couldn’t do anything. And then in turn, that also allows your brand to be introduced to someone new, especially if they’ve never been with your shop before. But it allows that person to become aware of your brand so gift cards can increase brand awareness.

And if you nail that experience for that first time customer that comes across your brand and they end up falling in love, especially online, it’s going to just introduce your brand to so many more customers, because the first thing people love to do is when they find something new that they really enjoy, they will hop on social media and tag that brand and start telling people so you could, you know, potentially get new exposure to 50 people, a hundred people, thousands of people, depending on who this person is sharing your brand with.

And so you want to make sure that you are giving that amazing experience at all times because you never know. And, you know, it will pay back to you because people are going to be like, oh, well, such and such that so many wonderful things about, you know, this company and their experience. And then they absolutely love the product they told us. So I check it out, I’m going to check it out. And then that person gets introduced to your brand and then they go on to tell other people.

And so it just creates this ripple effect where. People are just discovering you and so thinking of your business in terms of that, that is amazing because that doesn’t just limit you to your local customers, that opens up your business to a lot of people online. They don’t necessarily have to be in the same state as you are the same city, even the same country. A lot of the times it just opens up your business to so much more exposure.

And so gift cards can be a great way to do that, along with amazing customer service. So with that being said, because now I’m like, oh, are you not excited? That being said, you definitely want to think about implementing gift cards into your business. If you’re not doing it right now, get started doing it. If you are doing it right now, turn it up a notch because it’s going to make a difference. Another cool thing about gift cards is that people during the holiday season love to redeem them.

So think about it this way. You are going to be preloading your holiday sales like padding your bottom line for holiday, because once those people start coming out and doing their shopping, they’re going to want to buy stuff in. They’re going to be thinking about those gift cards. And, you know, when they were doing their gift cards, they’re going to end up spending more money. So they’re probably going to spend at least twice as more, especially during the holiday season.

And it’s just going to add more padding to your bottom line. So by the end of year, you’re going to be like, oh, this what? This turned out nicely. So that is another bonus of selling gift cards. And so now that you kind of know, like the the bonuses of why you should be offering them, I want to talk about, you know, just going through a process of like setting your goals and also making sure that you create this easy setup for people to buy them.

So the first thing you want to set your gift card goals. So just like your annual sales or monthly quarterly sales in your weekly daily sales, however, you break it down and think about what you want to do in terms of gift card sales. So I would say think about the quantities first that you want to sell. Maybe you want to sell 10 a day or, I don’t know, 50 a week, whatever it is. Write that down and then make sure it’s just a measurable goal that you’re going after and then after you’ve gotten used to it, you can start thinking about how much in terms of dollar amounts to want to sell for gift cards, but, you know, incorporate the goal into your daily routines and then incorporate the goal with your staff, let them know what the goals are so that everybody can support that overall vision, not just like the daily sales, monthly sales, weekly sales however, but just the overall vision so that they know and are aware you can even set goals for certain people as well.

So if you have like somebody that’s really good with connecting with people in your business and they’re really good sales person, they could be that person that drives that part of the business. So give them the gift card goal because it’s more natural to them. So give it to the best person that can do it. OK, but if it’s totally you, then it will be you. So set that goal and then I want you to set up a way for people to easily buy your gift cards so you can set it up on your website.

And it just make it a simple link where they can just click to it and then they’ll pick the gift card that they want. If you have design options or if it’s just one design to do that, then set up where it gives them like a predetermined amount that they can select. So it could be 50 dollars, a hundred dollars, five hundred thousand dollars, whatever that is, and then give them like a custom option. And the reason behind that is that you want to encourage people to easily make a decision.

So if you give people the options of what it is to buy, they’re going to make a decision and click on something. But if you just leave it open, you know, it gives that impression like I don’t know. And so they’ll most likely click off. So go ahead and include like some predefined amounts on there, along with the custom option, because sometimes people might want to spend more than what you have listed or vice versa. So do that.

So make it easy. And then once they check out, they’ll be able to send it to the person that they want to send it to and then they’ll get a copy for their own records like that. They did the gift card and think about again, like people that are buying gifts for people that they love or special occasions and things like that, they’re still going to want to, you know, provide some sort of gift.

And so do you want to make that experience easy and seamless for them? So set that up on our site and then you want to make sure that you start to market it a lot of ontime. Online retailers are not talking about gift cards a lot because they’re talking mostly about their products. But don’t forget about your gift cards and so you can incorporate what you offer during, you know, things that you normally do on a day to day basis. So if you’re doing social media and you’re showcasing products, you could talk about gift cards when you’re showcasing your product.

So, for example, if you use Instagram, you could talk about it on your feed, you could talk about it in stories. If you’re doing product of the day, you could talk about it in your product of the day. If you’re doing, you know, outfits of the day, you could do mentioned it in your outfits of the day. Just talk about it so you can create this awareness like, hey, we do have gift cards that we’re offering our customers.

It’s an amazing way to provide a gift for someone that you care about in your life and things like that. And so you can just naturally incorporate it into the language and into the marketing of your business and then just make sure that we are talking about it. You are incorporating your own brand voice. So that’s natural. So it’s not like something that just seems awkward. So just make sure it follows in there correctly so you could talk about it on social media.

You can talk about it also when you are sending out your emails about your products, because you should be sending out some form of email marketing. I don’t care if it’s not your thing. You need to get up on email game. OK, that’s going to be another episode. But email is going to be very key because email convert’s a lot higher than social media. The reason being is that more people will see your emails versus on social media unless you’re paying for exposure.

In a sense on social media, unfortunately, all of your followers are not going to see your content. You know, maybe 15 percent of the people that are following you or even five percent are going to see your content. The rest of them are not. And so with email, it’s like that personal invite, that personal experience where they are the first to know about what you’re offering and so they can easily see it and sign up. So talk about it in your email marketing.

Another place you can talk. Talk about it or another experience you can talk about gift cards in is when you’re having conversations with people, how many of us are jumping on video calls and talking to fellow business owners, things like that, talking to friends and family and just talking about, you know, regular stuff and what’s going on. And maybe somebody is talking to you about a gift, you know, maybe something that they want to get with gifts for somebody.

And you can bring up your gift cards. You can talk about like, hey, you know, we offer gift cards. You know, it’s a great way to provide a gift for somebody that you care about and things like that and just make sure it’s, again, part of the normal natural conversation. And that’ll be just a great way to, again, introduce your brand to people that might not have known that you, you know, had a company or they might have been able to shop your physical location because they’re in a different location.

So, again, think about it in that way and then think about what other ways you can naturally talk about your gift cards. Now, don’t you think every day that I go, oh, my gosh, I to talk about my gift cards today. I don’t become obsessive about it, but just building that habit that way, it’s not unnatural for you to bring it up just like any other product or experience that goes on in your business. It’s a great way to, you know, again, bring in that extra revenue, build that brand awareness and things like that.

So I hope this was helpful. If you’re not offering gift cards, definitely start doing it.

If you’ve been offering them, go ahead and continue to push and, you know, just deliver excellent service and bring it up.

But hopefully you found this helpful and make sure that you’re subscribed because we’ll be talking about other strategies you can use to bring in additional revenue for your business. And we’ll be talking about things like e-mail marketing and so much more. So definitely don’t forget to hit me up on Instagram and we can continue the discussion.

I hope you found today’s episode valuable and that it inspires you to take action toward growing your brand. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes. Also, I invite you to connect over on Instagram @themaycreative to continue the discussion. And remember, your ideas can become reality until next time.


Hi, I'm Karen, the founder + strategist/Shopify expert behind The May Creative. I help growing luxury, lifestyle & beauty product-based business owners craft an elevated Shopify website experience. So they can scale their business & reach their next level of success. Connect to learn more about working together. Or check out the episodes below or dive into some insightful eCommerce articles.


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