Many retail stores, restaurants, and service-based businesses sell a lot of gift cards over the holiday season. The recipients of these gift cards will be using them in the months following Christmas, giving businesses the opportunity of gaining new loyal customers.
The best part about new customers using gift cards at your business is the opportunity to keep them coming back for more. Repeat customers are nine times more likely to convert than first-time visitors (Source). So it’s important to focus on increasing customer loyalty with each purchase.
Read on for our tips on how to turn your gift card recipients into repeat customers!
Branding and Promoting Your Gift Cards
Designing your Gift Cards and Packaging
When selling gift cards for the holiday season, you should brand your gift cards effectively to increase the chances of them actually being used. Custom gift card packaging that includes your location and contact information can be really helpful to the recipients. Sometimes that information can be harder to find online, especially if you have a small store, so including it in the gift can be really helpful.
Avoid getting shoved into a drawer and forgotten by making gift recipients more excited to visit your store or restaurant. It can be a great idea to include an insert about your products or services, or menu, in with your gift card. Or you can create a QR code that recipients can scan to view your information quickly and with minimal effort.
Encouraging Gift Card Sales
To help promote gift card sales for your business, you can offer bonuses and discounts for the gift card purchasers. Whether they will be using the gift cards themselves or giving them away as gifts, it’s a great way to improve your sales (especially around the holiday season). Some companies offer a bonus $20 gift card with $100 purchase, or maybe a 20% off coupon for their next purchase when you buy a gift card.
If you really want to get gift card recipients into your store or restaurant, you can include a one-time coupon with the gift card to help entice them. If there’s one thing that gets people to shop more, it’s discounts! Be sure to give the coupon an expiration date so recipients are excited to shop at your business soon after Christmas.
Enhance the Shopping Experience
It’s a good business habit to always ask your customers if it is their first time visiting your store or restaurant. When a first time customer comes in with a gift card, you may want to give them some background about your business or some personalized product recommendations.
First impressions are extremely important so it’s imperative that you make a customer’s first visit memorable and positive. Customer service should always be a top business priority, but first time guests may need even more assistance than your average customer. They may have received a gift card without knowing much about your business at all. Make sure your sales associates and customer service representatives are knowledgeable about your products and services so they can quickly answer any questions your new customers may have.
What makes you stand out?
What makes your store or restaurant different from others like it? Find something unique about your business and make sure your new customers are aware. Whether it’s a certain product, service, or just great customer care, your business should have a reason it stands out among the rest and is memorable to your customers.
Be an expert in your products
If someone is visiting your store, restaurant, or e-commerce website for the first time, you want to make them feel 100% comfortable with your level of expertise and knowledge. Make sure all of your employees are well informed about your products and services and have the knowledge to recommend items based on individual customers’ needs. Nobody wants to visit a new business only to be offered a generic experience that doesn’t really fit their wants or needs. If they are shopping online, you could include a quiz to help them find the right products for their needs. Consumers are increasingly looking for a more interactive and personalized shopping experience, whether in-store or online.
Keep in Touch
Aim to capture the email address, phone number, or address of your new customers so you can continue to send them promotions and discounts for the future. Ensure that they won’t forget about your business by staying in touch with customers. When a new gift card customer comes in to make a purchase, be sure to ask if they want to be included in your store’s email promotion list to get notified about sales and coupons. Also ask for birthdays or special occasion dates so you can send cards or coupons for special events.
Always encourage customers to follow your brand on social media! You can even put social media handles on your gift card or gift card packaging so they can check out your social profiles right away. Social media is a great place to show off new products, ideas, and promotions for your loyal customers.
Offer Incentives to Come Back
Offering discounts is never a bad idea, but that’s not the only way to make people buy from your store. There are other great ways to incentivize customers to come back and shop aside from coupons and discounts. Encourage customer loyalty through rewards programs, special offers, exclusive previews, etc. A simple loyalty rewards program is a great way to build a customer base. A referral program can also help you gain new customers through your own happy customers. You can also have exclusive product previews or pre-sales for email subscribers or social media followers.
Ask for feedback
It’s a great idea to send a quick survey to your customers to ask about their shopping experience. Some customers will not be inclined to bring up minor issues or inconveniences unless they are prompted. Finding out some of your customers’ pain points is a great way to improve your customer service and create a better shopping experience. You can do this on your website, at your checkout counter, or leave a link on your receipts or handouts.
Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season in 2020 by Boosting Gift Card Sales!
We know that the coronavirus has many businesses worried about their holiday sales. With in-store sales being limited, this is a great year to promote gift card sales for your business! You can help increase your sales and hopefully gain new customers in the process.