SmartEtailing Blog

Grow Holiday Sales With Gift Cards On Your Website

By Alex Wheeler


With holiday shopping season upon us, your customers and their families are trying to figure out what to give their favorite cyclist. Make it easier for them with gift cards.

Your SmartEtailing site can reduce friction from the buying process by making it easy for shoppers to buy physical gift cards from your website.

Payment technology provider First Data conducts annual research on consumer gift card behaviors. Recent studies reveal the value of leveraging your website to sell cards. The 2014 report found, "respondents are increasingly choosing to go online to purchase gift cards. Online purchases of gift cards increased substantially from 26% in 2013 to 34% in 2014, while on-premise purchases in store, at restaurant or entertainment locations decreased dramatically from 51% in 2013 to just 44% in 2014."

The 2017 study stresses that gift cards change shopper behavior, noting that 53% of consumers will visit a store more often when they have a gift card and 75% will overspend on the value of gift cards they redeem.

Tis the season for gift cards

November and December prove to have the highest consumer interest in purchasing gift cards. A search on Google Trends for "gift cards" shows that during this period there is a consistent spike in searches for gift cards by consumers. This is prime time to prepare for marketing and selling gift cards.

Why are customers shopping for gift cards?

Consumers love gift cards because they are quick and convenient. Friends and family may be spread out across the country and if someone doesn’t know what cycling gear to give, a gift card solves the problem. The recipient can purchase exactly what he or she wants locally from their favorite local store.

For the retailer, gift cards are good for business because they drive customers into the store. The same 2017 First Data report found that consumers spend an astonishing $38 more than the value of a gift card when they visit. That’s up from $28 in 2016. The more gift cards you can get into your market at the end of this year the better you are situated to start your next year.

Physical cards still dominate

While consumers are increasingly wanting to buy their gift cards online, they still prefer to utilize physical gift cards. First Data found that, "consumers purchased an average of 6.5 physical gift cards on an annual basis, steadily climbing from 5.9 in 2016, 5.5 in 2015, and 4.7 in 2014."

Add a gift card to your SmartEtailing Website

SmartEtailing helps retailers efficiently add the ability to purchase physical gift cards from their local bike shop website. If you haven’t already added gift cards to your site, here are the steps.

  1. Log into the back end of your site and go to SE Catalog Manager>Library Items
  2. Type "Gift" in the keyword search box and click Display
  3. Use the preview icon to view each gift card on the front end of your site
  4. When you find one you like, check the box next to it & scroll to the bottom of the page*
  5. Click Import & Display at the bottom of the page to move the item into your catalog
  6. Go to Your Items, locate the card you just imported, and click the edit icon. Change the Brand to your store brand. Click the Prices/Stock tab and enter a value (example 100) in the BOH field so the item will show as "In Stock." Remember to submit your changes

*If no pre-built designs meet your needs, select any of them and import into your catalog. Go to the Images & Video tab and replace the pre-built image with your own. Please see our Users Guide for further instructions.

Market your gift cards

Now that you have gift cards in your catalog you need to make it easy for your existing customers and organic website visitors to find them.

  • Prominently display your gift cards on your homepage. Whether in a slide in your slideshow or as a standalone highlight, make sure it is front and center and links directly to the catalog item
  • Add a link in your footer to the gift card catalog item
  • Feature gift cards in your marketing emails to your customers. Sprinkle direct links to the catalog item throughout the email
  • Share directly from your catalog item to your social media pages using the AddThis buttons.
  • If you use SmartEtailing Marketing Services, we can help you with Gift Card promotion. Contact your Marketing Representative for more information.

We’re here to help

If you want to know more or need help with anything we discussed here, please contact SmartEtailing Support and one of our friendly team members will be happy to assist.

Topics: Bicycle Retail Insights Client Updates


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