December 19, 2023

10 ways to wrap up your holiday gift card sales

Close up of man's hand worker in cafe counter receiving payment via credit card from customer
American consumers expect to spend over $29 billion on gift cards in 2023—with restaurant gift cards being their most popular choice, according to a consumer survey by the National Retail Federation. 

Make your holiday season merrier with these gift card go-tos:
  1. Give a gift to the gift-giver. Entice consumers with a perk, such as a $10 gift card for each $50 they spend. To help drive traffic during the winter, consider making the bonus gift card valid for a limited time, such as the first two months of the year. Remember, guests will likely spend more than the promotional amount when they redeem the card.
  2. Spread the word quickly with electronic media. Market your gift card promotions through social media, email, and your app, if you have one. These platforms are perfect for getting out the word about limited-time holiday offers. 
  3. Rescue last-minute shoppers. With instant availability and no need to be wrapped, gift cards make the perfect last-minute gift. Do a final push for sales just before the holidays.  
  4. Offer an employee incentive. Encourage servers and cashiers to promote gift cards by offering an incentive, such as a $10 gift card for themselves for every $100 in cards they sell. Train employees to know the basics of how to load and redeem gift cards.  
  5. Go digital. If you don’t currently sell electronic gift cards, now’s the time to consider adding them to your offerings. Busy consumers like the ease of purchasing digital gift cards online and sending presents electronically across the miles. Recipients love the ability to access and redeem cards from their phones either in-person or online. 
  6. Make your plastic more flexible. Offer plastic gift cards with the ability to transfer the balance from the card to a digitally stored account that can be accessed online or through a mobile app. This allows for the excitement of a physical gift, combined with the ease of a digital card.
  7. Streamline processes to ensure timely delivery. Improve your efficiency by having a gift card provider handle the processing and delivery of cards ordered online. They have the technology to ensure that digital cards are sent instantaneously—or to allow consumers the flexibility to choose the perfect time for when their gift is delivered electronically. Gift card providers also can handle the logistics of mailing cards for those who prefer a physical gift. If it’s too late to set this up for this season, consider this option for next year.   
  8. Focus on security. Gift cards can boost your profits, but they also can be vulnerable to costly fraud. Choose a gift card platform that adheres to the same security standards as a payment platform, detecting potential fraud in real time. 
  9. Follow the data. Consider partnering with a provider that will analyze sales performance and test the effectiveness of offers. Some providers offer A/B testing on offers and can focus in on specific markets, locations, and consumer profiles.
  10. Sell through a third-party. Get more eyes on your gift cards by partnering with third-party distributors that offer gift cards everywhere from grocery stores to online gift card malls. This avenue is perfect for large chains, and will help advertise your brand all year long. If you go this route, it’s especially important to create designs that stand out and are instantly recognizable as your brand, as your cards will be in direct competition with those from other restaurants and retailers.