Best practices for gift cards

Editorial Team

3 min read
Customer using gift card to pay at cafe

A finely-tuned gift card program for small businesses can help them run big promotions just like national retailers and, in turn, boost sales. By putting  these best practices into play, you can build a thriving gift card program for your small business.

Gift cards are big business. In the US market alone, gift cards generated a revenue of nearly $500 million in 2022. In fact, over 55% of consumers will purchase gift cards for milestone events1. And, since consumers are generally split on their preference for physical and digital gift cards, it’s smart for retailers to offer both to build a successful gift card program. 

To help you build a thriving gift card program, Clover has crafted this guide to best practices for gift cards. Here are a few highlights, for starters: 

1. Use the 60/40 rule

When selecting your physical gift card or digital gift card inventory, use this simple 60/40 rule:

  • 60% should feature birthday and all-occasion designs, and 
  • 40% should cater to specific occasions, like weddings, congratulations, and thank yous.

Customers also expect regular infusions of new designs. So, as a rule, you should update your card designs at least once per year.

READ: 7 reasons these real-world merchants use (and love) gift cards

2. Use gift cards for promotions and rewards

Incentives can help build a loyal customer base. In fact, gift cards are a versatile tool to use for customer incentives, promos, and rewards. 

For example, you can use gift cards to reward customers who bring friends and family to your business–offer a $10 gift card for bringing five friends to your business. Or, you could run promotions that include gift cards to incent spending or drive traffic on slow days–give a $5 gift card for every $25 gift card purchased on Tuesdays

You can even use gift cards to engage customers and boost followers on social media–offer gift cards as a reward for quizzes and contests to build a larger fan base.

READ: How to boost gift card sales

3. Make them visible in-store and online

Keeping gift cards front-and-center is key to a successful program. Here are three simple ways to keep gift cards top of mind for your in-store and online customers:

Create visual cues – Remind your customers throughout the in-store experience that you sell gift cards. Place them in your checkout area, at the entrance, or at your carry-out station. And make sure digital gift cards feature prominently as a gift option on your website–place them in your navigation, on your home page, on your product pages, or in the checkout process. Be sure to let your customers know about digital cards as an option for last-minute gifts.

Offer gift cards as store credits – 79% of consumers prefer to receive a gift card as a store credit1, so use gift cards for store credits to build awareness.

Create a premium experience for the giver and for the recipient by offering greeting cards, special packaging, or other add-on items for purchase that help make giving a gift card easy for the giver and special for the recipient.

READ: eGift cards guide: How to buy, sell, and use them

With a little creativity, these best practices, and the right POS system, gift card program management can be fun, efficient, and profitable. Be sure to download this complimentary Gift Card Best Practices Guide from Clover.

1 2024 Fiserv proprietary consumer insights survey

Popular Topics

Recent Stories

Please share your contact information
to access our premium content.