Gift cards are an often under-utilized way businesses can bring in new customers and maintain the customer base they already have.
Building and engaging with a customer base is an important aspect of growing a business and ensuring its longevity. Setting up a gift card program through the Clover Gift Card app is not only simple, but, with a little work and creativity, gift cards can help you boost profits.
Four Clover merchants share strategies for rolling out a successful gift card program that engages customers and ups sales.
“During the holiday time, they’re really important. Visitors buy them as gifts for their family in town. I have little tiny gift boxes for the gift cards, too. People are really excited that it’s one-stop shopping. You can buy your baked goods and grab a gift card!”
Owned by Dionne Christian, Revolution Bakery offers their customers a panoply of gluten free baked goods. Dionne points out some ways her bakery benefits from offering gift cards.
What’s more, gift cards often turn new customers, looking to buy a treat for themselves, into repeat customers. And, offering packaging for gift cards can make the experience of receiving a card special and exciting–and can turn gift cards into a go-to gift for customers. For businesses like Revolution Bakery, who also ship retail products, egift cards that can be redeemed online can also help build a customer base outside of a shop’s local community.
Steve and Jill Mitchael use gift cards to engage customers who would otherwise not be spending money at their eclectic antique and one-of-a-kind gift store, 72 West.
“Many husbands come in here and go, ‘I don’t know what to get my wife in here, but I know she loves your store. So I’m just going to do a gift card because that’s the easiest way she can get what she wants’.”
Retailers, especially those who offer unique or personalized goods, should keep gift cards at the ready for customers who may be unsure what to buy for a spouse, friend, or loved one. Considering about 74% of consumers spend more money than what was on their gift card, selling gift cards just about guarantees an upsell!
Curious Plantaholic, owned by Jennifer and Brandt DeLorenzo, also offers gift cards to customers who want to give their plant-loving friends and family something they’ll love. The couple have found that marketing their gift cards heavily has big benefits for their business and their customers.
“If a customer purchases a gift card, we give them 10 percent off something else at the same time. So not only are we ensuring that a customer is getting a good deal when they’re here purchasing gift cards, but they’re going to come back, and they’re going to buy other items to go with whatever discount we provided. By bundling and offering incentives, it’s made it really easy for us to sell the gift cards.”
Make the most out of your gift card program by making gift cards part of your marketing strategy, promoting gift card sales and capitalizing on their redemption.
Kat Jones, owner of Hair Studio 18, discovered a creative way to use gift cards to help support her business through the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. She used gift cards to allow customers to pre-pay for services they could then use when the hair salon reopened. Jones told us how this extra cash flow helped keep her business afloat.
“As a business owner, my overhead is pretty much double. I’ve got a mortgage and a rent payment at the salon. I’ve got utilities at home and utilities at work. The phone bill, everything you could think of, is doubled.”
Expenses are always a challenge for new businesses–or those going through a difficult time. Gift cards can be a way of alleviating a financial pinch. Consider offering a promotion on gift cards during the last week of the month to help with month-end expenses, like rent.
Learn more about how Clover makes it simple for merchants of all sizes to set up and run effective–and profitable–gift card programs.