It’s no secret that the sale of digital gift cards helped many businesses get through the difficult spring and summer months this year. Since COVID-19 forced shut downs of in-store operations, businesses started to explore an eGift card program to give their customers more options. Also, they promoted them as a way for patrons to safely support their favourite small businesses. That influx of income made all the difference to help them survive.
READ MORE: Jake’s Oyster Grill & Bar creates the Employee Relief Fund through eGift card sales
Now that we’re approaching the holidays, online shopping will be the chosen method for many shoppers. Digital gift cards will be sent and received almost as much as plastic gift cards. So, why should your business prepare for the holiday rush by setting up an eGift card program? Read on to find out!
What is an eGift card, and how do they work?
An eGift card program, or digital gift card program, works the same way a physical one does, but without the plastic and in-person exchange.
A customer visits a specific website, buys a gift card as they would buy anything online, and then sends it to the recipient through that site.
Therefore, the process looks like this:
- A customer visits a branded website, which can be linked to your business’s website. This is also called the eGift portal.
- They must then select a design of their choice. You can choose to offer just one main gift card design, or a variety of engaging card designs.
ie. Check out this Starbucks eGift card, which has a Thanksgiving theme. >>
- The customer enters the amount they would like loaded onto the card. Next, they can write a personalized message to their recipient.
- The customer securely processes their payment.
- They can choose to delay the delivery of the gift card (ie. to wait to send it until someone’s birthday, so it surprises them in their inbox on the day), or to send it immediately.
- The customer will receive a receipt in their inbox for the gift card purchase.
- The recipient will receive an email containing their eGift card to be conveniently scanned and redeemed later in-store or online!*
* Not all retailers are set up to offer or process online gift card purchases.
Email us for any questions or concerns on this topic!
What are some benefits of an eGift card program?
Here are a few great benefits of introducing a digital gift card program into your roster of offerings to engage your customers.
Stand out above competitors — not every business has both physical and digital gift card options. By offering both, buyers can customize what works for them, which is especially important this holiday season in light of the restrictions and guidelines of the pandemic.
Boost brand awareness — gift cards offer an opportunity for gifters to share their favourite stores with their friends and family, who may not have ever heard of a store before.
Increased online traffic and sales — Digital gift cards introduce your customers to your gift card portal (often linked through your website) and provides the convenience of checking balances, reloading their gift cards, and conveniently sending others an eGift card. We promise this buying experience will make a positive impact on them!
Reach your customers where they are — on their phones! Many people use their Apple Wallets or other similar e-commerce to manage their gift and loyalty cards. Be on the edge of modern technology and impress your customers by offering digital gift card options.
Convenient and secure — Sending an eGift card is quick, simple, and self-serve. Connect tools like PayPal or Bambora to securely process e-commerce transactions and give your customers peace of mind and a streamlined user experience.
Convert to loyalty options — Digital gift cards can easily convert or translate into loyalty cards, if you implement a loyalty program for your business. By loading and gifting a gift card, your customers will automatically be signing their friend up for your loyalty program, boosting multiple avenues for revenue coming into your business.
Tips for marketing your eGift card program
If you’ve decided to add a digital gift card program into your roster this holiday, that’s great! Above all, it’s how you go about marketing this offering that will be the key to its success. Consider the following marketing tactics to make your eGift card program as effective as it can be:
Social Media Marketing:
Whether through regular posting on your feeds or through paid advertising, make sure you’re using your social media platforms. Social media is a super effective tool to reach your most loyal customers. It also helps you reach the people searching for more information about you, and they will be able to see right away that you offer eGift cards if you are posting about them.
If you have a list of email addresses at your disposal, email marketing is a powerful way to reach your existing customers directly. Send a short message to tell them about your eGift card option, and give them a convenient link to purchase one right away! (We can help you create an email marketing plan that’s just right for you! Get in touch today.)
If you’re still seeing foot traffic come through your stores, consider creating and posting some signage to let people know they can purchase and send gift cards for your store online. For instance, include a QR code they can scan and buy an eGift card at a later date. Check out the Ackroo SHOP for inspiration!
Word of Mouth:
Make sure your staff is telling every customer about your digital gift cards, especially during the holidays! Never underestimate the power of good, old-fashioned word of mouth.
Join forces with another local business to share your products through eGift cards, or offer digital gift cards to your store in gift baskets! Talk to us for more information, and we can help make this happen.
Setting up an eGift Card Program with Ackroo
At Ackroo, we’re the loyalty and gift card experts. Our engineers and designers will set up a custom-URL eGift website that reflects your brand. Plus, it’s complete with card design options for customers to choose from when purchasing a digital gift card.
Check out the demo here!
Gift cards are going digital. Are you?
To help you get started selling gift cards online this holiday season, contact us today to try our eGift card program FREE for 60 days.
Offer expires December 31, 2020. Conditions apply.