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How To Increase Your Gift Card Sales This Holiday Season

The holiday are fast approaching, and with them, your busiest time of year as a retailer. There’s a ton to get done before December hits — not least of which is making sure you have all your holiday merchandise on hand. With this planning frenzy, it’s easy to relegate gift cards to an afterthought. But if you want to make this 2015 holiday season your biggest yet, gift cards should be a key component of your merchandising strategy.

Gift cards are huge. According to a 2014 Gift Card Spending Survey by the National Retail Federation, 62 percent of people said they would like to receive a gift card as a present. That makes gift cards the most requested gift item for eight straight years. And contrary to what you might think, gift cards aren’t just for the big-box stores anymore. With services like Square’s gift cards, it’s now easier than ever for small retail stores to offer professional-grade gift cards.

Here’s how to get a successful gift card program up and running at your business before the holidays:

Order custom gift cards.

The first step to getting your gift card program ready for the holidays is, well, ordering some gift cards. You need to do this well in advance of your holiday rush, since production and delivery can take more than two weeks. Consider a custom design for your gift cards — that little touch goes a long way toward making the card seem personal. Luckily, services like Square make ordering and designing gift cards easy. What’s great about Square’s gift cards is that the pricing is simple, with no monthly subscription or redemption fees. Each gift card costs between $1 to $2, depending on your order. Square also gives you the ability to upload a custom design to fit your store’s brand. But if you don’t have a designer to help out, these services have a number of attractive, ready-made gift card templates for the holidays.

Announce that they’ve arrived.

Once your gift cards arrive, it’s time to let your customers know you have them. The first stop on this train is social media. Take a picture of your gift cards (bonus points for props and styling), and post it to your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts with a message like “Hot off the presses and ready for the gifting.” Especially if your gift cards are unique (check out some fun examples of custom gift cards here), your post will get some shares. (Free marketing is never a bad thing.)

It’s also a good idea to do some email marketing for your new gift cards. Send an email to your customer base (you can easily spin one up with simple-to-use email marketing tools), letting them know you have gift cards in stock for the holidays.

Display them prominently.

Showing off your gift cards on social media and through email is great, but you’ll also want to give them some limelight in your store. Toward that end, make sure that they are displayed prominently and attractively. Your checkout countertop is always A+ real estate, especially if you want to prompt impulse buys. Consider adding some signage that says something like “Stocking Stuffers, Anyone?”

Capture last-minute gifters.

As mid-December rolls around, people are going to be on the hunt for easy, last-minute gifts. Let your gift cards swoop in as the answer. Ramp up your social media efforts around this time, letting your followers know that you have gift cards on hand. Send a marketing email saying the same. People are so crazed at this time of year, they’ll appreciate the reminder — and the easy solution to all those last-minute gifts.

Gift cards are an easy way to rake in more sales. What’s more, they’ll bring in new customers. Follow these strategies, and your gift cards will fly off the shelves this holiday season.

This post was originally written by Square, which helps businesses of all sizes start, run, and grow. Get ready for the busy holiday season! Get started with Square and order your Square holiday gift cards today.

Photo Credit: Image provided by Square with permission to use. 

 


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