Gift cards are a great revenue generator for your store or restaurant. Are you currently making money with gift cards? If not, you'll want to note that the number of people who buy gift cards as holiday gifts is growing. It has been for years.
Giftcards.com sent out a report last year saying that 89% of people surveyed bought a plastic gift card as a gift in 2016. They also said that 85% of consumers preferred a plastic card to an "e-gift card."
So, isn't it about time you got on the band wagon, and got yourself some gift cards? Notice also, that we’re talking about gift cards. Not “gift certificates.” While sales of gift cards have really exploded in the last 10 year, gift certificates, and e-gifts have not. So if you’re still using an antiquated paper certificate, let’s get you into something that will make you money.
Revel Systems’ integrated gift card system works like a dream. You can sell cards for any amount. And redeeming them is as easy as swiping them! So many Revel Systems customers are using these cards, and making money already, if you haven’t tried them yet, it’s time.
The majority of gift cards given each year, will handed out to people who've never been to your business. Meaning, most of the people who get gift cards for your store, have never been there before! That's great! It costs a small fortune to get that kind of advertising. This is your chance to make their first experience with you a great one. And to win them as repeat business!
*Pro tip - Make sure your gift cards have an address on them, so people can find you.
There's a reason all the national retail chains have gift cards. Not only HAVE gift cards, but keep them near the register, so they're easy to see. It's because they sell a TON of them.
They also know some secrets of the trade, like only 70% of people redeem gift cards. Meaning 30% of the gift card money you take in, will actually be redeemed. Gift cards are the best way for stores and restaurants to take in short term holiday money, and it gives relatives a way to get their children, grandchildren, and extended family a gift to open, without having to make a difficult decision about what that gift really is.
Gift cards aren't redeemable for cash. So as soon as they're paid for, that money is guaranteed to stay in your store. So selling a gift card is almost like putting stuff in your store on layaway, for a day that may never come!
*Another pro tip -
Retail stores: If people return merchandise without a receipt, give their money back on a gift card. Then you don't lose anything.
Restaurants, if you have a guest who complains about their meal, give them a gift card for $50, and they can come back, instead of comp their meal. That way you get a second chance to impress them.
Repeat business is the hardest thing to keep consistent. Gift cards can turn your guests into repeat customers easily. Run a promotion offering a $10 gift card for every $100 spent. The free $10 gift card will make your clients come back, to use the gift card!
Also, gift card clients most often spend far more than what the gift card is worth. So when they come back, you'll get another sale, and it will only cost you $10!! I don’t know about you, but I’d happily pay $10 for a paying customer in any of the businesses I’ve ever worked at.
We also see a lot of Revel clients run different types of contests, and the winners receive gift cards. Maybe a gift card for the person who donates the most to the Salvation Army. Or a gift card raffle, where the money raised benefits a school sport or activity in the community.
If people can't see the gift cards, they won't buy them. They won't ask about them. And you won't make any more money.
You have to keep them visible. Have them at the hostess station. Have them at the checkout counter. Have them on the wall by the gifts! Anywhere you think they fit in.
Customers normally don't ask for something, if they don't see it. They will move on, and you'll lost the sale. It's important that you make the gift cards visible, so people can buy them. They're the same as any other product in your store. The better they're merchandised, the more money you'll make with them!
Also, make sure your staff is asking people if they need gift cards. McDonalds made so much money in the 90's with their "supersize" campaign, and all they did was ask people. "Would you like to supersize that?" The vast majority of people said yes!
Combining those 2 business practices is a license to make money in a store or restaurant.
*Pro-tip - Make sure your gift cards capture your brand identity. You don’t want to use some generic design, or just put a logo on a white card. Make sure your gift cards match your branding, so that they make people think of you. The way Starbucks does with their gift cards. Make them unmistakable.
Retailers and restaurants alike make tons of money with gift cards. If you don't believe me, go to a Kohl’s, Target, Applebee's, or any other national chain. They all have gift cards plastered all over their businesses. It's because they make money.
Most consumers would rather support local businesses than give their money to Walmart or Chili’s, or some other giant retailer. Gift cards put your store, or restaurant in contention with those huge chains. So harness the tools the big box stores, and national chains use.
And make sure to utilize the free gift card design service, and bulletproof operation of Revel gift cards from Plastic Printers. These gift cards are simple to use, and our designers can add that “custom look and feel” to your cards, giving you a value you can’t get anywhere else. We’ll design the card to match your logo, colors, website, or to suit your needs any other way. We also offer an array of gift card holders, so you can send your customers home not only with gift cards, but something nice to put them under the tree in.
Cole Goebel is the Strategic Partner Manager at Plastic Printers. He is a POS Industry insider. He's an expert in encoding and barcode data, and has a great knowledge of POS integrations.