We are seeing a huge shift in marketing; gift cards have transitioned from being a pleasant addition to a must-have strategy for driving brand engagement and boosting visits. With digital cards, economic fluctuations, and diverse purchasing channels, staying ahead of the curve is crucial.
Drawing insights from The Annual Gift Card Report: 2023 by Paytronix, let’s delve into three key strategies that can elevate your gift card programme to new heights.
Year-Over-Year Card Sales
The data reveals a +6% change in total gift card revenue, counterbalanced by a -2% change in total gift cards sold. However, the silver lining is an impressive +8% change in the average £ loaded per gift card. We delve into the three strategies for gift card marketing success
1. Harness-Changing Gift Card Purchasing Behaviour
Embrace the Digital Shift:
The rise of digital gift cards is undeniable. Guests redeem digital cards faster, and they are loaded with up to 74% more value. To capitalise on this trend, ensure a seamless online and mobile app purchase experience. Incorporate digital cards into multi-channel campaigns, leveraging email, social media, and paid search.
Explore third-party channels, which accounted for 42% of all gift card sales in 2022. Collaborate with grocery stores, pharmacies, or hardware stores, extending the reach of your gift card programme.
In-store gift cards constituted nearly half of the sales in 2022. Maximise in-store purchases by strategically placing gift cards around the checkout area and encouraging staff to promote them.
Denomination Mix Optimisation:
Analyse the performance mix of physical card denominations and introduce higher denominations based on the increased average load in 2022. A/B tests different denominations digitally for deeper insights into customer preferences.
2. Make every day a Great Day to Gift
Target Special Occasions:
Beyond the holiday season, capitalise on year-round gifting opportunities. Promote unique gift card designs and special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation, and back to school.
Encourage Everyday Gifting:
Facilitate everyday gifting by promoting digital cards, which accounted for 19% of sales throughout the year. Provide customization options and convenient delivery methods via email or mobile.
Recognise the growing trend of self-gifting. Incentivize loyalty members to load balances on their gift cards by offering bonus cards, fostering repeat business.
While the traditional holiday season remains the peak period, offer a variety of holiday-themed gift cards and packaging to enhance the festive spirit.
3. Promote Gift Cards as a Brand Experience
Incorporate bonus gift cards to reward brand loyalty and increase average balances. Limited-time promotions like “Bonus Mondays” can create a sense of urgency.
Flash Sales for Loyalists:
Engage loyal customers with one-day flash sales, creating instant demand. Leverage email, social media, and mobile alerts for effective promotion.
Seamless Loyalty Integration:
Connect loyalty programmes with gift cards to deliver exclusive offers directly to loyal customers, enhancing their overall experience.
Enable local organisations to benefit from your brand by offering bulk gift card purchases, aligning with community causes.
Gift Cards Drive Meaningful Guest Engagement
In conclusion, gift cards present a unique avenue for restaurant marketers to engage and acquire guests while generating immediate revenue. By adopting these strategies, you can not only enhance your gift card program’s performance but also align it with broader guest engagement goals. Stay ahead of the curve, adapt to changing behaviours, and turn every day into a great day to gift.