With 46 percent of online shoppers planning to give gift cards this holiday season, CashStar, the e-gifting and incentives company, offers retailers five actionable tips to drive sales for this holiday staple. With the most critical season for gift card sales in full swing, David Stone, founder and CEO of CashStar, advises retailers to consider the following:
- Offer personalized gift card options online: This holiday season consumers will be shopping online more than ever before. Make your gift cards available at their fingertips by offering a variety of online gift card options that shoppers can customize and give at the click of a button. Since gift cards are often last minute gift purchases, eliminate shipping costs and delays by offering online gift cards that can be personalized with a photo and message and instantly e-mailed to recipients or printed by consumers at home.
- Promote heavily prior to holiday: During the holiday season your gift card promotions should be in high gear to ensure your cards stay top of mind with consumers. Gift cards are often a last minute impulse purchase. Give gift cards prominence on your website with creative banners and roll out a steady stream of holiday themed e-mails to your database promoting your seasonal offering. Be creative and start your promotions now to create a sense of urgency and intensify these in the final days of the holiday rush to drive last minute online gift card purchases. You will sell a lot more gift cards if you do so.
- Build buzz through social media: Online gift cards are a no-brainer for the social media space. Not only do these tools and communities allow you to market your online gift cards to consumers who are passionate about your brand, but during the holidays these tools offer a quick and powerful way to build long-term buzz about your cards. Integrate your online gift cards into your Facebook and Twitter presence by:
- Allowing consumers to buy online gift cards through these or other social media platforms, or drive them back to your site with links and posts
- Launch exclusive gift card offers and incentives to your fans and followers and encourage them to spread the word to their friends
- Use incentives to entice gift card purchases: With the economic climate still uncertain, savvy consumers have grown accustomed to scouring the Web for deals and promotions from retailers. The same is true for online gift card purchases. In fact, an overwhelming 88 percent of customers are more likely to buy a gift card that has an incentive or offer attached. Give customers extra motivation by adding offers onto online gift card purchases such as an additional free gift card or bonus dollars for purchasing a certain amount or by a certain date.
- Tailor offers by tracking behavior: The new generation of online gift cards enable retailers to turn what was once a blind transaction into a powerful tool for tracking customer behavior and building your email database. Use the data generated from online gift card purchases to develop and execute more targeted promotions, both now and after the holiday rush. For example, target offers to gift card recipients post-holiday to help encourage redemption, drive customers into the store and help increase sales lift in January.
About CashStar, Inc. CashStar is the preferred digital gifting and incentives partner for retailers nationwide. These retail brands leverage CashStar to easily and securely integrate digital gifting strategies to increase sales and customer loyalty. CashStar offers consumers an unmatched personalized eGift experience via email, mobile and social channels. It is the only company to successfully combine an on-demand B2C and B2B digital gifting and incentives platform with innovative multichannel marketing strategies. More than 250 brands are successfully partnering with CashStar to drive incremental sales, increase retention and boost profitability including Best Buy, Chili’s Grill & Bar, CVS/pharmacy, Gap, Pottery Barn, QVC, Staples, Starbucks, T.G.I. Friday’s, The Home Depot, and Williams-Sonoma. To learn more about how CashStar is constantly innovating the way businesses deliver personalized gifting experiences to consumers and partners in the digital world, please visit www.cashstar.com or e-mail .
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