“People love shopping local. Even more so, people love buying gifts that are local. They want to treat their friends to amazing experiences at local businesses.
With my day spa, I don’t sell anything online except for Gift Cards. I don’t try to compete with eCommerce stores. I simply focus on the one thing that no one else does in my market well. I focus on making it easy for my customers to buy gift cards.
I had the joy on Mother’s Day to watch a family go into my competitor. They asked if they sold gift cards. The lady was like “No”.
They came over to my spa, and walked out with $300 in gift cards that they bought for their mother. Guess who got the new customer?
Each year, I sell close to ~$23,000 of Gift Cards just Online. We sold another $25,000 in-store.
One Week of Gift Card Sales, the week before Christmas
I’m going to break down for you my exact strategy on how I am selling so many gift cards through my website and in-store.
Stop Offering Just Plain Dollar Amounts
If someone is going through the trouble of buying a gift card from a local business — they don’t want to go the easy route to buy them just a gift card. They want to buy them something special.
In fact, I have attached a log of all my recent Gift Card Purchases.
Where you see “-”, the customer selected a dollar amount. In fact, 19 out of my last 26 purchases of gift cards have been for packages. People love treating someone to something unique. It’s a win-win for everyone.
The person buying feels like they are treating someone to something special. When the recipient gets the gift card, they enjoy it a lot. They feel someone really put an effort into the purchase.
Do you know what the cool part about selling an experience is?
When that new customer comes with that gift card — they get a full experience from your business. If you give them an award winning experience, then they’ll love your place forever.
For example, a Restaurant might want to do a “3 Course Meal for $49”. You can use Jon Taffer’s method of identifying that it’s a gift card. You put down a “blue napkin”. The whole staff know it’s a gift card. You go above and beyond to deliver an amazing experience. Make sure the food is delivered fast.
At the end of the meal, the manager comes over and makes sure everything went great & offers a special on their next visit with a coupon.
Using Pricing Anchors
While most of the time, our customers want to buy packages as gift cards, some still want to buy just a dollar amount. We use two types of pages for our Gift Card Checkouts. The first is the specific package they want to buy. The second is a generic page that we can use to sell generic dollar amounts (in our case $75, $150, $300)
The prices you pick influence the actual dollar amount the customer is going to buy. If you put prices up $5, $10, $15 — most customers won’t ask “Do you sell a $50 gift card?”
Then again, if you sell every gift card from $5 to $500, in $5 increments, the customer is going to have a choice overload, and will probably pick something towards the bottom.
There’s an excellent article on the effect of a pricing anchor.
When we created our pricing choices for our gift card, we choose one really high card value & two that are closer to each other. The result is that the majority of our purchases are the middle pricing option.
Make it Easy to Buy Gift Cards
Include a Link in Your Website Header
Customers are not going to search your entire websisite to see if you sell gift cards. They want to know right off the bat. Just like you might have links to jobs & careers, you should have a Gift Card link to at least one type of gift card right off the bat.
Go Above & Beyond with Your Links
When customers come to our site, you will notice every service menu item has a second link right after “Book Now”. The second link is “Buy as a Gift”.
We make it super easy for the customer to select the package they want to treat someone to. Not only that, but they are constantly reminded that we sell gift certificates.
Test Your Platform
When picking a platform for your gift cards, it’s absolutely imperative that you test the purchasing path yourself.
When we used our Appointment Reservation system to process our gift cards, we didn’t sell many gift cards. While their platform is amazing at managing reservations, it wasn’t designed for the details around selling Gift Cards.
Because it’s a two page checkout from our website, that includes every possible option to purchase the gift card, the complexity of it reduces the overall purchases.
Last year, when we did our full website rebuild, we had a custom platform built and implemented into our system to create a super smooth & easy checkout system. Since then, we have sold an additional $15,000 in gift cards compared to last year.
Make it Simple for Your Customer to Buy”