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How to Boost Gift Card Sales This Holiday Season

Posted by Sonya Hoshmand

Ever wondered what the number one requested holiday gift is around the world? Here’s a hint, it’s known as the no-brainer of gift-giving, and the saving grace for last-minute shoppers.



As the holiday season is just around the corner, gift cards will be flying off the racks! It is one of the best presents to give due to the gift cards versatility of allowing the recipient to choose a gift suitable for them.

The trend of giving and receiving gift cards is expected to continue as online shopping, and digital gift cards become even more popular. For 2019, global e-gift cards sales are expected to be $300 billion. And the majority of those sales will occur during the 4th quarter. With revenue like that, it’s obvious to say that offering a gift card program would be in your best interest.

A report from PwC Canada stated that Canadian consumers plan to spend slightly more than they did last year, hitting an average of C$1,563 each (up 3.7%). Gift cards are growing in popularity, as millennials are more inclined to want to receive and to buy physical gifts. The holiday shopping trend shows that having the right promotion strategy and mix of in-store products will help retailers provide a shopping experience that meets more consumer’s needs.

Okay, what if you already have gift cards in-store? The next step is to understand that there are different kinds of gift cards. For e-commerce merchants, e-gift cards are especially important as you get closer to the holiday itself- they are nearly instant (shoppers can purchase them even on Christmas morning) and are easy to send via email.


The rise of e-commerce and digital wallets are partially responsible for this growing trend; it’s easier than ever to keep track of gift cards and redeem them online. It is especially appealing to younger demographics who store everything on their smartphones. Many purchase gift cards for their loved ones but there is nothing stopping companies from giving gift cards to their employees through sites such as giftcertificates.ca


According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), more than half of holiday shoppers start to research and plan their gifts in November or even earlier. Design your e-commerce site in a way that is seamless for your customers to purchase and redeem their gift cards. Ensure that your website is also mobile-friendly.


Let’s be honest here. Everyone loves a great deal. Here is where you begin implementing your marketing strategy for the holiday season, and gift cards should be included. 

Right now, you’re probably using email marketing to build up some hype around your Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales coming up, and if you’re not, you should be. Add an email to the sequence to call out gift cards this holiday season. In the email, be sure to highlight the benefits and versatility of gift cards, as well as any extra incentive you may have for the holiday.


Here are some tactics you can utilize to drive holiday gift card sales:

Stocking Stuffer Promotion: Gift cards are the perfect “stocking stuffer” and are an easy item to upsell in the cart, email, and any other holiday promotion

Tie Them into a Promotion: Spend $100, get a $20 gift card. This will drive the overall per customer spend while also giving the customer an incentive to return to your store post-holiday season.

Reward the Purchaser: Creating promotions to encourage gift card sales can be a win-win strategy for your business. Give consumers a reason to buy a gift card from you and not your competitors using coupons or free products as incentives. For instance, a coupon for 15% off your next visit with the purchase of the gift card, or get 20x the points if you provide a loyalty program.


Based on NRF’s Annual Holiday Consumer survey, gift card spending is expected to be around 30 billion this season. But what gift cards do consumers look for? 36% of consumers purchased a restaurant gift card, 32% department store, and 23% coffee shop. Gift cards carry their value even when the momentum of the holiday season has wrapped up.




Gift cards aren’t just an easy escape for shoppers looking for a perfect gift; they’re also a powerful marketing tool for merchants.


PREVIOUS BLOG POST: Holiday Survival Tips

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Don't let your business fall short this holiday season but instead be prepared for a successful one. You might be wondering what you can do differently to gain a higher traffic level. The answer lies with savvy marketing. It's the time of year to show your customer appreciation with loyalty offers and wow them with your exclusive products and services. Here are some marketing tips that you can easily implement.


Topics: Gift Cards