An electronic gift card is becoming a much accepted and quite popular gift in the modern, hectic and crazy world that we live in. Gone are the days when gift cards and gift certificates were thought of as impersonal and unimaginative. More and more people are opting to give them as gifts based on sheer convenience and knowing that they can’t go wrong with a gift like that. The recipient can put it to good use by buying whatever it is they like.
With the online gift market increasing at such a rapid rate over the past few years, having an electronic gift cards program is becoming an essential part of all ecommerce businesses. Selling gift cards is no longer a feature offered exclusively by big name online retailers. In fact small online businesses need to provide it just to stay competitive with each other. It is a great way to boost sales revenue both during key holiday seasons and regularly throughout the year.
There are several advantages of providing your customers with a gift cards program. Most importantly it is one more channel for you to generate a sale which then leads to more purchases and more revenue for you. There is no inventory so there are less returns. From a customer’s perspective, you are providing them with more convenience and choice. Your traffic will increase, because both the sender and recipient must visit your site, and a recipient who has never visited your site before is considered a free customer acquisition. Lastly, any unredeemed credits turn into bonus profits.
Specific features are required of an ecommerce solution in order to properly handle the giving and receiving of an electronic gift card. Some major features of a gift cards program include:
– Auto generation – Customization options to match the overall look of your site – Secure distribution – Accept multiple forms of payment – Online gift certificate or by mail options
Finally, it is important to not just offer gift certificates to your customers, you have to find creative ways to use and promote it to either retain current customers or acquire new ones. An electronic gift cards program can be a great tool for your customer service. Use them strategically to compensate unsatisfied customers who are complaining about your products or services. It’s important to not only keep them as a satisfied customer but even more important to prevent them from spreading their negative feedback of your store all over the web.
An electronic gift certificate can also be a great promotional tool. Spread the word about your online store throughout the web by creating contests and rewarding the winner with a specified dollar amount to spend on your products. The great thing about this tactic is that not only will this winner be exposed to your products, but all the other participants who were unfamiliar with your business now have a good idea of what you have to offer. The best part of holding contests is your ability to capture the contact information of all of the participants. You can then further build a relationship with them and turn them into potential customers. Another cool tip is to use it as a reward or thank you for customers actively promoting your site to their friends and family members. All of that free advertisement is well worth the price of the card.