The item topping more and more holiday wish lists isn’t a hot new toy, the latest fashion trend, or even a sparkling bauble. It’s a 2.125-inch-by-3.37-inch piece of plastic: the humble, ubiquitous gift card (now widely available in virtual form).
Holiday gift card promotions have become a key component of nearly every retail business’s marketing strategy. Gift cards help stores and restaurants improve cash flow, build brand awareness and grab a larger chunk of holiday sales. Here’s how businesses of all sizes can be sure they start the new year with a bang by leveraging all the benefits of holiday gift cards.
Despite the challenges of operating under COVID-19 restrictions, the U.S. retail industry saw an 8.3% increase in sales in the 2020 holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation, to a total of $789.4 billion. The clear star of the 2020 holiday shopping season was the gift card segment:
Perhaps the greatest benefit of holiday gift card promotions for retailers is their ability to extend the holiday shopping season well into 2022 as recipients postpone their purchases or choose to take advantage of post-holiday markdowns. Restaurants and coffee shops are among the big winners from the surge in gift card purchases: 45.8% of all restaurant gift card sales in 2020 occurred in November and December, according to Restaurant Technology News.
The growing popularity of virtual gift cards, which are also called digital gift cards, presents a tremendous opportunity for retailers this holiday season. Consumers did 68% of their 2020 Christmas shopping online, and the percentage is expected to be even higher in 2021. In addition, shoppers are buying more “gift” cards for themselves as a way to show their support for their favorite local businesses.
An added convenience of virtual gift cards is their ability to be added to digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, which makes shopping with the cards safer and easier. These are among the other benefits of virtual gift cards for retailers:
Businesses of all sizes know how important it is to have an online presence, but as digital and real-world operations continue to merge, they also need to understand that every part of their operation now has a marketing component. Gift cards serve as a nexus for the many different aspects of running a modern business.
The best way to prepare your business to capitalize on the boom in gift card sales is by planning your holiday gift card promotions via the features built into a modern cloud-based POS system. In addition to offering a custom card design and personalized messages, the system lets you control card amounts and apply promotional discounts on certain items. The person buying the card can choose a physical card or a virtual card, and specify the activation date.
Supporting a range of gift card options is only one of the valuable features available in today’s fully integrated POS solutions. To ensure your business takes full advantage of the benefits of modern POS technology, the POS experts at U.S. Bank and talech work with you to craft a system that matches your business’s needs and budget. Learn more about what talech point of sale can offer you and your customers.