You’ve heard it before: gift cards are a huge part of every holiday shopping experience and as content producers, we would all be remiss not to include them as much as possible as we promote holiday buying. No matter how you feel about giving a gift card, the numbers are undeniable (according to GiftCard.com):
- Over $100 billion dollars of gift cars are sold annually.
- Online, Gift Card sales are increasing 29% annually.
- 93% of US consumers purchase or receive a gift card annually.
Add to these impressive statistics the fact that gift cards become the only option after we pass the last shipping days before Christmas (or any given holiday for that matter), and you have virtually a week of dates where standard shipping is not possible, expedited shipping costs are untenable and gift cards are by far the best option. Also interesting have been recent issues with stocking enough of an item and parcels being lost in the mail: in an age of scarcity of hot gift items, gift cards are NEVER out of stock and email is a super reliable delivery service!
4 Ways to Gracefully Introduce Gift Cards to Your Content
One of the biggest gift card issues for publishers is that a gift card simply doesn’t feel special, curated or, amazingly, that easy to write about. Times have changed! Gift Cards somehow always felt like the thing you get for the people that you don’t know, or the obligatory gift for the angsty teenager who simply cannot be bothered to say what they might want but today consumers want to shop to their own taste and unique style. Adding gift card options to a post is hard and can be awkward, but thankfully we have some tried and true tactics to keep your content feeling fresh and your gift card revenue rolling. Here are four great tips on how to do this, well, and take advantage of all the upside selling gift cards via your content could provide.
- Do a “store takeover” day. If you love a particular store and feel you’ll likely do much of your holiday shopping there, don’t be afraid to show that merchant off. While it might feel like only publishers who have inked some kind of actual deal with the merchant should build this kind of gift list, it actually is a great way to get that merchant’s attention, pick a wide variety of gifts and add in a gift card as well. This works especially well when there might be “something for everyone” at this store so that variety feels obvious.
- Make a gift card a part of your personalized lists, every time. “What to get for your dog walker” should not be complete without mentioning a gift card to Only Natural Pet. “The best gifts for Dad” should certainly have a gift card for Harry’s, the razor company. “Gifts for Fashionista Best Friends” can always include (and call out) a fall back gift of a Nieman Gift card to put towards that fancy something she’s been hoping for. Make a gift card call out a natural extension of an already awesome gift list and a way to push a merchant brand.
- Make a list of gift cards in your category. Are there 10 incredible online art stores, or 5 auto parts stores where a gift card would keep someone happy wrenching on new parts for a year? Those are perfect opportunities to take a moment and call out gift cards for not only being thoughtful gifts, but also extremely well-received and useful. Be sure to talk about the stores in a way to promotes value, talks about when the best times of year for gift card recipients might shop there, and any other potential add-ons the gift card giver might tell the receiver to get them excited.
- Shipping deadlines create gift card opportunity. Take advantage of the tight timing to tell last minute gift givers where to find the most curated, interesting, and unique stores their readers will want to shop!