‘Tis the season not just for large presents underneath the Christmas tree, but gift cards stuffed into your glittery greeting cards. According to the National Retail Federation, in 2015 gift cards were the most requested holiday gift for nine years running with at least 60 percent of consumers saying they’d like to receive one. With the added advantage of less for Santa to carry in his sleigh, it’s more important than ever to ensure your content reflects the gift card trend.How important are they?When it comes to e-commerce, there’s a beauty in plastic. We’re not just talking about how your customers pay for purchases either. Analysts predict gift card sales will reach $160 billion by 2018, proving their popularity will only continue grow. The uptick coincides with growing digital sales, a surge in millennial spending, and the overall convenience associated with plastic. Simply put, consumers in the NRF study who purchased cards — either electronically or physically — said they liked that it gave recipients the flexibility to select their own gift.So how do you incorporate them into your content?There’s no need to tell your customers the importance of gift cards; they’re likely fully aware of their popularity. However, you can tell them where to purchase them by including links within your holiday content. Pushing gift cards can feel a little awkward, but we have some tried and true ways to work them in organically:
- Include gift cards as an option within gift guides.
If you’re making a list of popular gifts for teens, be sure to mention an iTunes gift card alongside the tech gadgets. For makeup enthusiasts and beauty gurus, be sure to give a holler to Sephora. The sports lover? Dicks or Sports Authority. If the list already includes a wide range of options, a gift card will not feel out of place.
- Highlight their flexibility.
This is the time when you can allow gift cards to truly shine. The trick is to highlight one merchant and lay out all the possibilities one card can offer. There are other more obvious perks that come with purchasing a gift card over a tangible present, like not worrying about getting the sizing right on that amazing jacket they’ve been eyeing or the potential of spoiling the surprise when they see an odd shape under the tree.
- Cater to the procrastinators.
Use the ticking clock to your advantage and appeal to a specific type of audience: the good-intentioned shopping procrastinators. Stores can run out of stock on hot holiday items and shipping deadlines can sneak up on customers, but gift cards are always an option — and you can count on them to be delivered in time.