This Christmas promises to be special and
uncertain, both for consumers and for brands and retailers. The current crisis
has changed the plans of many people. Studies have been done on consumer
intentions for this end of the year. Almost all of the respondents still
decided to celebrate Christmas and exchange gifts. Which is auspicious. However
two points change:
1. The planned gift budget will be lower compared to other years 73% of shoppers will shop online. This year will therefore be e-commerce and competition more fierce.
The same goes for the gift
card, which is placed in the TOP 3 of Christmas gifts every year. This period,
which is decisive for gift card services, whose traffic peaks in the month of
December, may be strongly impacted.
So, how can you optimize your gift card
during this hard time, despite the current crisis? We give you the keys to
maximize your chances. Before that you may wanted to know some regulations of gift cards on your own country.
GIFT CARD AS A CHRISTMAS GIFT
PLASTIC GIFT CARDS ON THE DIGITAL AGE
2020 will be no exception to this
particular year, most of the activity will be done online. Where two thirds of the
consumers will be to find and make their Christmas gifts.
It is therefore essential today to have a
gift card service on your online site. Provided consumers with the possibility
of ordering their gift card quickly and easily, via an optimized interface. No
identification required. And make its gift card service clearly visible on the
home page of the site or in the main menu. This is essential since the buyer of
a gift card is not necessarily a customer of the brand and unfamiliar with the
Second point: set up an omnichannel gift
card program. That is, giving site visitors the choice of being able to order
either a physical gift card or a digital gift card.
The research suggests that the sales of gift card
will be accelerated at the end of the year. It has been gaining momentum for a
few years now, thanks to the new features that accompany it and its
practicality. Here, it will have all its interest for distant families who will
not be able to reunite for Christmas but who will always be able to offer a
The gift card will also help maximize sales
on the gift card service right up to the very last minute, by targeting
latecomers more precisely. Those who go out a few days before, or even a few
hours before, to find gifts. Note that in previous years, the gift card
achieved 50% of its turnover 4 days before Christmas. *
DELIVERY, AN IMPORTANT POINT
In e-commerce, the two most important steps
for shopping cart validation are delivery and payment. But during the hot sales
season or the epidemic situation, delivery becomes much more important in the
buying decision than any other day of the year. And for good reason, all
consumers have a common deadline: Christmas.
All business, in recent years, have shown
ingenuity to allow guaranteed on-time delivery even on increasingly short
For the gift card service, we are no
exception to the rule and to the high expectations of customers, which are
accentuated with innovations.
For the digital gift card, you have to make
sure that the emails or SMS containing the gift card arrive, and if necessary
be responsive. That is to say, having a dedicated service to manage the peak in
traffic and therefore the risk of non-sending, over this period.
It is also relevant to highlight the
deferred sending functionality. This allows consumers to be able to pre-order
an e-card and be able to send it automatically on D-Day. Again, increased
monitoring is required for scheduled mass mailing.
For physical gift cards printing, like product
shipments, it is necessary to be able to optimize the workflow to the gift card manufacturers and the shipment to
the recipient, so that it can arrive on time. One of the possibilities, to
guarantee the deadline, is to allow customers to have a digital version first,
then the physical version in a second.
ONLINE ADVERTISING TO PROMOTE YOUR GIFT CARD SERVICE
Most people will search for gifts online.
Going to brand websites, blogs, digital magazines, but above all social
networks for more than one in two consumers.
And for 51%, online advertising is rated as
useful for their research. So it is interesting to think of this channel. Often
neglected in favor of the brand's flagship products. Yet it has been in the TOP
3 for gifts for several years, and the particularity of card buyers makes it
important to communicate about its service. The vast majority of them are not
the heart of the target, but their family or friends. They are not necessarily
familiar with the brand and its services, and will not necessarily make the
effort to find out if a gift card of such brand exists.
And to put all the odds in your favor, a
study reveals, for this year at least, that contextual advertising will be the
most popular. Promotional messages (32%) and retargeting (29%) are, for this
period, much less interesting. They prefer an advertisement related to the
content they are viewing and, better yet, displayed on trustworthy sites (37%)
A DEVELOPED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
What makes the added value of a gift card
service is the image and concept of the brand, and the optimization of the
customer experience of the service.
To optimize the customer experience, several
points can be worked on.
The first is identical to the rest of the
e-commerce catalog: a responsive and omnichannel experience. The card command
interface must be available on any device, bug free and frictionless. And
ideally, the gift card should be omnichannel. That is to say, it must be valid
at any physical or digital point of sale of a brand and easily spendable. And
the display of it, must be optimized for all types of devices.
The second is of course the functions of
the gift card. For example, the more personalization options there are, the
more valuable the card will be to consumers. Being a gift above all, the
experience delivered to the recipient is irrelevant to the purchase decision.
Personalized video, GIF, personalized photo, image, message, animation, ...
there are a plethora of options to make the experience memorable. Also take
into account the practical features is the card registerable on the trademark
app? Or on the beneficiary's loyalty account? Can it be stored on a Wallet app?
Can the physical gift card be converted into a digital card? Is the
consultation of the remaining balance easy to access? Is it possible to make
group card purchases? ...
The third point corresponds to the typology of gift card buyers: speed and fluidity. As said above, buyers are not the brand's usual customers. They only come to buy a gift card and usually have no time to waste. Especially if they are latecomers, doing it at the last minute. The control interface must therefore be intuitive and the control steps to a minimum. Of course, the more features there are, the longer it will take. We must therefore find the right balance based on customer feedback or feedback.
THE GIFT CARD AS A LOYALTY AND RECOMMENDATION TOOL
REWARD LOYAL CUSTOMERS AND PROMOTE EARLY BUYERS
There are two types of holiday buyers:
early buyers and late buyers. Those who are ahead of the gifts and those who
And for the vast majority (two-thirds) of
the consumers, the purchase of gifts will take place 1 month before Christmas
on average. A figure which can be explained in part by the occurrence of Black
Friday and Cyber Monday in November. And the expectation of the customer for
interesting promotional offers (50%). However, this exceptional great weekend
is not a decisive point for consumers. If one of their favorite brands has a
relevant promotional offer beforehand, they can take action (54%).
So to promote early buyer behavior, we must
first focus on loyal customers. And the gift card can be used as a loyalty
tool. For example, offering a gift card for a limited amount over a defined
period (before Christmas) to promote purchases within the brand.
A reward linked to their loyalty and a strong promotional action in added value. The gift card is not seen as a promotional tool in the first place, but as a real "gift". A Christmas present in advance to thank them. An incentive to take the time to do their Christmas shopping at the brand's points of sale.
USE THE GIFT CARD AS A RECOMMENDATION TOOL
The consumer today use different channels
and sources to find the perfect gift for their loved ones. But one of the most
important considerations remains, without a doubt, the recommendation of those
One of the challenges for brands is
therefore to promote referral from their current and satisfied customers to
others who may be interested.
Several techniques exist. But the one that
has been proven its worth with the marketing department in recent years is
sponsorship. A win-win strategy for the current customer and the future
customer. Each of the two parties is rewarded.
The brand can define the amount offered up
to the validation date to influence in-store traffic or on the website.
Launched two / three months before Christmas and valid before the holidays, it
promotes end-of-year shopping at its point of sale.
ThIs year promises to be special with
e-commerce dominating and consumers having to shop for Christmas online. In
this context, the gift card service will be an asset, even a pillar. Since it
is a personalized, digital and practical gift to send to remote family, for
example. And a formidable marketing tool.
But on condition of having an online gift card ordering service, and also offering the e-gift card. To work on the customer experience and functionalities. And to manage fraud and traffic peaks.