March is here. Admittedly, that may be one of the most underwhelming ways to introduce a new part of the year. It certainly doesn’t have the same ring to it as “December is here and Christmas is less than a month away!” We understand that. However, there is a fact that remains true about your business no matter what time of the year it is. And that’s that you can significantly benefit from selling gift cards!
Is it a sound statement to declare that gift card sales experience huge boosts during the holiday shopping season? Of course it is. But that doesn’t mean that gift cards aren’t sold all year round. It’s important to keep in mind that there are always reasons that shoppers look for gift cards. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and other life celebrations are all events that require the giving of gifts.
And, believe it or not, gift cards are only growing in popularity. According to Amanda Stein on Indiesilver.com, “the Gift Card, or gift certificate, has been around a long time, but only recently have they been so easy to give and receive. U.S. businesses have reaped the benefits totaling $23 billion last year. When you add in the fact that 2% to 5% of gift cards never get used, it is easy to see how gift cards can make a positive impact on your bank statement.”
But do people really want gift cards as gifts? You better believe they do! Gift cards aren’t just rising as popular gifts to buy. They are among the most requested gifts to get. Remember that people actually get exactly what they want when they receive gift cards. It’s impossible to dislike the inevitable gift because the recipient gets to choose the gift for him or herself. According to Mandi Woodruff on Yahoo.com, gift cards are less likely to go to waste than regular gifts.
“Opponents of gift cards like to toss around data that shows more than $2 billion worth of unused gift cards are lost or forgotten in American homes each year,” she writes, “They have a point. But here’s another fun fact: Nearly $50 BILLION worth of holiday gifts are returned each year, the vast majority of which are unwanted clothing. Gift cards starting to look a bit better yet?”
How else do business owners benefit from selling gift cards? Consider the fact that gift cards represent an entirely new product for your business to sell. And it’s a product that represents many things. A gift card isn’t your average gift. It also represents a referral for your store. It is the equivalent of someone saying, “hey, give this store a try.”
“Think about it, one of your customers that has done business with you before liked your products or services enough to not only encourage a friend to shop here, but make the first purchase for the recipient,” says Stein, “They invite their friend to your store on their dime. In essence they are telling their friend, ‘I like and trust this business, I think you would too, and the first trip is on me.’”
A gift card is also a guarantee. This guarantee is that you will have made money whether a product is actually sold or not. If the gift card recipient doesn’t end up using the card, you still make a profit. If the card gets used, it’s likely the recipient will end up spending more than its value. Again, you win!