There is a prevailing feeling among certain members of society that gift cards are “impersonal” gifts. They suggest that the giving of gift cards demonstrates a type of laziness – a sign that the gift-giver was not interested in doing any real shopping. Others assume that a gift card purchaser feels an indifference to what the recipient would like to receive. At Canadian POS Corporation, we see things differently.
We believe that gift cards adequately demonstrate the entire concept of “it’s the thought that counts”. And that’s because most shoppers know that they aren’t experts at figuring out what they’re loved ones really want or need. They do know, however, where their recipients’ general interests lie. So they think “why not ensure that the person receive the gift gets what he/she actually wants or needs?”
As you’re well aware, a gift enables a recipient to decide for himself/herself what the actual gift will end up being. What could me more thoughtful than that? Instead of the viewing the giving of a gift card as an “I was too lazy to go shopping for what you wanted” action, we look at it as a “I wanted to make sure you were happy with your gift” move.
On Lifehacker.com, Patrick Lucas Austin challenges the notion that actual gifts are automatically better for their recipients than gift cards. He points out that there are pros and cons to each type of gift, but points out that the recipient is the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to how good a gift really is.
“What makes a traditional gift a ‘good’ gift depends on multiple factors, including the gift itself, its value as perceived by its recipient, and its utility,” writes Austin, “Successful gifts also take into account what the recipient desires, and shouldn’t just be a present you’d like to receive, or what you think will garner the most excitement upon opening.”
Austin warns that shoppers need to avoid falling into the trap of buying the same thing over and over again for their recipients. For example, just because someone is a big Star Wars fan, it doesn’t mean that he/she wants collectible cups, house slippers and posters showcasing characters from that film franchise (our example, not his).
“A study researching the errors involved in gift-giving show givers are more focused on the initial excitement of a given gift, whereas recipients are focused on a gift’s practicality through the length of their ownership,” says Austin, “While gift givers value aspects like desirability and the element of surprise, recipients care more about a gift’s versatility, and whether or not the gift was desired at all.”
Make it easy on your customers to decide what they wish to give their loved ones as gifts. Your products are very likely to be purchased outright even when you sell gift cards. But, by adding gift cards to your product line, you guarantee that your store is a much more desired destination for those shopping for gifts.