Gift Card Strategies for Last Minute Holiday Shoppers

As holiday shoppers check items off their list and Christmas creeps closer, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re targeting all types of gift buyers. Yes, that includes all of you last-minute shoppers! While at this point, it is difficult to guarantee delivery by December 25th, there is an alternative purchase customers can make that still holds value and delights those they love: gift cards.

In fact, gift card sales are booming right now. Between added delays with USPS and shoppers having to celebrate with loved ones from afar due to the pandemic, more people opt for gift cards over physical gifts this year. They’re also an ideal pandemic-procrastination solution for those who have either put off shopping or aren’t willing to physically walk into a store.

To help you use this tactic in your eCommerce business, our sweet team at CAKE has put together a brief guide. Here are our best gift card strategies for last-minute holiday shoppers.

Why Push Gift Cards Close to Christmas?

There are numerous reasons why every eCommerce brand should push gift cards leading into Christmas.

To start, the logistics of it just make sense. A virtual gift card goes out via email and arrives immediately with no added shipping time or cost. There’s no packing to worry about and the process is as simple as possible. As an eCommerce brand, it’s a win for you, as Shopify has numerous ways to make this automatic. There’s no delay for shoppers, and their loved ones can receive (and use) that digital gift card immediately. In fact, did you know that according to the National Retail Foundation, gift cards were the most requested item consumers wanted as a gift? AND, about 53% of consumers plan to use their gift cards right away to take advantage of after-holiday sales.

But there’s also another benefit to selling gift cards at the end of the holiday shopping season. If inventory on physical products is running low or you know you have something big coming out after the start of the new year, digital gift cards are funds that people can use to place orders weeks or months down the road. Essentially, that means they get to order when and what they want as it becomes available. Plus, more often than not, a gift card entices consumers to spend more than they would if they hadn’t had a gift card in the first place. Surveys show that nearly 3 out of 5 consumers plan to spend more than the value of their gift card with 52% of consumers planning to spend as much as $30 or more. This is a win for your inventory movement later on after they’ve cashed in.

Using Content & Social Media to Increase Gift Card Sales

So, how do you make that final push and transition from physical product sales to gift card sales? With content, of course. After all, you want people to know that you’re offering digital gift cards and remind them that there’s still time to purchase them. A few of our top eCommerce strategies include:

  • Organic Social Posts: Simply put, get out there and let your followers know that digital gift cards are an option. Use these posts until 11:59 PM on December 24th or even into Christmas Day as a procrastinator option.
  • Buy on Instagram: Make it even easier to purchase a gift card by setting up your shop posts so that people can make a gift card purchase without ever leaving IG.
  • Email Blasts: You’ve spent all year making your list and checking it twice. Take a cue from the jolly man himself and send out an email blast reminding everyone that you offer digital gift cards as a last-minute option.
  • Paid Social Ads: Remember, this is the season of gifting. That means you’ll likely need to get out in front of people who buy for your typical customers, not necessarily the audience that follows your brand religiously. You can do this through targeted paid social ads that attract friends and family members or those who already shop with you.

Of course, you’ll want to craft your messages to show urgency and fulfill the needs of those who either waited until the last minute or are having a hard time finding the perfect gift for someone they love.

Merchandising and Website Callout Ideas

Using paid advertising and content isn’t the only way you’ll need to promote digital gift cards. Adding website callouts and strategically placing offers on your website is key. A few ideas to explore include:

  • Header callouts
  • Promo bar at the top of the entire website
  • A recommendation on product pages of out-of-stock items

Be sure to also make the process fun by offering different holiday digital gift card designs. And give the purchaser the ability to customize their message to the recipient directly from your eCommerce site at the time of purchase.

Special Bonuses and Offers for Gift Cards

Another excellent tactic for increasing gift card sales close to the end of the holiday shopping season is to offer special bonuses. This can be as simple as getting a second $10 gift card for every $50 spent or a similar approach. People like deals, and the ability to get more value for less is a great tactic for improving digital gift card sales this close to Christmas.

Your Holiday eCommerce Advertising Experts

At CAKE, we pride ourselves on being your holly jolly eCommerce advertising experts. But the great news is that we can help you grow your online store all year long. Please contact us today to discuss your needs and learn how our team of digital marketing elves can make a difference in your sales for the new year.