Gift certificates can provide immediate cash flow for operators to stay afloat. They are an easy way to remind your guests of exciting times ahead while keeping revenue flowing in during downtimes.
While many places are starting to ease restrictions, some operators may still be unable to solidify a reopening date. Since no one knows when travel bans will completely lift, potential customers might be hesitant to book a fixed date, despite a flexible cancellation policy.
That said, many people still want to support their favourite local businesses, and they can do that by purchasing a gift certificate. Operators can run a gift certificate campaign, encourage guests to buy a gift certificate, and treat their friends or family members to a special and unforgettable experience to celebrate the lift of lockdowns.
Why you should promote gift certificates right now
Gift certificates are something operators should offer year-round, but more now than ever, promoting gift certificates is important. Given that the world will be different, even after the lockdown ends, gift-giving will turn more digital, and it provides a way to unlock revenue opportunities for operators year-round. Gift certificates help increase brand awareness, customer loyalty and bring in revenue.
Stay top of mind
Once your doors are open again, you know you’ll have your most loyal guests eager to visit. In the meantime, keep guests engaged with social media and email campaigns showcasing your gift certificates to remind your guests you’re still thinking of them even if you can’t see them.
Increase brand awareness
Gift certificates expose your business to new customers without it costing you a dime. When someone sends a gift certificate, the recipient will come and experience your business, and you’ve gained a new customer.
Maintain cash flow
Not only do gift certificates bring in some much-needed cash flow during a downtime, but they help increase revenue when guests visit your business. According to Blackhawk Network’s research, “59% of consumers surveyed usually spend more than the card’s value.’ Also, if you have guests cancelling bookings, you can offer a refund back to a gift certificate, so you don’t lose out on that needed revenue.
5 Ideas to increase gift certificate sales
While many people want to continue supporting their favourite businesses, they might be busier than usual during this time and thus might not have your business top of mind. Below are some tips on how to put your business back on their radar and highlight your gift certificates.
1. Upcoming holidays
While gift certificate sales increase dramatically during the holiday season, they are a perfect gift for any occasion. Since giving a physical present to a loved one right now is tricky (with social distancing and cleaning measures in place), an online gift certificate is an easy way to let someone know you’re thinking of them.
Birthdays, National Holidays, Father’s Day or simply because it’s Wednesday and you should treat yourself. Anything can be an excuse to post on social media and remind your guests that you offer gift certificates. Check out these gift card marketing ideas that are perfect for any occasion.
2. Celebrate the lift of lockdowns
This should be a holiday in itself and is definitely something worth celebrating. Once you’ve set your opening dates, get your guests excited to book your activities with the incentive of receiving a gift certificate with their booking. Let them know that for every booking they make until your opening date; you’ll send them a $10 gift certificate. This initiative will reward your loyal customers, and have them ready to book again!
3. Website visibility
If guests are curious about when you’re opening back up, they’ll likely visit your website to check if you’ve outlined your plans on when you’ll allow customers to book again. So, when you sell gift certificates on your website, consider doing so prominently to guarantee that visitors see it immediately. You want to make it easy to navigate your site, with compelling calls-to-action, and a dedicated landing page for your gift certificates.
The same goes for in-store visibility. Let potential guests who walk by your storefront know that you offer gift certificates online.
P.S. Checkfront’s Site Builder supports online gift certificates, so you can build and customize a stunning website that’s designed to drive bookings and gift card sales! Start your free 21-day trial!
4. Email updates
If you’ve been keeping your guests up to date on your business’ situation and reopening plans, you can also use these emails as an opportunity to inform your customers that you offer gift certificates. Don’t be afraid to tell them you’d appreciate their support until doors are open again. If you send out newsletters, don’t forget to include links to where they can purchase gift certificates on your website.
5. Instagram giveaway
Who doesn’t love free stuff? Giveaways are a great way to engage with your guests and generate some buzz around your business. Gift Certificates are an easy and desirable prize to offer as an incentive for people to participate in your campaigns. Check out these tips for how to launch a successful giveaway campaign.
How to set up online gift certificates
If you don’t already offer gift certificates, now is the time to set it up. Checkfront makes it easy to sell online gift certificates for your experiences. Here’s how to set them up in Checkfront:
Checkfront gives you the ability to select media and customize themes for each gift certificate. Make them eye-catching for when you promote your gift certificates on social media and your website. Unsplash is an excellent resource for choosing high-quality photos that fit your brand. You can always switch up your themes to fit a specific holiday.
Wrapping it up
Guests will be itching to return to their favourite businesses, and while booking in-advance may feel a little daunting, gift certificates allow them to look forward to something without committing to a fixed date yet. Promoting the sale of gift certificates is a great way to bring in some extra revenue and keep your business top of mind for your loyal guests.