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How to Boost Gift Card Sales This Holiday Season

Celebrate the holidays by increasing your gift card revenue. The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that holiday sales will experience 4.1% growth this year, higher than the average that retailers have seen over the past ten years. Follow these tips to give your business a competitive edge in the gift card market this holiday season.

1. Become the closest gift store with the best hours. The holidays are known for colder weather, travel, and lots of parties. Those things considered, offer your customers a solution that will save time during one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year. The Online Store in your MINDBODY Site gives you the ability to make your business’ gift cards available 24/7, and your gift card auto-email provides instant delivery. We’ve updated your site to allow you to link online shoppers directly to the gift cards page in your Online Store, or even to a specific card.

2. Create experiences. Shoppers are looking for convenience without having to sacrifice a personal feel. While traditional gift cards let recipients decide what to purchase with a set amount of money, a card that can be redeemed for a unique experience can give a more thoughtful touch. Consider creating an exclusive package for the holiday season, or a gift card for services that aren’t normally offered at your business. A simple way to set up options like this in your MINDBODY Site is to create a series to pay for the unique group of services (e.g., blow-dry and pedicure). You can then create a gift card under the exact same name as the series and with enough credit to purchase it.

3. Provide options for every price point. When it comes to buying gifts, shoppers usually have a predetermined value in mind for how much they’re willing to spend. It’s best to offer a range of packages designed to let customers gift your services in any denomination; this can keep you from inadvertently discouraging smaller purchases.

4. Play the local field. Since consumers are looking to please their friends and family with personalized gifts during the holidays, small businesses really have an advantage over large franchises. Online marketing service SpaBoom reports that one third of gift card purchases originate from outside the business’s home state. You can play up the local card and capture these sales by marketing gift cards on your website using our new linking feature. Create ads for your gift cards that can be indexed to show up in simple online searches, and make sure they link consumers directly to the virtual purchase point in your Online Store.

5. Reward the purchaser. Creating promotions to encourage gift card sales can be a win-win strategy for your business. Give consumers a reason to buy gift cards from you and not your competitors using coupons or free products as incentives. For example, a coupon for 15% off your next visit with the purchase of a gift card will promote holiday gift sales as well as future business, marketing your services to both the recipient and the purchaser.

6. Forget the early bird -- target the night owl. Black Friday marks the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States. Everyone knows that retail stores and malls will pack full of crowds ready to dig for presents. However, a lesser-known crowd develops online at the very last minute, right up to the hour of gift-giving. According to SpaBoom, 50% of instant gift card sales occur during the 48 hours just before Christmas. Last year MINDBODY clients noticed a similar trend, with more than half of holiday gift card sales taking place online within a week of the 25th. Capitalize on these spur-of-the-moment sales by making your gift cards available through a single click of the mouse. Be sure to promote gift card specials linked to your Online Store in newsletters and on your website ASAP, and consider sending reminders as time begins to run out.