- With inflation straining consumer wallets, gift card promotions offering discounts and bonuses are tremendously popular.
- 60% of consumers received a gift card as an incentive from their employer in 2022.
- Gift cards have been a surprising driver of sales recently.
Nearly 30 years after its introduction as a method to pay for rentals at Blockbuster Video, the gift card has evolved from a holiday trend to a staple gift.
An Annual U.S. Prepaid Consumer Insights Study found that gift cards are now being used to stretch consumer buying power and combat inflation, to recognize and incentivize employees, and as a point of innovation to support sustainability. Here are some more ways that gift cards can boost business:
Stretching the Dollar
With inflation straining consumer wallets, gift card promotions offering discounts and bonuses are tremendously popular. 67% of consumers said these promotions can influence them to purchase more. More than half of shoppers (54%) took advantage of a gift card promotion in 2022.
The Great Incentivization
60% of consumers received a gift card as an incentive from their employer in 2022. This is a significant increase from 32% in 2019. 85% of employees think that gift cards from an employer make for appropriate incentives.
Physical Gift Cards Remain Preferred
While consumers are split on using gift cards in store versus online, they still prefer tangible gift certificates over virtual ones. 62% of respondents said this is because they want to actually give the gift card to the recipient, and 38% said they want the recipient to be able to unwrap a gift.
A Sustainable Future
The study found that 63% of consumers said that gift cards made from sustainable/biodegradable materials are an important innovation. Along the same lines, 49% said a company’s position on sustainability influences their desire to purchase from that business. If you use eco-friendly materials for your gift cards and market them as such, it can greatly increase these purchases.
Research by the National Retail Federation reveals more eye-opening facts about the gift card market:
- Holiday spending on gift cards was expected to rise in 2022.
- During the 2022 five-day Thanksgiving holiday, gift cards were the third-most-popular item.
- Holiday shoppers in 2022 planned to purchase three to four gift cards each, spending an average of $51.47 per card.
Gift Cards’ Impact on Dispensaries
Just as they can boost business at any other retailer, gift cards can also increase a dispensary’s bottom line. In fact, Kai Kirk, Chief Product Officer at BLAZE, says gift cards have been a surprising driver of sales recently. BLAZE creates operating systems for dispensaries, and they work with cannabis retailers all across the U.S. and Canada.
“It’s interesting because when we looked at the data, we saw that gift cards have a bit of a stabilizing impact on inflation. We are realizing that there are multiple places where gift cards have an impact,” Kirk said. “Take a holiday gift card, for example. A purchaser may be buying that gift card in November or December, but the consumer doesn’t just buy the gift card. They are also purchasing other products when they come in. So they give the retailer money, which they then have to honor later, but it also helps float some capital at the same time.”
Even though the end receiver of the gift card may not use it for a month or two, that initial purchase still helps to give some capital to the dispensary that they can use to help stay afloat during a slow time. Kirk also said that shoppers typically end up spending more than the gift card amount, so even if it is capital that was purchased months ago, dispensaries can still expect a little something extra to be spent at the store.
Creative Ways to Promote Gift Cards
Whether you already have gift cards at your dispensary or are looking to get started offering them in your store, here are four marketing tips to help you upsell these items:
- Give a Discount on Gift Card Purchases
- Create Striking Designs
- Utilize the Power of Email & Social Media
- Place Your Gift Cards Strategically Around the Store
1. Give a Discount on Gift Card Purchases
Often, businesses will promote gift cards by selling them at a discount. Not only does this give your customers more value for their money, but it also creates urgency for them to purchase. Offer this discount for a limited-time — using FOMO marketing to help drive the purchase along.
2. Create Striking Designs
Your gift certificates will prove to be great marketing tools for your business, so they must reflect what your brand stands for. This makes it imperative for you to put an effort into creating your gift cards to make them appear more thoughtful and personal.
Here is what you can do:
- Include your brand logo and choose colors that match your palette.
Gift certificates will majorly help in building your brand’s name, so it is important to keep your fonts and colors consistent.
- Invest in new cards as the seasons change.
Gift cards are essentially meant to capture more holiday sales. A great holiday marketing idea could be to customize your gift cards according to the upcoming occasions and to add a personal touch with a short message. You can also create a marketing slogan and use it to promote your brand name.
3. Utilize the Power of Email & Social Media
Create emails and social media posts to market your gift cards. Both new and regular customers may not even know you sell gift cards, especially if they normally purchase online from you, so make them aware by using different digital marketing methods.
With the 4/20 holiday coming up, it would be a good idea to add gift card promotions to your normal advertisements. You can do the same with other holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and even the Fourth of July.
4. Place Your Gift Cards Strategically Around the Store
Where your gift certificates are placed has a huge impact on how many customers purchase them. Here are some ideas of where they can be placed:
- Place your gift cards at the register counter, and make sure that they are gifting-ready. Gift certificates are usually an impulse buy, especially around certain holidays and special occasions. Putting up an attractive show of decorated gift cards right on the counter can be a great way to market these items to generate revenue and boost sales.
- Put up flashing displays everywhere — waiting areas, on countertop displays, window displays, menu boards, or on demonstration tables. Make it hard for your customers to ignore them.
- Hold a separate counter solely for selling gift cards if you have lines during busy seasons. Make it convenient for shoppers.
- Put the word online. Showcase them on your website, booking page, and leverage your social media to promote all the new design launches, exciting deals, and offers.
- You can also hold contests, put up polls, and interact with your audience to spread the word.
There are so many different ways that selling gift cards can boost your business — it is a no-brainer to offer them at your dispensary.