Disclaimer: Plastic gift card transactions must be completed in-store to assign value to cards. For online gift sales, Vagaro businesses use digital gift certificates.

As a small business owner, you have a variety of tools you can use to get more engagement from your customers. But did you know that digital and print gift certificates are a tool you can leverage to get more customer engagement? Many small business owners overlook the marketing potential and customer retention capabilities of the “small but mighty” gift certificate. Here are a few ways you can increase engagement—and conversions! —with digital gift certificates.

Gift Certificates Help You Meet and Exceed Customer Expectations

When a small business launches a marketing campaign, there are three fundamentals, in terms of what your customers expect:

  • The value provided with the offer.

  • How and when customers engage with offer.

  • What will keep customers coming back after the offer is over?

Gift certificates are an easy way to address all three of these issues without increasing your marketing workload. An online gift certificate provides a specific monetary value to the client, one that they can easily access and manage in-store or via your website or mobile app. Likewise, one of the best conveniences gift certificates provide is the flexibility of using them. For example, if a customer wants to check the balance of their gift certificate and shop, they won’t need to depend on your business hours or visiting your storefront to do so. What’s more: storing, managing, and using digital gift certificates on a phone is becoming increasingly common, which is a win/win for gift certificates redeemed via email, web, or mobile app. Finally, a gift certificate can keep customers engaged with and returning to your business to check their balance and spend the remainder of their certificate.

Expand Your Customer Base and Brand Recognition with Gift Certificates

A branded digital gift certificate serves to expand your customer base two ways: through the certificate itself, and by redemption, either in-store or online. When they buy a gift certificate, an established customer of yours has just introduced you to a new client. And you already know how powerful word-of-mouth referrals can be! Not only has your established customer introduced you to a new lead, but they’ve also just introduced a friend or family member to your brand, which you can then build upon and turn a one-time gift into a new returning client. With their electronic gift certificate, they’ll now have a compelling reason to visit your business, either in-store or online. Make sure your website is sleek and easy-to-navigate and your customer service is on-point, and you’re sure to turn them into a repeat customer!

Get More Revenue with Gift Certificates

The first benefit of digital gift certificates is the immediate revenue they provide your business. Whether a customer ever visits to spend their certificate, the income you earn by selling the gift certificate is realized immediately. You then have more opportunities to turn a one-time gift certificate sale into ongoing income by building a customer relationship.

Unlike coupons or promotional discounts, gift certificates provide the receiver with the perception of having more money to spend. 2018 consumer statistics show that the average gift certificate receiver spends around $59 more than the original value of their gift certificate, up $21 from the previous year—with future years only promising to increase.

Likewise, these studies show that many gift certificate receivers visit a business more than once to use the remainder of their gift certificate. That means you have more chances to deliver top-notch customer service and build customer loyalty, whether they’re booking services or shopping your online store. Your connection with new clients may start with the gift certificate, but with a smooth, professional experience, it doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship. One little gift certificate can open big doors to future marketing opportunities!

Bright Ideas to Make the Most of Gift Certificates

  • Give your brand identity a boost with digital or print gift certificates! Create a look and feel that’s brand-specific and provide customers with a fully branded experience when they redeem their gifts online or in-store.

  • Make sure that the ordering of your service menu, online booking, and online storefront is intuitive and easy-to-navigate, to provide new customers the best user experience when they visit to use their gift certificate.

  • Verify that your online store is fully stocked and “shoppable.” Don’t forget to stock gift certificates!

  • Test all the functions that a new visitor might access, to make sure their user experience is smooth and seamless.

  • Send automated emails and text messages to gift certificate recipients to let them know how easy it is to book, shop, check their balance, and manage their client profile.

  • Offer digital gift certificate discounts through Daily Deals to provide customers greater value and make more online sales.

Vagaro Launches Digital Gift Certificate Discount Feature

When it comes to small business gift sales, the ability to keep pace with discounts offered by large chain stores is key to staying competitive. Customers are already familiar with the idea of discounted gift certificates and discounted gift cards that are available in larger chain stores. For example, offers like purchasing a $100 gift certificate for $80, or buying a $25 gift certificate and getting a $10 gift certificate for free. Vagaro’s newest feature allows small business owners to offer discounts for online sales of digital gift certificates, discounted either by dollar amount or percentage, through your Daily Deal settings. With digital gift certificates, you can even set multiple tiers of discounted savings, to generate greater sales. For example: $20 for $15, $50 for $35, or $100 for $75. By offering gift certificate discounts comparable to those offered by large chain stores, your small business stays competitive!

Vagaro logo Ready to give your gift certificate recipients the VIP treatment? Whether you’re stocking your retail area for holidays or everyday occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or other occasions, make sure gift certificates are part of your marketing plan! If you’re ready to earn more income by selling discounted digital gift certificates online, here’s how to get started with a new Vagaro Daily Deal!

Header Image and Icons: Mia Montemayor via Vagaro