How Small Business Can Use Gift Card Sales During COVID-19
Gift Card Sales Help Small Business Owners Maintain Business-(not quite)-As-Usual
While we fully honor the impact COVID-19 is taking on the lives and families of its victims, we also honor the very real threat shelter-in-place mandates pose to small business owners worldwide. As a small business dedicated to helping other small- to midsize companies, Kaufer DMC wants to share all we can about how companies generate sales through these next weeks and months (you’ve already connected with the SBA paycheck protection program, right?!?).
The small business sector is trying to stand tall in the midst of a tremendous financial blow, one that requires business owners’ and managers’ innovation, creativity, and forward-thinking vision.
If your business has gift cards as a background offering, or you’ve never offered gift cards in the past, now’s the time to get them front-and-center in your followers’ screens.
Generate Instant Revenue with Gift Card Sales
Selling a gift card is instant cash in the coffers. While gift card sales won’t generate typical daily sales totals, little bits add up and can help to keep businesses above the dreaded red line. Plus, savvy gift card campaigns may stimulate business from new clients or untapped targets who become part of your loyal customer base down the road.
Here are tips for generating gift card sales:
Let Facebook do the work for you
In case you missed it, Facebook (along with their partners Square and Kabbage) is doing some great work to promote gift card sales for local businesses. They begin:
During this challenging time, people are looking for ways to support the businesses that they love in their communities. One way they’re doing so is by purchasing gift cards, so we’re helping people easily discover digital gift cards for their local businesses.
When you set up a digital gift card with one of our partners, people in your area will be able to discover it right on Facebook. When they click on your gift card, they’ll be able to purchase it online immediately.
CLICK HERE to get your digital gift card parameters set up and let your Facebook network do the work. Both Square and Kabbage also have programs to help you set up gift card sales, as do all the major eCommerce platforms. Optimize the UX and sell more cards!
Take advantage of temporary eCommerce host offerings
Most website and eCommerce sites offer the ability to sell gift cards as part of upgraded plans. However, to help out during the COVID crisis, many - such as Shopify - are offering varying versions of Gift Card Support to all of their small business customers, regardless of their plan. You can also follow simple gift card commerce instructions on Magento, Miva, and BigCommerce.
Creatively market the new offering
Marketing is essential, as usual. If you're new to setting up online gift card purchases - test, test, and test some more to ensure everything is working correctly. That includes verifying your POS system doesn’t attach a sales tax. Gift cards are not taxable since the sales tax is collected when the card is used to purchase products or services. The last thing you want is to confuse or irritate buyers.
Now, it’s time to get the word out across the broad spectrum.
Marketing Tips for Instant Cash Infusion
Here are some simple tips to market your new (or newly infused) gift cards. Let’s get some instant cash into that business checking account.
- Optimize their visibility. Once you’ve designed and launched them, increase their visibility on your website so visitors can spot and purchase them easily.
- Email everyone. Email the entirety of your network, let them know about the new offering. If you have special member or loyalty customer programs, consider sending a segmented, personalized version honoring their VIP status and consider adding a special VIP promotion.
- Create promotional appeal. Everyone loves a deal, especially those investing their money in products or services they may not enjoy until the mystery date that ends our sheltering-in-place lifestyle. Selling $50 gift cards for $45 gives your customers a savings opportunity (who doesn’t love that?) along with saying, “thank you!”
- Get social with them. Advertise on all social media channels, tailoring content and verbiage to the target markets who use them most. Twitter posts would boast clever hashtags and language, while Instagram posts should display high-quality images of the card or some of your most popular products.
It takes a village to raise a child, and that includes the small business versions. Reach out to your community, share how important gift cards can be to keeping our economy afloat, and above all else - stay healthy!
We are fully committed to helping small businesses survive and thrive beyond COVID-19. Are you using this opportunity to restructure business marketing as usual? Need advice or support? Reach out to the Kaufer DMC team.