How To Start A Gift Card Buying Business
A gift card program allows customers to buy cards that carry a small balance to be used in your business, usually at a later date. Similar in size and appearance to a credit card or debit card, gift cards are typically made of recyclable PVC plastic and can be loaded using a POS system with gift card capabilities.
how to start a gift card buying business
In the grand scheme of commerce, the gift card concept is relatively new. While gift certificates have had a long history in retail shops and restaurants, cards themselves are only several decades old. The original gift cards, introduced in the 1980s, were thin pieces of plastic that could be used to track purchases and redemptions.
Gift card programs are popular with shoppers. Global gift card sales are expected to reach $1 trillion USD globally in 2020 alone and $2.7 trillion USD by 2027. Gift cards can be found in businesses of all shapes and sizes, from restaurants to retail boutiques.
Starting a gift card program is relatively simple and affordable. Most retailers, especially modern operations utilizing high-tech POS systems and other customer loyalty programs, will have few issues in setting up gift cards for their business.
Most modern POS systems offer gift card integrations that provide comprehensive tracking such as redemption totals by location or the sales history of a gift card. To ensure maximal functionality, search for programs that come with:
Some gift card business vendors will offer access to cards, but others will require you to purchase plastic gift cards from a third-party vendor. If you need to purchase your own cards, be sure to select cards that allow custom designs for branding purposes. Buy cards in an adequate quantity to ensure access for all guests who may want one.
Talking to customers in person, sharing on social media and putting banner ads on your website are all great ways to spread the word. Another great way to grab attention is to display physical gift cards by your registers and announce the program in your email newsletter. No matter how you choose to advertise, make sure everyone you encounter knows about the program.
To inspire all your employees, consider implementing an employee competition. Offer the employee who sells the most gift cards a small perk, like a cash bonus, a better shift, free vacation days or some other benefit that will be in high demand. Alternatively, consider offering a financial incentive, like a percentage of sales as a bonus, to get everyone involved.
When selling gift cards, sweeten the deal with a promo code for a discount on anything in your store or on your menu. For example, you can provide a 20% promotional code to everyone who buys your gift cards during your pre-specified introductory period.
A cool-looking card is far more likely to sell than one with an average look and feel. Instead of scrimping on design and sticking with a name in plain text, use your skills to put together something worth buying.
When you have a pretty package to show off, your sales will reflect it. Gift card suppliers like Plastic Printers enable you to print fashionable custom gift cards no matter what your graphic design skills are.
Before starting your gift card program, you likely had goals in mind regarding anticipated overall performance. As such, only proper comparative analysis will ensure you are hitting your targets efficiently.
As your business changes, so will your goals for your gift card program, especially if your overall corporate goals are based on growth. Periodically, whether quarterly, biannually or annually, review your progress versus original targets and reevaluate your objectives as necessary. This may mean scaling back if your initial expectations were too aggressive, or stretching goals to accommodate higher performance.
One thing merchants who sell closed loop gift cards should keep in mind is that from an accounting perspective, gift cards are recorded as a liability to the merchant, not a sale. In other words, using a closed loop gift card to purchase a closed loop gift card is a revenue recognition concern for small business owners and in our opinion should be avoided.
Once you set up gift card processing for your business, you can accept any tender type approved by your processor, like Lightspeed Payments, to purchase gift cards, including cash, credit card or NFC-payments like Apple Pay.
Most gift card suppliers allow you to upload your artwork or personalize gift cards with templated designs via a web page or online portal, similar to how many business owners order custom business cards online. Once you design your gift cards, you can contact your supplier to place an order or submit the request via their online store.
Once you set up your gift card program, you can sell gift cards the same way you would any other item at the register. POS systems like Lightspeed will prompt you to swipe the gift card through your credit card reader to activate it and complete the sale.
So you're a small business interested in starting up a gift card program. You might have tons of questions or have no idea where to start. That's okay! I am here to tell you what you need to know so that you can feel confident before starting on this exciting trek into the next level of your business. The truth is you really don't have to be wary about starting your gift card program; gift cards have topped the holiday sales charts for the last decade. In other words, your gift card program can be thriving in no time. Let me give you some tips so you can get started creating a successful gift card program for your business.
Why do you need an eye-catching gift card design? You need your gift card to stand out and grab your customers' attention. Once you have their attention, it will inform them that you offer gift cards. The gift card could also be the first time the gift-receiver learns about your brand, so a unique design helps solidify a strong impression.
Designing your custom gift cards can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a daunting task. Luckily, at Plastic Printers, we have a professional design team that can help you create the perfect gift card design for your business. All you need to do is tell us your ideas and our highly-talented graphic designers will bring your vision to life.
After you design your gift cards, it's time to think about how your customers will use them. You want it to be easy for them to understand and take advantage of. Just like how you're reading this blog to feel confident in your gift card program, you need your customers to feel comfortable buying and redeeming gift cards to your business.
To help ensure that it is simple for them, you should emphasize how easy it is to buy and redeem your custom gift cards. Use brochures, signage, and your website to help communicate and promote your gift card program to customers. Gift cards are very commonplace nowadays, so educating your customers shouldn't be too difficult, but it's worth your while to create customers that are confident in buying and using your gift cards.
Last but not least is promoting your gift cards; this is another critical aspect that can play a major role in the success of your gift card program. There are so many ways that yo