Gift cards are a booming industry and an excellent way for consumers to share their love for a specific shop with others. But are gift cards a good idea for eCommerce businesses? Despite living in the digital age, over half of consumers prefer physical gift cards today.
When considering physical vs. digital gift card programs, physical cards present various benefits for both consumers and online shops. Many popular eCommerce shops use physical cards, from video streaming services like Netflix to online retailers like Amazon. Continue reading to learn how to use physical gift cards for eCommerce businesses.
Advantages of Gift Cards for eCommerce Businesses
Even with technological advancements in the past few decades, physical gift cards are still commonplace among businesses — both online and brick-and-mortar. A common question is whether you can use physical gift cards online. The answer is yes, and you should encourage your customers to do so!
Take Apple Music or Amazon. While they’re eCommerce only, they recognize the importance of selling their gift cards where people shop. An omnichannel approach allows you to reach a wider audience with varied preferences and, in turn, provides better results. Plus, as outlined below, physical gift cards present their own perks for you and your customers.
If you have an eCommerce business, consider the following advantages of physical gift cards for your shop:
1. Gives Customers a Reminder
Physical gift cards serve as a reminder for customers to spend money on your shop. When using the card, they’ll also remember the reason and from whom they received it, which may help them associate your shop with those positive feelings. Customers can place gift cards in their wallets, purses or cars as a reminder of their gift and the “free money” they have yet to spend.
In contrast, digital gift cards can get lost in email or forgotten about without that physical connection and reminder.
2. Boosts Brand Awareness
Physical gift cards are an easy way to market to new customers who may have never used your product before. While physical stores may be easier to go out and locate, the internet is a vast space where small businesses can have trouble marketing themselves.
Stand above the rest by offering physical gift cards. Easily promote them in brick-and-mortar stores, ensuring audiences outside the web also notice your brand. A physical gift card with your logo engraved offers free brand exposure every time it’s used.
3. Makes a Memorable Gift
Many people view receiving a physical gift card as much more special than a digital one. Receiving a digital gift card may feel as if the gift was purchased last minute, while a physical card is a tangible, memorable item that reflects more highly on the person who bought it.
Just the tactile feeling of the physical card can help make an emotional connection. In essence, with physical gift cards, you create an experience that digital can’t “touch.”
4. Increases Revenue
Research shows that consumers buy more physical general-purpose gift cards than digital. Retail gift cards for popular sites like Amazon, eBay or Warby Parker are the most popular prepaid card, with 30% delivered physically compared to 17% digitally. Plus, while gift cards allow businesses to make a profit on the products purchased with the card, they can lift sales in more ways than just this.
Unlike coupons or discounts, physical gift cards keep customers coming back to use their full value and then some. In fact, 61% of consumers spend more than just the value of the card, with recipients overspending by $31.75 on average. As most gift cards are used over several purchases, eCommerce stores are likelier to upsell additional products, which can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on your business.
5. Easy to Use
Physical gift cards are easy for businesses to process, as they go through the same point-of-sale (POS) system used for credit cards — meaning there’s no need for new software or additional equipment to sell them. Anyone who’s purchased a physical gift card understands how straightforward the process is.
The e-gift card purchasing process can be quite tedious when comparing physical vs. digital gift cards. Consumers must purchase the card and send it to the recipient through email or text. To use it, the recipient must upload the card to their mobile device. Since some people may not possess a device that works with these cards, they’re often rendered useless.
6. More Secure
Physical gifts can also be more secure than digital ones. While comparing physical vs. digital gift cards, physical cards aren’t at risk for online scams. When purchasing one, you receive it in hand, providing peace of mind for retailers and customers.
7. Serves as an Extension of Your Brand
A high-quality card communicates that your products and services are high-quality, too. Allow your physical card design to communicate your brand’s image in beautiful, unique ways.
Choose from several materials, colors, dimensional effects and even interactive features while creating your card with PLI. Gift card recipients will be excited to show it off to others, thereby increasing brand awareness while reflecting your company’s creativity and professionalism.
Choose PLI For Gift Cards and Personalized Marketing Solutions
Whether you’re an eCommerce shop or a digital subscription service, offering physical gift cards makes excellent business sense. From video streaming services to music and gaming companies, many eCommerce businesses recognize the power of physical gift cards in taking their business to new heights.
When you’re ready to take the next step for your eCommerce shop, consider PLI for your gift card and marketing needs. Appreciate speedy delivery times, modern marketing ideas and personalized customer support. We produce over 2 billion cards annually for more than 140 countries and still maintain a customer service experience that feels personal.
See for yourself why businesses around the world rely on PLI for innovative solutions and customer-centered card designs. We look forward to working with you to understand your design intent, provide ideas and bring your brand to life.
For custom marketing solutions, contact us today.