In the exciting rush of BFCM sales, many businesses are busy highlighting product deals and discounts. While discounts are an obvious BFCM marketing strategy, there's a lesser-known approach that holds a lot of potential – gift cards.
In this post, we’re going to share all about gift cards and how you can use them during the BFCM sale on your Shopify store.
What are gift cards on Shopify?
A gift card is a prepaid stored-value card that is issued by retailers or businesses as an alternative to giving cash as a gift. It functions similarly to a debit card, but it's usually limited to use within a specific store, brand, or group of affiliated businesses.
The statistic below shows the value of the global gift cards market from 2017 to 2025. The global gift card market is forecast to reach a value of 510 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.
Gift cards have gained popularity due to their convenience and flexibility. People hope to receive gift cards more than any other type of gift and prefer to give gift cards as gifts because they “allow the recipient to select their own gift” - and that’s exactly why we recommend using them during the BFCM and holiday season sale!
Here's how gift cards typically work:
- Purchase: A person buys a gift card from a retailer or business, usually for a specific monetary amount.
- Activation: The gift card is activated at the time of purchase, and its value is loaded onto the card.
- Value: The cardholder can use the gift card to make purchases up to the total value loaded onto the card.
- Balance: The e-gift card comes with a custom, one-time use code that can be used while making a purchase during checkout to avail the amount.
How to use Shopify gift cards during the BFCM sale?
At Giftkart, we’ve been analyzing how brands use gift cards on their Shopify store before, during and after the BFCM period. Here’s how brands across different industries setting up gift cards for BFCM using Giftkart as we integrate with Klaviyo and Omnisend for an end to end experience:
1. Give gift cards on every purchase that can be redeemed only during BFCM
Encouraging customers to make purchases by offering BFCM gift cards with each transaction can create a sense of immediate reward. The stipulation that these gift cards are only redeemable within the BFCM period adds urgency and prompts customers to return to the store within that time frame. This strategy can drive repeated visits and purchases during the sale.
2. Offer gift cards for off-season use to bring back customers
As customers explore various websites during the hectic BFCM period, offering gift cards that can be used after the sales rush (during the off-season) can set your store apart and help with brand recall. This tactic extends the appeal beyond the immediate sales event and encourages customers to revisit your store when the competition is less intense.
3. Create discounted gift cards as products
By turning gift cards into products themselves and offering them at a discounted price, such as getting a $250 gift card for $200, you entice customers to buy these "deals." This approach not only generates immediate sales but also ensures that customers will return to your store to redeem their gift cards, often spending more than the card's value.
4. Incorporate gift cards into email marketing campaigns
Leveraging email marketing to promote BFCM gift cards to your subscriber base is an effective way to reach engaged customers. By highlighting the convenience and versatility of gift cards, you can motivate subscribers to consider them as gifts for themselves or others during BFCM. This can drive both immediate and future sales.
5. Personalize gift cards for targeted users
Identifying and segmenting your customer base allows you to personalize gift card offers. By targeting both active and inactive users (those who haven't shopped in 180 days), you can re-engage lapsed customers with the allure of a personalized gift card. This approach can outshine traditional miss you messages, vanilla discounts and reignite interest in your products or services that are now on discount during the BFCM sale.
6. Offer discounted gift cards around Thanksgiving and Christmas with delayed issue
To encourage purchases leading up to key holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, consider offering discounted gift cards that customers can purchase in advance. By delaying the activation of these gift cards for a week or more, you ensure that they are not used during the BFCM sales period. This strategy prevents the gift cards from contributing to the sales event's revenue loss while still driving pre-holiday sales.
7. Provide cashback in the form of gift cards instead of high discounts
Instead of offering steep product discounts during BFCM, consider providing cashback to customers in the form of gift cards. This maintains the original average order value (AOV) of purchases, which is important for sustaining profit margins.
By incentivizing customers with gift card cashback that can be used on future purchases, you encourage them to return to your store, fostering customer retention and repeat business. To further optimize this strategy, you can issue this BFCM gift card cashback with a delay to prolong customer engagement.
8. Set up retention gift card campaigns for dormant customers
Retaining existing customers is crucial for sustained business success. To re-engage customers who haven't made a purchase in over six months, create targeted retention gift card campaigns during the BFCM sale. By informing them about the exciting BFCM offers and providing them with a $10 Gift Card, you're enticing them to return and make a purchase, reactivating their interest in what you have to offer.
9. Set up a secret campaign for high-value shoppers
Identifying and rewarding high-value shoppers can boost their spending and loyalty even further. Implement a hidden or "secret" campaign targeted at these customers, offering them higher cashback rewards if they make purchases above a certain threshold.
This personalized approach recognizes their loyalty and incentivizes them to shop more extensively, knowing they'll receive greater benefits. Brands use Giftkart to manage and automate this campaign, streamlines the process and be able to track the sales attributed to gift cards.
Pro tip: Give your Shopify gift card design a BFCM theme
Creating BFCM gift cards that are visually appealing and aligned with the theme of the season can help attract more attention. For example, black and red are commonly used during the BFCM sale alongwith big fonts to promote the deals. This approach capitalizes on the BFCM shopping spirit to draw in more customers.
Why use gift cards during the BFCM sale?
Here is the list of reasons to consider embracing BFCM gift cards as one of the marketing ideas for the sale season:
1. Gift cards are highly requested
Gift cards are a popular choice among consumers as gifts, and they are often requested by recipients. During BFCM, many people are shopping for holiday gifts, and gift cards provide a convenient option for those unsure about specific preferences or sizes.
By offering BFCM gift cards for promotions, retailers cater to the demand for versatile gifting options. This can attract both gift buyers and recipients, expanding the retailer's customer base and driving more sales.
2. Gift cards can be a differentiator and make customer feel special
In the sea of discounts and offers during BFCM, gift cards can serve as a unique and appealing differentiator for a retailer. While discounts are common, the promise of a gift card that can be used later can create a sense of anticipation and excitement for shoppers.
This positive sentiment might lead to repeat business and long-term customer loyalty. Additionally, if recipients have a positive experience while redeeming their gift cards, it can enhance their perception of the brand.
3. Gift cards make people want to buy/ spend more
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, retailers often offer various deals and discounts to attract shoppers. Including gift cards in these promotions can incentivize purchases in multiple ways.
A retailer can offer a free BFCM gift card with a minimum purchase amount, encouraging customers to spend more to receive the gift card. Alternatively, they can offer a gift card as a bonus for purchasing certain high-demand products, further enticing customers to make a purchase.
For example, if a consumer has a $50 gift card and finds items they like totaling $70, they might be more inclined to make the purchase, covering the $20 difference themselves. This phenomenon is known as the "gift card effect."
4. Gift cards as a passive process
Using BFCM gift cards offers a unique advantage due to their passive nature. When businesses focus on offering deals and discounts, it requires constant monitoring and adjustments to ensure the pricing remains appealing while still being profitable.
In contrast, gift cards offer a more hands-off approach. You set the value of the gift card, and customers purchase them at face value. The recipient then uses the gift card to make a purchase, which can often lead to higher average order values as they are encouraged to spend more than the gift card's value.
5. Gift cards promote lead generation
Promoting BFCM gift cards can also serve as a tool for lead generation. When customers purchase gift cards, they are essentially making an upfront commitment to shop at your store.
This provides an opportunity to capture valuable customer data during the purchase process. By encouraging customers to provide their email addresses or other contact information at the time of gift card purchase, you can build a list of engaged leads.
These leads can then be targeted with future promotions, newsletters, and updates, effectively extending the impact of your BFCM efforts beyond the immediate sale period.
Leveraging BFCM gift cards can significantly boost your sales if executed strategically. The ease of setting up gift cards with Shopify apps like Giftkart is undeniable, but their true potential lies in their proper utilization to enhance BFCM sales.
Gift cards expand the customer base and present upsell opportunities, but the recipient's shopping habits and preferences should be considered.
That’s where we come in.
Want to explore using gift cards during the BFCM sale to increase your Shopify store revenue?