As the holiday season approaches, eCommerce businesses seek strategies to attract and retain customers. One powerful tool that has emerged is electronic gift certificates. Not only do these certificates provide a hassle-free gifting option for your customers, but they can also significantly boost your sales, customer engagement, and brand loyalty.
In the age of “I want it now,” customers appreciate the convenience of electronic transactions. Electronic gift certificates are no exception. They can be purchased, shared, and redeemed from anywhere, at any time, aligning with the on-demand expectations of today’s consumers. This ease of use, combined with the upcoming holiday season, makes electronic gift certificates a perfect addition to your eCommerce strategy.
From a business standpoint, offering gift certificates can be beneficial in several ways. First, they generate immediate revenue. Even if the certificate isn’t redeemed right away, the cash is in your account. Second, they attract new customers. When someone receives a gift certificate, they are essentially getting a free trial of your products or services. This can lead to new, long-term customer relationships. Finally, gift certificates can reduce product returns post-holiday season, as the recipients can choose what they want.
So, how can you start offering electronic gift certificates if you’re using BigCommerce as your eCommerce platform? The process is quite straightforward.
Setting Up Electronic Gift Certificates on BigCommerce
Step 1: Enable Gift Certificates
Log into your BigCommerce control panel, navigate to ‘Marketing,’ then ‘Gift Certificates.’ Toggle the ‘Enable Gift Certificates’ option to ‘Yes.’
Step 2: Set Up Your Gift Certificate Amounts
You can enter a list of predetermined gift certificate amounts you want to allow customers to purchase, or you can leave it open-ended where customers can simply enter a value and not be restricted by a set certificate amount.
If you choose to allow the customer to choose their own amount, you can set minimum and maximum certificate amounts.
Step 3: Set up Expiration Dates
Some store owners may want to set expiration dates on gift certificates. If you do, select the option and enter an expiration in days. It’s important to note that some laws may limit the ability to put expiration dates on gift certificates, so please make sure you verify whether that applies in your state or not.
Step 4: Customization
You can customize the look of the gift certificate that is sent upon purchase by using the built-in templates provided by BigCommerce. To view them, go to Storefront > Gift Certificate Templates.
From here you can enable/disable and edit each certificate. Keep in mind, customization of the electronic gift certificates are limited and you cannot create new templates.
That’s it! BigCommerce will generate unique codes for each gift certificate sold. These codes will be emailed to the purchaser or directly to the recipient if the buyer provides the recipient’s email address during purchase.
You can monitor and manage your gift certificates from your control panel. This includes viewing the status of gift certificates, manually creating a gift certificate, and addressing any fraudulent activities.
Be sure to promote your gift certificates via email newsletters, social media, and banners on your website. Make sure your customers are aware that they can now purchase gift certificates from your store.
Electronic gift certificates can give your business a significant boost, especially during the holiday season. By offering them, you provide customers with an easy, stress-free way to share their love for your brand with others, while simultaneously driving new customers to your store. In addition, the immediate revenue from selling gift certificates can improve cash flow and contribute positively to your bottom line.
For more information on creating, editing, and managing gift certificates in BigCommerce, click here for their support article.
Scott Sanfilippo began his eCommerce journey in 1994 by co-founding one of the Internet’s first online retailers, TheFerretStore.com, which was acquired by PetCo in 2006. In 2001, he co-founded the eCommerce design and marketing firm Solid Cactus, which was acquired by web.com in 2009. Today, Scott is the General Manager of Your Store Wizards and lives in Delray Beach, FL. Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.