digital gift cards for the holidays

Two BIG reasons to offer digital holiday gift cards this year

The lights are up. The trees are decked. The eggnog is in demand.

Oh yes, it’s the most magical time of year—holiday season.

And more importantly, it’s holiday shopping season (to those of us in e-commerce at least).

For most e-commerce teams, the start of the holiday season marks that final big push for gift sales. Anything we can do to optimize the digital shopping experience can have a big impact on that final holiday sales tally.

Increasingly, digital gift cards are becoming a key tool in the online retailer’s holiday arsenal. Easy access to consumer analytics and ease of set-up being just a few of the top reasons today’s fastest growing brands are passing on plastic cards in favor of the digital variety.

If you’ve yet to build a gift card into your app or e-commerce site this holiday season, you’re not too late. In fact, December happens to be the best time to really push those digital gift cards.

Here are two big reasons why:

Reason 1: Most people buy gift cards close to Christmas Day

Oh, humanity. We are a great procrastinating lot. And the holiday season, like no other time of year, puts our procrastinating ways on bold display.

Consider this stat: 80% of holiday sales happen between late November (Black Friday and Cyber Monday on) and January. Yes, despite having all year to prep for the annual giving season, almost all of us leave our buying until end-of-year.

In fact, Google trends show that online searches for gift cards actually peak on December 23rd and 24th , just before Christmas Day.

Google Trends Data

For online retailers hoping to capitalize on this trend, offering digital gift cards is a great option. Easy to set-up, optimize and track, gift cards are a low-barrier entry point to snag the attention, and wallets, of the last minute online shopper.

And today’s busy online shoppers love them for their convenience, flexibility, and eco-friendliness.

Reason 2: Shoppers expect to spend more than half of their holiday budget online

The holidays are coming early for you, e-retailer and e-commerce friends. For the first time ever, shoppers expect to spend most of their holiday shopping budget online this year.

Keeping with this trend, the popularity of digital gift cards is also on the rise. According to a recent survey on holiday gift card trends, gift card app purchases rose from 36.1% in 2016 to 44% in 2017. Further, close to 40% of shoppers reported wanting a digital gift card this year (up 10% from 2016).

Things You Should Do

So, what should your team do to take advantage of the digital gift card trend this holiday season? Here are a few tips:

  1. Use an established digital gift card provider to quickly add digital gift cards to your app or e-commerce site.
  2. Email your customers as soon as you set the cards up and shortly before Christmas Day. Be sure to offer them helpful action tips to optimize their experience.
  3. Create pop-ups on your site to make new visitors aware of your digital gift cards and why they’re a great gift option.

Don’t wait any longer. Get those digital gift cards set-up today.