Ecommerce Gift Cards: How to Use Them to Grow Your Online Business

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We’ve all opted for a gift card when we’ve been stuck for present ideas for a hard-to-please aunt or indecisive cousin. But did you know that gift cards are also one of the most underrated ecommerce growth solutions?

With minimal upfront risk and investment, ecommerce gift cards can help to boost brand awareness and increase customer sales. 

A gift card ecommerce solution can provide benefits to both your online store and your customers.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of implementing an ecommerce gift card program and how you can use them to grow your online business.

What Are Ecommerce Gift Cards?

Ecommerce gift cards are pre-paid with a set amount of money that the owner can redeem for products or services from your online store.

Ecommerce gift cards are often bought as gifts for friends and relatives, allowing them to choose something from the store in question themselves.

The majority of ecommerce gift cards nowadays work via gift card codes. Once the ecommerce gift card has been bought, a code will be generated by the merchant and sent to the customer via email.

They can then pass this code onto the recipient of the gift who simply has to enter it at the checkout.

Amazon gift card example
Ecommerce giant Amazon allows customers to choose any amount to place on a gift card.

The growing popularity of digital ecommerce gift cards is beneficial for both online store owners and customers.

While customers don’t have to worry about carrying around or losing a physical gift card, merchants also get to avoid the added costs and resources of creating them.

There are two main types of ecommerce gift cards:

Open Loop Gift Cards

Open-loop gift cards offer the equivalent of cash or a debit or credit card that can be used at any accepting merchant.

Open-loop gift cards are reloadable and serve as standard pre-paid cards. Users can also add their own funds to make online purchases.

Closed Loop Gift Cards

Closed-loop gift cards are likely to be the option you will use for your ecommerce store.

Closed-loop gift cards are loaded with a set amount that can only be redeemed at the specific store chosen.

Closed-loop gift cards often have a time limit to redeem the amount and can usually be reloaded once the user has spent their allocated allowance if they wish to do so.

How Gift Cards Grow Your Business

Before you look at how to add gift cards to your ecommerce site, it’s a good idea to know why you’re doing it. Ecommerce gift cards can be a great way of growing your online business. Let’s take a look at six of the ways they can offer your ecommerce store a boost.

#1. They Drive Traffic

Ecommerce gift cards are a great way of driving more traffic to your online store.

Firstly, the customer who wants to purchase the gift card will need to visit your website in order to do so, opening you up to the potential for further conversions.

The recipient of the gift card will then also need to visit your online store in order to redeem it.

Having a dedicated ecommerce gift cards landing page also allows you to target online searchers looking for gift cards or last-minute gift ideas.

You can use your ecommerce gift card pages for both your SEO and PPC campaigns to help target key search terms and drive even more traffic to your online store.

#2. They Are Easy to Give

Ecommerce gift cards are one of the easiest things to order online.

If you’ve opted for a digital version then customers can simply check their inbox and find their gift card code.

Jewelry brand Pandora gift card example
Jewelry brand Pandora offers both traditional gift cards and e-gift cards that can be sent via email to the recipient.

Even if you’re sending out physical gift cards, shipping costs will be tiny and the size of the cards means customers don’t need to stay home in order to receive the parcel, they can easily fit in the mailbox.

And of course, for customers themselves, ecommerce gift cards avoid the pitfalls of buying presents for hard-to-buy-for relatives.

#3. They Boost Loyalty

All brands want to boost customer loyalty levels and ecommerce gift cards are a great way of doing so.

Many retailers will offer gift cards as part of seasonal loyalty programs such as “free $20 gift card when you spend $500 on electronics in December.”

Incentives such as this not only encourage customers to spend more initially to qualify for the gift card, but they also encourage them to return to your store to spend their gift card at a later date.

#4. They Boost Turnover

If you’re looking for a way to boost the turnover of your online store then ecommerce gift cards could be the answer.

Ecommerce gift cards help to increase the revenue of your business and give your turnover a helping hand in multiple ways including:

  • The initial spend for purchasing the gift card.
  • Customers visiting your website to buy a gift card may then be tempted to make a purchase of their own.
  • Recipients of a gift card often overspend and pay the extra on top of the gift card amount.
  • Occasionally gift cards are lost or forgotten about meaning the recipient doesn’t use them but you have still received the revenue from the initial purchase.

#5. They Increase Brand Awareness

Ecommerce gift cards also offer you an excellent opportunity to increase brand awareness, and are part of a good brand strategy.

It’s always possible that the recipient of the gift card has not previously heard of or bought from your online store.

A gift card gives them the opportunity to discover your brand and if they like what they receive, will be more likely to become a returning customer.

Superdry ecommerce gift card example
Fashion retailer Superdry sells e-gift cards and corporate gift cards, both great ways of boosting brand awareness.

This also works in the opposite way too. Sometimes a customer may be purchasing a gift card for a brand they know the recipient loves, but that they themselves have never heard of before.

By visiting your website to purchase the gift card, they too have been exposed to your brand and what you offer.

#6. They Provide Seasonal Boosts

Another benefit of ecommerce gift cards is that they can offer your online store seasonal boosts.

Gift cards are incredibly popular around key holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving so make sure you promote your gift cards during key gift-giving seasons.

However, the great thing about gift cards is that there is still a need for them all year round.

Birthdays, anniversaries, and major life events all happen throughout the year meaning customers will be buying ecommerce gift cards all year long.

Ecommerce Gift Cards: Summary

Ecommerce gift cards are a great example of a win-win solution for both customers and merchants. 

While they drive traffic, boost brand awareness, and increase revenue for online stores, they offer a quick and easy gift solution for customers. 

Introducing a gift card program to your online store comes with an array of benefits including:

  • Drive more traffic to your website
  • Easy to sell and give 
  • Boost customer loyalty
  • Increase revenue
  • Improve brand awareness
  • Provide seasonal boosts 

If you decide to add a gift card program to your ecommerce store, and we think that you should, be sure to let us know in the comments section how it goes!

Frequently Asked Questions

Ecommerce gift cards require practically no time or resources making them incredibly inexpensive for online retailers. Once you have set up the landing page and process for the creation of the gift codes, all you need to do is email the gift card to the customer or post out the physical gift card.

If you opt for digital gift cards you’ll make the process even cheaper as you won’t need to pay for the creation of physical gift cards and any shipping costs. 

Most retailers will set a time limit for their gift cards. Common expiry times tend to be around 1-2 years. Make sure you include all of the key terms and conditions of your ecommerce gift cards on your website

Ecommerce gift cards are a great way of boosting sales. Not only do they encourage the recipient to make a purchase, but often customers buying the gift card will go on to make further purchases from your online store.

Gift card recipients will also often go over their allocated gift card amount, further boosting your revenue. 

Written by:
Black and white headshot of Lucy Nixon smiling at the camera
I’ve been a content writer for Website Builder Expert since 2021. Through almost a decade in the digital marketing industry, I’ve built up knowledge on everything from growing ecommerce businesses to building websites. I love breaking down tricky topics into digestible and engaging content for readers. Breaking down the jargon and uncovering the best platforms, tools, and strategies, I’m a meticulous researcher who’s committed to providing our readers with tips and advice that’s tried and tested.

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