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Retail Success Strategies: 6 Exceptional Gift Card Experiences

Posted, by Deborah Merkin
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Gift cards have become a popular choice for shoppers, offering flexibility and convenience for both givers and recipients. In 2022 alone, the US gift card market generated $499.4 million in revenue and is expected to continue growing 8.2% annually (Gift Card Statistics - 2023: Market Size & Consumer trends. Capital One Shopping. 2023, December 4)

In a thriving gift card market, it's crucial for retailers to deliver exceptional gift card experiences to stand out from the competition. By optimizing their gift card programs and providing a seamless customer journey, retailers can tap into the revenue opportunities offered by this growing market. In this blog, we will explore key strategies and best practices that can help retailers create outstanding gift card experiences.

Gift Card Promotion:

To drive gift card sales, retailers must ensure that their gift cards are easily discoverable across all channels. Whether it's in-store or online, visibility is crucial. Here are some best practices to consider:

  • Add a dedicated Gift Cards section to your website's top navigation, prominently featuring the option.
  • Create an easy-to-use gift card landing page that highlights the benefits of your gift cards and provides up-to-date information.
  • Utilize your brand's social media platforms to market your gift card program and engage with potential customers.

Example: The Cheesecake Factory stands out by prominently featuring gift cards in the top navigation on their homepage, drawing attention to the category and enticing visitors to explore their gift card options.

Personalization and Choice:

One way to enhance the gift card experience is by offering personalization options and choice to customers. By allowing recipients to customize their gift cards, retailers can create a more meaningful and memorable experience. Consider the following:

  • Provide multiple faceplate design options for gift cards, allowing customers to choose a design that suits their preferences.
  • Enable customization of messaging to add a personal touch.
  • Upsell gift cards by offering options to bundle them with relevant products or services.

Example: Nordstrom excels in providing choice and personalization by showcasing multiple faceplate design options for their gift cards. This approach not only enhances the recipient's experience but also serves as an effective marketing tool.

Flexible Delivery Options:

Gift card purchasers value transparency and timely delivery. By optimizing the delivery process and keeping customers informed, retailers can enhance the gift card experience. Consider the following best practices:

  • Offer flexible delivery timelines to accommodate different needs.
  • Be transparent about delivery timelines by sending notifications and messages to purchasers and recipients.
  • Provide options for digital gift cards, eliminating delays associated with physical cards.

Example: Texas Roadhouse turns a potential negative into a positive by incentivizing visitors to purchase digital gift cards when physical card delivery is delayed. This approach not only ensures timely delivery but also encourages customers to explore digital options.

Gift Card Partners gift card program management

Streamlined Self-Use Experience:

Retailers should focus on optimizing the self-use experience of gift cards to enhance customer satisfaction and encourage repeat purchases. Consider the following tips:

  • Minimize data collection during the gift card redemption process to create a frictionless experience.
  • Make it easy for customers to check their gift card balance, reload funds, and re-gift cards to others.
  • Integrate the gift card experience with your loyalty program, allowing customers to earn points or rewards through gift card purchases.

Example: Starbucks excels in providing a streamlined self-use experience by offering a mobile app that allows customers to easily check their gift card balance, reload funds, and enjoy the benefits of their loyalty program.

Gift Cards as Marketing Tools:

Gift cards can serve as powerful marketing tools to drive customer engagement and purchase activity. Retailers should leverage their gift card programs to promote their brand and encourage additional sales. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Use gift cards as incentives for specific purchase actions or promotions. For example, offer a bonus gift card for reaching a certain spending threshold or provide a gift card with a purchase of a specific product.
  • Leverage your brand's social channels to market your gift card program. Create engaging content, run targeted ad campaigns, and collaborate with influencers to generate buzz and attract new customers.
  • Cross-merchandise gift cards with other relevant items in your store or online. Display them alongside greeting cards, gift bags, or complementary products to encourage add-on purchases.

Example: Sephora successfully utilizes gift cards as marketing tools by offering promotional gift cards during their annual beauty sale events. By incentivizing customers to make purchases during these periods, they boost sales and attract new customers.

Catering to B2B Buyers:

Retailers should not overlook the potential of corporate and B2B gift card programs. By catering to the needs of businesses and offering bulk purchase discounts or tailored offers, retailers can tap into a new revenue stream. Consider the following strategies:

  • Create a dedicated corporate gift card program, offering bulk purchasing options and customizable designs for businesses.
  • Provide additional services such as personalized messaging or branded packaging to enhance the corporate gifting experience.
  • Forge partnerships with other brands to offer their gift cards alongside yours, expanding your reach and appeal to B2B buyers.

Example: Amazon Business successfully caters to B2B buyers by offering bulk purchase discounts, customized solutions, and an extensive selection of gift cards from various brands, making it a one-stop-shop for corporate gifting needs.


Delivering exceptional gift card experiences is a crucial aspect of staying ahead in the retail industry. By implementing the strategies outlined in this blog, retailers can create memorable and personalized experiences for their customers, boost sales, and cultivate brand loyalty. However, navigating the intricacies of gift card programs can be challenging.

That's where our team of gift card experts at GiftCard Partners comes in. With our extensive industry knowledge and experience, we can guide retailers on their journey to the next level. Whether it's optimizing discoverability, developing personalized solutions, or implementing innovative technologies, our experts are here to support retailers in creating exceptional gift card experiences that leave a lasting impression.

Contact us today to take your gift card program to new heights and unlock its full potential. Together, let's transform your gift card program into a powerful revenue driver and a source of delight for your customers.


Tom Balboni
Vice President of Channel Sales & Business Development
GiftCard Partners, Inc.
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