Winning The Gift Card Redemption Season

Over $3 billion gift cards exchanged hands over the holidays, from the likes of grandparents who just couldn’t decide what toy Tyler would want for Christmas, to moms who just needed a little something for the stocking. Now that the gift wrap is in the trash, gift card redemptions will begin.

Thanks to COVID-19 and the spike in online shopping, this redemption season will take on a different look, with as many redeemers heading online as into stores. 

Here are four easy and specific marketing tactics to capture post-holiday gift card sales.

Make sure your reviews are up to date. Gift card shoppers don’t want to waste their “free money” on a disappointing gift.  They rely on recommendations from people they trust. Even if shoppers are dashing to retail stores, over 86% of millennials admit to consulting online reviews prior to their journey to the aisle, according to one study. They want recent, relevant and positive reviews to ensure they are making the right choice.



Use social media to direct consumers to retailers who have inventory. This is particularly important for popular items with limited availability, and online items. Tag specific retailers or post images of the product in-store. Make it easy for consumers to find you. For online gift card shoppers, use links in your social posts. It’s easy for consumers to get distracted while online shopping, so brands want to ensure shoppers know EXACTLY where to buy their product and get the buyer there fast.

Demonstrate how your product builds upon other gifts the gift card holder might have received over the holidays.  Air fryers were a popular gift, so why not position your electronic food scale next to an air fryer to suggest that the two make a great new year’s resolution weight-loss solution?  Or perhaps you sell a fitness watch. Instead of featuring it alone in a social post, position it near the new jogging shoes your aspirational fitness shopper may have received along with her gift card.   Help your potential customer see the value your product adds to the items she already owns.

Target gift card shoppers by using expanded hashtags on your social posts during gift card redemption season. This tip aligns with the previous one.  Association is a great way to expand the reach of your marketing efforts.  Not only can you jump on time-sensitive hashtags such as #NewYearsResolutions or #2021goals, but also on relevant product or lifestyle hashtags.

There’s plenty of time to capture your slice of the gift card shopping season. Sixty-five percent of shoppers wait until the first week of January to redeem gift cards, with another 33% delaying their redemption to the last week of the month, when inventory is replenished.  Start 2021 off with a spike from post-holiday sales and a resolution to find new ways to reach your goals.


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