spa gift cards

6 ways to get the most out of your spa gift card sales this holiday season

Spa gift cards are a great way to increase revenue, attract new customers and retain existing ones. Use these tips to get the most out of your gift card sales over the holiday season.

Is your hospitality business holiday ready? Businesses have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic (is that an understatement?), but holiday season gift cards and gift certificates are a good way to recoup some of that revenue. 

The global gift card market is growing. According to Allied Market Research, it was valued at $619.25 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $1.92 trillion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 14.9% from 2020 to 2027. 

Gift cards have long-been regarded as an easy way to give friends and family what they really want. And now, even people who have shied away from giving gift cards in the past because they might feel too impersonal, may be reconsidering in 2020. With in-store shopping at an all-time low, gift cards are a smart and simple alternative to crowded in-store shopping and added shipping hassles of shopping online. 

U.S. retailers reportedly sold 114% more digital gift cards in the third quarter of 2020 compared with Q3 2019, and revenue from selling the digital gift cards increased 65% year over year in Q3. The data doesn’t even include Amazon gift cards or multi-store gift cards (cards that can be used at more than one store, usually under a parent brand). People will likely be buying cards from local spa and hospitality businesses in lieu of travel this year. Corporations will also probably be purchasing gift cards for their employees. Research also found that more than half (54%) of consumers would prefer to receive gift cards this holiday season.

Gift cards and certificates are both great revenue drivers and marketing tools for your spa and other services and programs. They help increase brand awareness, attract new customers, retain existing customers, and boost retail sales. 

Here are some suggestions for how to optimize your spa gift card and gift certificate sales this holiday season:

1. Create compelling promotions with spa gift cards

Reward the buyer with something they can use themselves, add to the existing gift, or give to someone else. Include a product or discounted service with card and certificate purchases. Come up with your own wonderful ideas. 

2. Get creative and unique with your offerings

Now, more than ever, is the time to be inventive and original. What,  beyond the massage, body treatment, and facial (many places are not even allowed to give facials right now), can you create and offer to entice and delight customers, and drive them to purchase gift cards? Many people are not getting in-person spa services at the moment, so be clear that those are not the only things one can do with a gift card purchase. Put amazing retail packages together to create the spa experience at home, and add a Zoom or Google Meet skincare session with a facialist, for example. ISPA Vice Chair, Michelle Adams-Somerville recently told Spa Executive that people are talking about renting out unused areas, like fitness rooms or steam rooms to small, private groups, for additional revenue streams. Can you promote the idea of renting out one of your spaces to a small group of people who know each other and can interact? 

3. Promote your gift cards and gift certificates

Blast the information out to your followers and customers. Tell your customers about your cards and certificates,and post about them on your website and social media accounts. Send out an email. 

4. Make purchasing easy and convenient

Let your customers know that your cards and certificates are available online, on mobile, and in store and that gift certificates can be picked up, mailed, or emailed and printed. Make your cards available in a wide range of dollar values and also allow guests to create their own value. Use a software that facilitates gift card sales and will do the heavy lifting for you. This saves time and effort. Victoria Nickle, Senior Director of Spas at Four Seasons, told Book4Time when she was located in Toronto that, prior to using software for this purpose, gift certificates were being created manually, a process Nickle said could take a staff member an average of 10 minutes. Around the holidays that time can add up.

5. Treat spa gift cards with the same reverence as you would any other purchase

As we stated above, some people are hesitant to give gift cards as gifts because of their perceived impersonal nature. They sit at the grocery store cash register next to the cheap candy and gossip magazines, which works when they’re being sold as impulse buys and you don’t want them to feel like a big spend. What you’re going for here is the opposite of that. In this case, gift cards should make the buyer feel thoughtful and generous and the recipient feel valued and appreciated. This is all in the language and presentation. They should come with nice greeting cards and in beautiful packaging, like boxes or bags with ribbons, when delivered as physical items, and with carefully considered wording and digital presentation when purchased online. 

6. Encourage people to use them

Many gift cards are purchased and go unused, which can feel like free money, but eliminates your opportunity to build relationships with new customers and drive repeat business – and  therefore may cost you in the longer run. If you have contact information on file for the buyer or recipient, and they haven’t used that card after six weeks, reach out and ask if they would like to use it. The first quarter of a new year is a traditionally slow time for spas, and filling that downtime with pre purchased offers is one way to keep things going, 

People still want to celebrate the holidays and spa gift cards and certificates are a great way to do that. Be prepared to make the most of the season and share in the holiday cheer. 

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