How to Get the Most of Your Gift Card Program
Rati Agrawal

How to Get the Most of Your Gift Card Program

The gift card industry is booming, as more people opt for experiential gifts and opportunities to give their friends and family the chance to enjoy the things that they love.  According to Market Watch, 2021, the global gift cards market values at over 300 million USD in 2020 and is expected to reach over 550 million USD by the end of the year 2026. The period of growth from 2021-2026 is going to be even more impactful, creating an opportunity for smart operators to seize on creative ways to leverage their gift card program as a tool to increase the sales they prioritize.  There are so many ways with which you can take your regular gift card program and turn it into something great. 

A gift card program can help you boost sales and the best part, create cash flow during times of the season when most operators are slow or completely closed. There’s also an additional benefit as customers who redeem gift cards also spend more per visit.  In 2017, 75% of people with gift cards spend an average of $38 additional to the amount in the gift card. The gift card was just a means to get their foot through the door. Doesn’t that alone sound wonderful? A gift card program can create brand loyalty, increase the spending of the members in the club and at the same time help you bring in more people and potential members. Seems like a win-win situation. 

Here is how you can optimize your gift card program

Offer Digital and physical gift cards

Giving customers the option of using the gift cards in person or even online is the best way moving forward given that many customers want to buy a lot of merchandise on their phones as well. The average number of physical gift cards has increased tenfold in the past five years and is bound to increase in the future. Digital gift cards give the customers the options of visiting the golf course or even using it online to order merchandise of their choice. 

Promote the card as a perfect gift

It doesn’t matter if it is their birthday, Father’s Day or even the holiday season, a gift card makes for a perfect gift. Research shows that 17% people in the US and 43% in Canada prefer gift cards as a gift as opposed to an object or service. This gives the people the option of spending the gift card buying something of their choice as opposed to being stuck with something they don’t want.  There are several times throughout the year when gift card sale promotions can be an excellent way to stimulate sales.

Gift Card with purchase

Take a page out of the marketing plans of some of the largest corporations which offer a percentage cashback on a minimum spend and use it for your golf course gift cards. Members will be thrilled with the idea of the cashback and will subconsciously spend more because of the cashback they receive.   It has become very common for gift cards to be the stimulus for package purchases.  A $20 gift card given for $100 in range balls can drive significant sales at the shoulders of your golf season.  This same incentive approach applies to guest round packages or even gift card sales themselves, where a customer buying a $200 gift card can receive a $25 bonus gift card at the time of purchase.

Run contests/ incentives with gift card prices

For a public course, running contests on your social media is a great way to get new people through the door to try your course and services. Even for private clubs, getting more members can be made possible by creating incentives for their members to bring guests to the club.  Don’t forget your staff too, where sales incentives can include gift cards as a reward for staff members that sell specific products or services.  The important part of the staff incentives is to clearly announce the staff contest, identify the sales targets, and then publicly track performance toward the contest goals with staff rankings and results.

Encourage gift cards in exchange of product returns

Instead of doing cashbacks for the customers when they want to return merchandise, give them a gift card. It is becoming increasingly more common for businesses to have a return policy that includes gift card or club credit for all returns.  Retailers are finding customers accepting of this shift in return policy, and they maintain and preserve the revenue from the previous sale.  It also keeps them shopping, and as mentioned earlier, the same gift card redeemer spends more in their visit.  As a result, this shift in policy actually increases sales from returns by shifting the return to a gift card.  


Want to know how our tools can help you grow your golf club? Send us an email today. 

For more information, please contact:

Lance Merrihew


About Total e Integrated

Total e Integrated is a leading provider of end-to-end business management solutions for recreation, retail, hospitality and community organizations. For over 20 years Total e Integrated has helped organizations to integrate departments, automate marketing, streamline operations and boost revenues with our innovative solutions and expert consulting services team.


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