If you’re a gift card program manager your primary goal is to sell gift cards…but don’t forget to encourage consumers to use them! A recent study by the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that nearly 30% of purchases over this holiday season’s biggest shopping weekend (post-Thanksgiving) were gift cards. It’s important gift cards are redeemed in order for brands to realize the revenue, but unfortunately over $3 billion of gift cards go unspent each year.
National Use Your Gift Card day in the U.S. comes hopes to reduce the amount of gift cards unused. The second annual day will take place on January 16, 2021, reminding consumers to use their gift cards by offering incentives and tips for using them online or in-store. This commerce-specific day is similar to those such as Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and others that directly benefit shoppers and merchants.
National Use Your Gift Card Day is scheduled for the third Saturday in January annually, following the holidays when many consumers receive gift cards as presents. It is a perfect opportunity for brands to energize and re-energize new and repeat customers. Studies show that overspending the amount of a gift card is the new normal. In 2018, consumers with gift cards spent an average of 30-35% more than the amount on the card.
I spoke with Tracy Tilson, founder of National Gift Card Day and its companion platform UseYourGiftCard.com™, which is a hub offering consumers special shopping deals and incentives, and helpful tips on how to use and maximize savings when shopping with gift cards.
Tracy’s been signing consumer brands to publicly participate in National Use Your Gift Card Day by offering consumer incentives and deals – like Chipotle, Saks Fifth Avenue and Petsmart. Tracy told me, “people love giving and receiving gift cards, but surprisingly many of them do not get used. “National Use Your Gift Card Day reminds Americans to use their gift cards either digitally or in-store, re-connects merchants with their customers and now more than ever, highlights the importance of donating unused gift cards to charitable causes.”
Retailers and restaurants can use National Use Your Gift Card Day to drive traffic in store and online and boost brand awareness by becoming a featured participant on the Use Your Gift Card Day website and gain major visibility through the Use Your Gift Card Day national PR platform which includes press releases, media pitches and social media channels.
Happy Holidays everyone…see you next year!