Let’s face it, y’all: life is sort of weird right now in the midst of a global pandemic. Different days no longer exist, pets are our new coworkers, and avoiding your friends and loved ones is now how you show that you care. On top of the material changes to your personal life, you have a business to run and protect. You may now be working from home when you’ve never done it before, or might be fighting against a significant market downturn to hold on to every sale you can.
Selling gift cards is a great way to maintain incoming cash flow as a small business, especially if you have a brick-and-mortar retail location. This helps you weather this storm while letting your customers show you they care. And folks, they do! The overall sentiment towards small businesses is incredibly positive right now, and many of your customers would love to show you their support.
There are a few great ways to quickly start selling gift cards to your customers. I’m going to focus on a specific use case today: selling gift cards that your customers can use online or print to use at your “In Real Life” location using our PDF Product Vouchers plugin. These gift cards can be redeemed using an online code, or scanned in person with a barcode or QR code. I’ll walk through how you can set up a gift card, and give you an overview of what this gift card will look like for your customers.
Creating a new voucher template
Step 1: create a voucher template. This will be your “blueprint” for your gift cards. Once you’ve activated the plugin, you can create a template from WooCommerce > Vouchers > Voucher Templates.
There are a few built-in template backgrounds you can use for your gift card. However, these are designed for customers buying gift cards for other recipients, so they may or may not work for you. The good news is you can replace the background in the “Images” tab to create a simpler gift card.
Canva is a great free resource to design a gift card background if you’d like to create your own! You can use several premade templates with a free Canva account, and they even have lots of gift card or gift certificate templates ready to use. I’ll use a really simple one, and remove the prices from those templates—our plugin is going to populate them for us.
In my case, I want to leave room for the price (value), a bar code, and a voucher (gift card) number.
Once you’ve uploaded your new gift card background, be sure to change the voucher type under the “General” tab. You want a multipurpose voucher for gift cards, as this means that it can be used like cash in your store for any product. (You might be interested in learning about other voucher types here, too.)
💡Be sure to enable online redemptions as well if you’d like customers to be able to use the gift cards for online purchases!
Now you should go through the voucher fields to add the ones you want to show customers. I’d recommend price (the gift card value), barcode or QR code, and the voucher number (in case you have issues with barcode scanning). These fields will be generated during each purchase.
Quick tip: Be sure to disable fields you don’t want to show up on the product page, like the recipient name, email, and message — they may be enabled by default, and they aren’t necessarily relevant to a gift card.
Once you’re happy with the placement of your gift card fields, you can save your template. We’re ready to sell this to customers!
Selling the gift card to customers
Now we need to attach our voucher template to a product to sell it as a gift card.
- Create a product in your store, title it “Gift card” or whatever you’d like, and head down to the Product Data section to set it up.
- Mark it as “Has voucher”.
- The price should be the value of the gift card.
- For “Voucher template”, choose the template you just created. When customers buy this product, their gift card will be created based on that template—the current price will be printed where you’ve placed it, and other fields like QR codes or voucher numbers will be generated during checkout and printed on the card, too.
- If customers are expected to print these themselves, we recommend marking these as “Virtual” items, too. (If you opt to print these cards and ship them, you could leave this disabled.)
- One final recommended setting: consider enabling single purchases under “Inventory > Sold individually” for this product. This ensures that folks don’t add multiple quantities of a gift card in a single order. There’s no problem in doing so (if they buy more than one, they’ll get multiple “vouchers” / gift cards generated), but it can make the purchasing experience a little nicer!
💡 Use the Sale price field to sell your gift cards at a discounted price to encourage customers to buy now! The gift card will always be worth the regular price when redeemed, but customers are charged the sale price to buy it.
If you want to sell multiple denominations, you can also consider a variable product. You can attach the same template to each variation, but sell them as different gift card values. The price of the variation will be used as the gift card value when it’s purchased, so you don’t have to create multiple gift card templates!
💡Want to allow customers to enter their own gift card value? Pair PDF Product Vouchers with the Name Your Price plugin to let customers enter their desired value instead!
Purchasing gift cards
Now you’re ready to sell! Your customers will see a preview of the gift cards and can purchase them with a couple of clicks.
If you’ve opted to use a variable product, they can choose the variation (value) first, then purchase.
Once the customer checks out, they’ll see a link to download the gift card for the order, and this will be emailed to them as well.
And we’re done! Here’s what the customer’s newly generated gift card looks like:
Customers can use the gift card number for an online purchase:
Or, if customers visit your store in person, you can use the “Redeem” area to quickly enter the code or scan the gift card QR code from your phone or tablet (while logged into your website).
Bonus round: Gift card emails
You can take your gift cards even further by improving your gift card emails. Here are a couple ways you can level up your gift cards using Jilt.
Add a special gift card receipt
Use a transactional notification in Jilt to send a unique receipt for gift card purchases. This lets you send specific instructions for gift card orders, while sending your default receipt for other purchases.
Here, I’ve added a “Gift card purchases” receipt—this will be sent if the order contains my gift card product so I can customize the receipt content. Other purchases will get my Default receipt (or other receipts, if their rules apply). This way, I can add email content focused on how to redeem gift cards.
Remind customers to use gift cards
This tip probably only works in the current climate, when customers purchase gift cards for themselves. You can send a reminder email if they’ve purchased a gift card, but haven’t made any other purchases since. Jilt’s winback automation template can help us send a “use your gift card!” reminder.
Go to “Automations” and create a new winback automation. Now you can add a rule to target orders that included your gift card product.
If customers bought a gift card, but have made no other purchases 90 days later, they’ll get your reminder to use their gift card. You can use the “contact last ordered…” rules to change how long you’d like to wait to send the email.
Thank your gift card purchasers
If you just started offering gift cards, you may want to thank everyone who has purchased a gift card from you for their support during this time. You can send a broadcast email to everyone who purchased your gift card by using the “Contact purchased products…” rule to segment your email. Express your thanks, share a special discount, or keep these loyal supporters updated on your current store hours.
👏 That’s a wrap! Use WooCommerce PDF Product Vouchers to sell printable gift cards for your store that can be redeemed in-person or online. Stay safe and healthy out there! 😷