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Gift Cards Capture More Holiday Sales - How You Can Cash in

Posted by Julie Dunn on 10/31/19 6:00 AM
Julie Dunn

Customers who use gift cards tend to spend more.

“Respondents who receive either a plastic or a virtual gift card said that they spent an average of $23.41 beyond the original value of the gift card.”
-  According to a survey by First Data

So how can your go-kart or family entertainment center maximize gift card sales during the holiday season? Here is our list of tips on generating more gift card sales.

1. Offer Physical Gift Cards and E-Gift Cards

These days, it’s all about giving shoppers options and convenience. Physical gift cards tend to be especially appealing during the holidays because gift givers can hand over something physical but here are some advantages of e-gift cards to keep in mind. 

  • You can easily implement an e-gift card program on your business website in just hours, compared to ordering and waiting for plastic gift cards.
  • E-gift cards appeal to young consumers who do everything on their phones and can’t fathom lugging around a plastic card.
  • They can be purchased literally at the last minute (Christmas morning!) and instantly emailed to recipients — a win for last-minute shoppers and your sales.
  • E-gift cards appeal to customers who don’t want to deal with holiday crowds just to buy a plastic gift card.
  • When a customer purchases an e-gift card, you capture their information as well as the recipients’. This means you can continue marketing to the customer and recipient with new offers.

2. Sell Packages

If you want to establish significant gift card sales at your activity center,  you need to sell an experience. Packages will help the gift-give feel as though the gift is more personalized so think about the types of experiences that you can offer customers through your business, and then create gift cards for several different price points. Typically people have long holiday gift lists and a budget for how much they want to spend on each person, but they will be more likely to spend $150 if they know they are giving an experience. 

3. Run Gift Card PromotionsScreen Shot 2019-10-30 at 11.37.39 AM

Give customers a good reason to buy a gift card by running promotions with your cards. Here a few for inspiration:

  • Purchase $100 worth of gift cards and receive a complimentary gift. Think of something small, yet useful and branded with your activity center. 
  •  Purchase a gift card and receive 25% off your next visit.
  •  Purchase $50 in gift cards and receive a $10 voucher 

4. Increase Visibility

Prominently display gift cards in your activity center to make sure customers actually see them. Put them on or near your checkout counter and in any other high traffic areas.  Begin posting signage right away. The sooner you do, the larger of an audience you will reach. It also puts the gift card top of mind to customers that might not have thought of the idea.

5. Market Them Across Multiple Channels

Cover all your marketing channels when spreading awareness about your gift cards. We’ve already covered visibility at your facility, so let’s discuss how you can increase gift card awareness using other marketing channels.


Add a call to action at the footer of every email that goes out. Also be sure to create a few emails specifically dedicated to your gift cards. 


Make your gift card marketing initiatives more social by talking about them on your social media networks. For best results, use great-looking images in your updates when promoting your gift cards. 


Do not underestimate the role that convenience plays in the purchasing of gift cards during the holidays. Invest a bit of time creating gift card-centric web banners on your site so visitors are aware that you’re selling them and make them available to purchase on your site.

6. Proactively Market Them

Most businesses adopt a passive approach when selling their gift cards -  if a customer asks for it, then they’ll sell it. But this won’t increase your sales. Create a culture where your staff gets in the habit of asking. Lead by example.

If your activity center has a post-activity checkout process such as purchasing photos, cashing in for prizes or making a final payment for group activities, instruct your staff to ask how their experience was. It offers the perfect opportunity to upsell a gift card. The timing pairs nicely with customers that just had a fun, exhilarating experience at your facility with already having their wallet out. This strategy will bump up overall gift card sales and create a nice supplement to card sales you were already counting on. Even if they don’t make the purchase at that very moment, it puts the idea in their head. Instruct your staff to go a step further, “the gift cards are available on our website if you change your mind.” 

7. Market To People Outside Your Clientele

When marketing and advertising gift cards, don’t just think about your target customers; also consider the people who would be buying gifts for them. This is a great tip to put to work when you’re running ads. Say you’re advertising on Facebook. Instead of just focusing users who belong in your usual customer demographic, think of people outside that group who may be gift shopping, and then target them. Run a few tests on this approach and see what works for your business.


One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when it comes to selling gift cards is failing to market them. Remember, many people won’t automatically buy gift cards just because they’re there. To really make the most out of these cards, be more proactive and try to utilize as many as these tips as you can. Implementing one or two tips alone won't do the trick. 

Topics: Holidays, FEC, Website Marketing, karting software, Activity Center Software, Email Marketing, Gift Cards, e-gift cards

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