As the days grow shorter and we celebrate the changing of the seasons, retailers are grower more and more anxious about the upcoming holiday shopping season. Customers are looking for gifts for everyone on their lists. For many, this will undoubtedly include a gift card or two. Digital gift vouchers generated $698.2 billion worth of additional revenue in 2018. And it’s growing at 10% year on year.
If you are a merchant running a WooCommerce store, you most likely already know that out the box, WooCommerce does not include a way to sell gift cards. Like many you’ve probably gone searching for ways to implement this only to be overwhelmed with the options – unsure of which solution is best for you. Let’s take a look at gift cards and online shopping.
The Gift Card Process
Typically when you purchase a gift card in a brick and mortar store, you provide payment and they provide a plastic card which you give to the gift recipient. The store doesn’t care who you give it to – to them their objective was met – the sale of the gift card. When it comes to online merchants, often times what you purchase is tied to your unique customer account – meaning you cannot just give away something you purchased because that “product” is yours. WooCommerce doesn’t have a native way to sell a “gift amount” and generate a coupon code that is say worth $50 and then allow you to give that code to someone else to use.
Our first recommendation comes directly from the WooCommerce Extensions Store – Smart Coupons: https://woocommerce.com/products/smart-coupons/
Smart Coupons solves the native absence of gift card in WooCommerce through the use of unique codes. Often times an add-on for WooCommerce is a unitasker – not so with Smart Coupons. This plugin is a very robust coupon engine and has everything you need to grow sales and customers using discounts, coupons, credits, vouchers, product giveaways, offers and promotions.
Creating a new gift card is a snap! Simply determine the amount(s) you’d like to sell and Smart Coupons creates a new product type which will show up in your store just like any other product you currently sell. You can create them for a fixed variable amount ($10, $25, $50, $75) and the customer picks from a dropdown the amount they want buy. Alternatively you can also setup an open field amount where the buyer enters the exact dollar amount they wish to purchase. The gift recipient will get an email with the unique code for their gift card which they can then redeem when they come to your site.
Given all of the extra options which are included with Smart Coupons it is one of our favorite add-on’s for WooCommerce.
YITH WooCommerce Gift Cards
Next up is an add-on from the folks at YITH Themes. You can create the Gift card of any amount and allow your customers to purchase the gift card on your site. https://yithemes.com/themes/plugins/yith-woocommerce-gift-cards/
YITH WooCommerce Gift Cards offers the ability to choose the gift card value or let your customer decide how much they want to purchase.
We especially like the fact that they let you customize the look and feel of the “e-gift card” which is sent via email to the gift recipient. You can have a Christmas or Hanukkah design, a birthday design or an anniversary design.
YITH WooCommerce Gift Cards also offers a unique option of postponing the sending of the email to the gift recipient. The buyer can have the email sent at any date in the future. This is especially great for those who are doing early holiday shopping. You can buy in November and send on December 25th!
As the merchant, you can also resend a gift email at any time in case the recipient did not receive it. This makes managing everything a snap!
PW WooCommerce Gift Cards
Looking for a FREE option? PW WooCommerce Gift Cards is a free plugin using which allows you to gift cards from your WooCommerce store. https://wordpress.org/plugins/pw-woocommerce-gift-cards/
While not as feature rich as the premium plugins above, PW WooCommerce Gift Cards stand on its own. Buyers are able to specify the amount, recipient, and message when purchasing.
Using the WooCommerce email template system, PW WooCommerce Gift Cards sends beautiful emails. Recipients simply click the link directly in the email to add the gift card to the cart automatically!
While they do offer a pro version which adds more features, this a great free solution if you are looking to dip your feet into gift cards.
Standing out from the competition can be done this holiday season simply by adding gift cards to your offering. We know there are endless options when it comes to new plugins for WooCommerce and it can be confusing at times. We hope that you find one of these options a good fit for your store. Please share your comments below or connect with us on social media to continue the discussion.