Gift cards have become a popular option for retailers in the travel industry to increase sales and customer loyalty. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, gift cards have been the most requested holiday gift item for the past 14 years. In the travel industry, gift cards can be used to purchase flights, hotels, rental cars, activities, and more.
In Australia, the use of gift cards in the travel industry has grown significantly in recent years. According to the Australian Gift Card and Voucher Association, the travel industry is the second largest category for gift card sales, accounting for 16% of total gift card sales in 2020. The convenience and flexibility of gift cards make them an appealing option for customers, and they can be a powerful tool for retailers to increase sales and customer loyalty.
One of the benefits of using gift cards is that they allow customers to purchase a pre-paid amount that can be used towards future purchases. This can be particularly appealing for customers who are planning a trip but may not have the funds available to make a full payment at the time of booking. By offering gift cards, retailers can attract customers who may not have otherwise made a purchase and increase the likelihood of repeat business.
Gift card statistics in the travel industry in Australia
The use of gift cards in the travel industry in Australia has been on the rise in recent years. According to the Australian Gift Card and Voucher Association, gift card sales in Australia grew by 9.7% in 2020, with the travel industry being the second largest category for gift card sales, accounting for 16% of total gift card sales. The gift card market in the country will increase from US$5446.5 million in 2021 to reach US$8504.0 million by 2026. This growth in gift card sales can be attributed to several factors, including the convenience and flexibility of gift cards, as well as the increased focus on experiences over material possessions. Customers are looking for unique and memorable travel experiences, and gift cards can help them achieve that. In addition, the pandemic has had an impact on the travel industry, with many customers hesitant to book travel in advance. Gift cards can provide a sense of security for customers, as they can be used towards future travel purchases without the risk of losing money if plans change.
Benefits of using gift cards for travel retailers
There are several advantages to using gift cards at Australian travel retailers. For starters, gift cards can help boost sales by attracting customers who would not have purchased otherwise. Retailers can entice customers who may not have the funds available to make a full payment at the time of booking by offering a pre-paid amount that can be used towards future travel purchases. Secondly, gift cards can help increase customer loyalty. By offering a flexible and convenient payment option, customers are more likely to return for future purchases. In addition, gift cards can be used as a reward for loyal customers, providing an incentive for them to continue booking with the retailer. Finally, gift cards can help retailers manage cash flow. By selling gift cards in advance, retailers can generate revenue without having to provide a service immediately. This can be particularly beneficial for small businesses that may struggle with cash flow.
Benefits of offering gift cards
- Attract new customers who may not have otherwise made a purchase
- Increase customer loyalty by offering a flexible and convenient payment option.
- Provide a sense of security for customers, as they can be used towards future travel purchases without the risk of losing money
- Help manage cash flow by generating revenue in advance of providing a service.
- Provide a unique and memorable gift option for customers
How to implement a successful gift card programme Implementing a successful gift card programme requires careful planning and execution. Here are some tips for implementing a successful gift card program:
- Set goals and determine the value of the gift cards: Consider the price range that your customers are willing to spend on gift cards. Offering a range of values can appeal to a wider audience.
- Design the programme & decide on the type of gift card: Determine whether you will offer physical or digital gift cards, or both. Digital gift cards can be a convenient option for customers, but physical gift cards can be a more tangible gift option.
- Design the gift cards: The design of the gift cards should reflect your brand and be visually appealing.
- Determine distribution channels: How you distribute your gift cards is up to you. Will you provide them in-store, online, or both?
- Promote the gift card program: Promote the gift card programme on your website, social media channels, and in-store. Consider offering incentives such as discounts or bonuses for customers who purchase gift cards.
- Train staff: Ensure that your staff is trained on how to sell and redeem gift cards. This will help ensure a smooth experience for customers.
Best practises for managing gift card programmes Managing a gift card programme requires ongoing attention and care. Here are some best practises for managing gift card programs:
- Keep track of gift card sales and redemptions: It's important to keep track of gift card sales and redemptions to ensure that there is accurate accounting and to prevent fraud.
- Set expiration dates: Consider setting expiration dates on gift cards to encourage customers to use them in a timely manner.
- Provide excellent customer service: Ensure that customers have a positive experience when purchasing and redeeming gift cards. This can help increase customer loyalty and encourage repeat business.
- Monitor the competition: Keep an eye on the gift card programmes offered by your competitors to ensure that your programme remains competitive.
Conclusion Gift cards can be a powerful tool for travel retailers in Australia to increase sales and customer loyalty. By offering a convenient and flexible payment option, retailers can attract new customers and encourage repeat business. Successful gift card programmes in the travel industry have demonstrated the benefits of offering gift cards, including increased sales and customer loyalty. By following best practices for implementing and managing a gift card travel retailers can take advantage of this growing trend and grow their businesses. Qwikcilver offers a SaaS digital gift card platform that enables transactions across omnichannels, multiple regions, and multiple currencies. Over 250 well-known brands worldwide use our cutting-edge gift card solutions. Talk to the experts now