7 Govalo features you should use during the holidays

When choosing apps for your store, you want to find a good match up between your strategy and the features each app offers. However it can be a little bit more difficult to really think about those features in the context of different situations. How will your customers engage with your store if you install an app? How will this app impact your store during specific events?

Take Govalo for example, and how it works when you’re thinking about holiday strategy for your Shopify store. What’s the best way to use the app’s features as part of that strategy? 

The obvious answer is gift cards, right? Govalo’s gift card features are valuable during key gifting periods, however there’s more to the app that could prove very useful to a merchant’s holiday gifting strategy.

#1 - Multiple images and products for gift cards

Available on all pricing plans.

Personalization is a huge part of gift giving - from choosing the perfect gift for a specific person, to how it’s wrapped and delivered. Govalo’s gift cards allow customers to bring that same personal touch to their gift cards with gift notes and scheduled sending dates, but merchants can take this a step further. Using the multiple image and multiple product features, customers access another level of personalization while giving merchants more insightful data that can be used to fine-tune gifting strategies. 

As it sounds, the multiple image feature enables merchants to add more than one image per gift card product. For instance, you might want to have a variety of images related to your brand, or images related to different product categories - e.g. if you sell different crafting materials, then a different gift card image for each craft. Or the images might reflect different occasions that someone might send a gift for, such as birthdays, anniversaries, congratulations etc.

The multiple product feature allows the creation of more than one gift card product in your Shopify store. By default, you can normally only have one gift card product available. With Govalo, you could create a collection of gift cards with each one representing a different occasion, theme, etc. For the holiday season, you could have one specifically for the holidays with different images and themes for that product then retire it in January. This gives customers more options for personalization, and it’ll give you as the merchant more specific data about gift card purchasing over the holidays.  

#2 - Event timeline and resend

Available on all pricing plans.

During the holiday season, customer support is more important than ever. Being able to provide fast, resolution-focussed support is a huge asset to your team and customers. When things go wrong with gift cards, Govalo is on hand with the tools your team will need to provide top notch customer service. 

It’s easy for a customer to make a mistake or have some kind of issue with a gift card in the run up to the holidays. Maybe they mistyped an email address, or they’re unsure if their recipient has actually received a gift card. Govalo’s event timeline tool gives your team a clear view of exactly what has happened with a gift card since it was purchased.

This leaves little room for mystery as to what has happened to a gift card. Your team can provide an accurate, dated account of the interactions with a specific gift card at any time. 

The other feature that will be useful in dealing with support queries is the ability to resend a gift card. This allows your team to find a gift card through the Govalo app, then resend the email with the gift card details. Sometimes a customer may make a typo, or their recipient may have accidentally deleted the email with the gift card. In either case, you can also send the email to a different email address.

#3 - Out-of-stock feature

Available on all pricing plans.

Customers put a lot of time and effort into researching a gift for a loved one. However it’s fairly common during the holiday season to see products run out of stock - perhaps there’s an issue with inventory, a product has gone viral, or it was popular over Black Friday weekend. When this happens, it can be pretty disappointing for the customer. Especially in the run up to the holidays when they perhaps have several people to buy for.

Instead, try enabling Govalo’s out-of-stock feature. When a product or variant runs out of stock, the option will be displayed to instead purchase a gift card right from the product page. This gives the customer an alternative option that wouldn’t normally be available on the product page. 

Half the challenge with promoting gift cards is trying to find ways to get the idea in front of a customer as they won’t always immediately think of purchasing one. The out of stock feature puts it right where the customer will see it, presenting a ready-made plan B when their plan A falls short.

#4 - Store credit

Available on Premium and Enterprise plans.

The holidays are great for boosting sales at the end of the year. But in the new year, they most likely also result in the highest number of returns you’ll see all year. Returns are an inevitable part of running an online store, and they’re also an opportunity to impress and retain customers. Making that good impression relies on the kind of experience you offer. Customers want a return experience that’s flexible, simple, and stress-free. 

Offering that flexibility extends to the kind of resolution options available to customers. Typically, they’ll be offered a refund or an exchange. How about using Govalo to offer a third option - Store Credit. This gives customers an additional way to resolve their return. Consider for example if a customer has purchased a t-shirt as a gift, but it isn’t quite the right fit and they want to give their recipient the option to choose a new gift. Typically their only options are to either exchange the item for a different size or variant, or to get a refund. Store credit offers a third path, opening up a new way to resolve their return. Especially if store credit is incentivized, it can prove a really valuable tool for your business. For example, offering extended returns when opting for store credit.

Store credit can also be used as a way to boost your customer support over the holiday season. When a customer has what they’d consider a negative experience, your support team can offer store credit as a sort of apology. Equally if they have a great interaction with customer support, then a small amount of store credit as thanks if they’re a loyal customer can help to strengthen that relationship.

#5 - Subscriptions 

Available on Premium and Enterprise plans.

Subscriptions are a growing, thriving part of ecommerce, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy when it comes to gifting. Customers increasingly want to give subscriptions as gifts - some data suggests that as many as 63% of customers would consider buying a subscription as a gift. However, it isn’t necessarily easy to offer a gift subscription on your Shopify store. Usually to do so requires a custom workaround, or the customer simply has to buy a standard subscription then hand over the account details. With Govalo, offering a gift subscription is straightforward and simple to set up. 

Govalo integrates with Recharge and Bold Subscriptions - two of the biggest subscription platforms on Shopify. This enables merchants using either platform to offer a better gift subscription product for their customers. With this integration, customers can opt to purchase a subscription as a gift. From there, they can choose how many cycles they want - e.g. 1 month, 3 months and so on - and any variant options. They then add any personalization such as a gift note, and the recipient receives an email letting them know they have a gift subscription to redeem. The recipient can redeem it at a time of their choice, create an account with their own details including payment information, and manage their subscription like any other customer.  The experience is then straightforward for both customer and recipient, keeping things simple and making the most of the tools you already have. 

#6 - Giftable products

Available on Premium and Enterprise plans.

Flexibility in gift options is essential during the holiday season. Customers are typically buying for more than one person at a time, and this can become overwhelming. When you buy for yourself, you know your own sizing, preferences, and what of a particular brand you already own. But if you’re buying for someone else and want it to remain a surprise, that’s when things get difficult. Would they buy a Small or Medium from this brand? What color would they prefer? Then if you want to ship it straight to them, what if you don’t quite remember their address?

In these situations, many customers would simply go back to the drawing board. That is unless they had another option. During the holiday season, customers want to keep things simple. They don’t want to have to go and find another gift if they’ve found the perfect item. Instead, enable Govalo’s giftable products feature

Giftable products allow customers to send a product as a gift digitally. Essentially, their recipient gets an email letting them know they’ve got a gift - they then follow the link, choose their preferred options, and fill in their details. Once complete, the original customer is given a link to a pre-filled checkout complete with all those details to finish checking out. The recipient gets the exact item they’ll love, and the customer doesn’t have to worry about finding a new gift idea. It can also help to reduce holiday returns as a result of incorrect sizing or variant selection.

#7 - Buy multiple gift cards from storefront 

Available on Premium and Enterprise plans.

Normally when we talk about strategizing for the holiday season, we’re talking about individual customers. However the holidays are also big when it comes to bulk and corporate gifts. In one survey, gift cards were one of the most popular options for corporate buyers with over 51% saying they purchase gift cards as corporate gifts. That’s more than those classic fruit baskets. Of course it isn’t just corporate buyers interested in buying multiple gifts at once - organizations, sports teams, book clubs, and more also fall into this bulk gifting category.

The experience when buying any gifts in bulk usually involves a customer submitting an enquiry form, having a discussion, organizing the details of the gifts, and then eventually making the purchase. For something as convenient and straightforward as gift cards, this feels like too complex a process.

That’s why with Govalo, you can easily offer the option to purchase gift cards in bulk from your storefront. Whether someone is looking for 10 gift cards or 100, they can get them all through your standard checkout process. The customer can download a CSV template from your storefront, which can then be filled in with the details of all the cards they want to send. They can even add gift notes, and specify send times. 

When uploaded to your store, Govalo will bundle all the gift cards with the same value into one neat product line in checkout, and customers can checkout as if they were buying any other product. 


With the holidays fast approaching, every merchant will want to make sure they’re getting the most out of the apps they have installed. By taking Govalo beyond its gift card features, you can deliver more flexibility in your gifting strategy and ultimately a better customer experience that they’ll remember. 

Back to blog