Enhancing the digital gifting experience with personalization

For all the havoc the pandemic has brought to businesses around the world, one of its few silver linings is how it’s boosted e-commerce transactions. Stemming from the ecommerce surge over the past few years is the rise of digital gift-giving, particularly for online gift cards.

In the US, according to December 2020 data, retailer sales of digital gift cards grew by 106% year-over-year. A 2021 report found that the global digital gift cards industry generated $258.34 billion in 2020, and is poised to top $1.1 trillion by 2030, enjoying a CAGR of 15.8% from 2021 to 2030.

As expected, gift cards continue to remain popular during the holidays. This 2021 survey noted that for the 13th consecutive year gift cards are the most popular item on wish lists, receiving requests by 59% of those surveyed. Their consistent popularity and recent surge during the pandemic makes sense: Shoppers largely avoided in-store visits, leading to many retailers strengthening their delivery services and offering curbside pickup for local consumers. 

But every opportunity comes with challenges, and digital gift cards are no different. Because retailers around the globe moved quickly to add these cards to their product lineup, many faced hurdles in offering a frictionless experience to their online customers. Despite around a quarter of surveyed customers saying they expect to buy digital cards in 2022, a whopping 93% of retailers admitted that their digital systems don't have a strong gift card integration system. Suffice to say, shoppers can feel the friction in the gift card customer experience. 

Shopify stores and brands can help address that challenge by layering personalization and customization to digital gift card offers. “There’s gold at the end of the personalization rainbow,” writes a Boston Consulting Group report. “To get it, retailers need to focus on the customer experience, technology, and operating models… Our analysis finds that redirecting 25% of mass promotion spending to personalized offers would increase return on investment (ROI) by 200%, leading to a top-line growth opportunity of more than $70 billion annually.”

Find out how to pave the path to online success with two apps dedicated to creating the best email marketing protocol for Shopify brands.

The power of personalization

We all cherish retail journeys that feel catered to our past behaviour. Data has found that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences. As a Shop Circle blog noted: “Personalization is all about presence. When you make your business available to customers at every stage of the sales funnel, you become a trusted brand they are more likely to engage with in the future.”

That’s where Govalo and ShopCircle come in.. With Govalo, merchants can set up customizable offers within their stores to create gift cards. Their app includes a precise system to assess the number of gift cards sold, the revenue earned from them, and the average order value ( AOV) of any order with a gift card.

Implementing this is just the beginning to a powerful, effective gifting strategy.

Segmentation comes into play here, as Shopify stores shouldn’t send the same marketing messages to every customer but instead personalize the offer to shoppers based on their past behavior.

A Govalo blog post shares a clear example: “You may want to have subject lines that read ‘Reminder: You’ve received a gift card!’ for someone who hasn’t opened the original email, whereas it may read ‘Don’t forget about your gift card!’ for someone who has already engaged with gift card emails.”

With Shop Circle app Customer Tagger, you can implement automatic workflows that send out recommendations of gift cards depending on, say, the holiday season. For example, when Christmas is close, merchants can set up time-limited workflows that send automatic emails to customers with recommendations of Christmas-themed gift cards, and the app allows the stores to set up these workflows to expire once Christmas is over. The same can be done for other gift-friendly events such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day.

A wide range of customer behavior can be segmented cleanly for email marketing on Shopify, such as retargeting customers who may be lapsed or intensely loyal or first-time visitors. Types of products bought, geographic location, and age are other pieces of customer data that can be culled for segmentation.

Approaching customers with relevant and purpose-driven interaction could further burnish your brand image. According to a report by McKinsey, personalization of customer experiences results in 20% higher customer satisfaction and a 10-15% higher conversion rate.

Using the Govalo app in concert with Customer Tagger, you can instantly create customizable gift cards and offer them to customer segments, which is an obvious win-win: Your brand benefits by seeing growth in digital gift card purchases, and your customers receive tailored messaging relevant to their interests and interactions with your brand.

Gifts cards as a workplace incentive

Another nuance of enhanced gift cards is rewarding employees with them, as bulk issue of gift cards is fast becoming an entrenched trend in the office. More companies are baking these gift cards into their employee relationship programs because around half of businesses surveyed said that it helps improve employee retention rate and loyalty.

What this gifting implies to employees is how they are valued and treasured in their roles, which can go a long way to channeling good will throughout the workforce. After all, 44% of employees search for a new job because of the lack of recognition they receive for their work.

When it comes to high order volumes, Govalo and Customer Tagger work seamlessly to provide a smooth gift card experience. Using Customer Tagger, you can identify your corporate customers by automatically tagging and targeting them through its unique workflow builder. In addition, Govalo lets brands provide bulk issue gift card options where their clients can add their brand’s graphic elements and voice to the cards. Merchants can build a flexible delivery system so that their employees can receive their cards at moments that are most applicable to them.

Invigorating the gift card customer experience

As Shopify store owners look for best practices to make part of their regular toolkit, digital gift card offers divided by customer segment will lead to the most engaging responses. Conversion rates will increase, and so will the average order value—often by as much as $75.

Also, gift cards could introduce customers to a brand they may frequent again to buy more products. That first interaction holds immense value: a customer has a 27% chance of returning to a store after one purchase, but after a third purchase that rate increases to 54%.

Leveraging both Govalo and Customer Tagger for the gifting experience will help Shopify stores diversify their product offering and also creates a frictionless shopping journey for their customers. Best of all, both apps are easy to implement and operate and customize, so fortifying your e-commerce backbone with enhanced gift cards will be a stress-free opportunity brands should take advantage of right away.

Do you want to start automating your workflow? Click here to learn more about Customer Tagger.
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