Want to Offer Online Gift Cards? Now it's Easy!
With everyone stuck in their homes, and companies making the shift to more effective use of their websites, the idea of offering online gift cards is coming up regularly. I've had four companies ask about it in the last two weeks. So here's how I would recommend you go about adding them to your site. Easily and quickly.
Use Gift Up on WordPress Sites
The first thing to note is that my demonstration is on a WordPress website, but this approach isn't only for WordPress. It works on Wix, Squarespace, and even Shopify! That's because it's a SaaS that integrates with your site.
Now when I say SaaS, you might think that I'm talking about a solution that bills you monthly or yearly. The good news is that Gift Up doesn't do that. So even if it's a SaaS (and not a dedicated WordPress plugin), it is priced more like a plugin than a SaaS.
Installing the plugin is simple and you add it like any other. Once you've installed and activated the plugin, you're taken to the settings for the plugin, and that's where you're invited to create a free Gift Up account.
That's also where you'll get your API key to link your site to their SaaS.
Offering Online Gift Cards with WooCommerce
On my site (chrislema.co), the plugin noticed I was using WooCommerce. So it automatically suggested that I also activate their integration with WooCommerce.
When you click the blue button, you're taken to a screen that asks for your approval. This is done so that there can be a link between the Gift Up system and your WooCommerce system for redeeming online gift cards.
Notice I talked about redeeming them, not selling them. The Gift Up platform doesn't leverage WooCommerce to sell gift cards. That's because there's a lot of complexity that goes into selling a gift card:
- Is it for you or for someone else?
- Should it be sent to you or someone else?
- Do you want to print the online gift card, or send it via email?
- And lastly, do you want to customize the gift card (see below)?
So to manage all of that, their platform handles all the purchasing. But it automatically creates coupon codes so that people who get the gift card can redeem them.
What's awesome about the platform and the WooCommerce integration is that if someone uses $75 of a $150 gift card, it will delete the one-time use coupon for $150 (after it's been redeemed for half of the value), and create a new coupon for the remainder – all without you having to do a thing.
Customize the Look of your Gift Cards
When you log into the Gift Up platform, the first thing they do is define 5 things you have to tackle:
- Verify your email
- Add business details
- Create some gift cards
- Connect their platform to your payment gateway
- Get the code needed to place the purchasing option on your site
Once you do all of this, you can go back to your site, add a page for gift cards, and drop in their code. It's easy and requires no technical skill. And that's the first time you see the gift card itself.
Right away I hoped there was a chance to change the look of that card. Not because it was bad, but because I wanted something a bit more customized. Thankfully, I found out they have a bunch of options.
As you can see, you can customize the look of your online gift card by choosing any of their pre-designed solutions, or simply upload your own design, which is what I tried.
And it worked like a charm. I was able to upload the graphic, and then I went back to my site and reloaded the page, to find it was exactly that easy.
Questions You May Have about Gift Up
Like some of the folks I've been talking to, you might have a few questions that I can answer immediately. If not, I suggest you hit them up and ask them.
Is there really no monthly fee? How do they make money? They charge you a small percentage on every gift card you sell. If you don't sell any, you have no fee. It's under 3.5%, so not a lot. But they do offer prepaid annual plans if you want to get away from those per card charges.
What payment gateways do they support? I used Stripe. They also support PayPal, and Square. But I know they're getting ready to add more (like Authorize.net).
If not WordPress, where else could this be used? As I mentioned, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and Shopify all work with Gift Up. But that's not all: GoDaddy, 1&1, Big Cartel, and Ecwid are also options.
Do they send physical gift cards to customers? No. You would be notified and have to send them if you want to ship physical gift cards instead of online gift cards.
Since they're doing their own checkout, can it be customized? Absolutely. I was able to tweak it on my site to make sure they were using the right colors and fonts, and they have even more options after that.
Adding online gift cards doesn't have to be a burden or a big complex thing that requires weeks of work. I was able to add Gift Up to my site in a few minutes, and you can do the same. You can do this on any WordPress site, even without WooCommerce. And there's no monthly fee. So it makes it the best option you have, in my opinion, for adding gift cards to your site right away!