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Leveraging Gift Card Programs for Black Friday Success

Leveraging Gift Card Programs for Black Friday Success

Black Friday has become an iconic shopping event that transcends national borders. For both consumers and retailers, it marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. This year, one in five US shoppers is planning to increase their Black Friday spending, signaling significant opportunities for retailers to maximize their profits[1]. This article explores the effectiveness of gift card programs during Black Friday sales, highlighting their economic impact and the strategies to harness their potential.

The Gift Card Phenomenon

Gift cards have emerged as a popular choice among holiday shoppers, with a substantial 59% of consumers planning to purchase them[1][2]. The popularity of gift cards extends beyond traditional brick-and-mortar stores. In the digital realm, e-gift cards have witnessed a staggering 477% growth, underlining the convenience and flexibility they offer to consumers[2].

Maximizing Gift Card Sales

Retailers can significantly enhance gift card sales by implementing savvy strategies. Discounts and bonus cards serve as powerful tools to attract and retain customers. This approach not only drives more sales but also helps build customer loyalty. Gift cards, beyond their monetary value, can also be wielded as marketing instruments. They serve as incentives to attract new customers while simultaneously rewarding the loyalty of existing ones[1].

Digital Gift Cards: A Game Changer

In the era of digitalization, the concept of gift cards has transformed. Digital gift cards, the dematerialized counterparts of their plastic predecessors, offer versatile applications and remarkable results. They’ve become more than just a means of payment; they are now potent marketing and promotional tools[3].

Strategies for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Brands can strategically leverage digital gift cards during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping frenzy. By offering promotions on ideal gifts, they can attract customers and increase sales. The ability to communicate with the customer base via email to promote these gift card deals further enhances their efficacy[^3^].

Retailers’ Participation in Black Friday Gift Card Deals

Major retailers are tapping into the potential of gift cards as a part of their Black Friday strategy. Companies like Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Target offer enticing deals on gift cards, attracting a wide range of consumers. For instance, in 2022, Adidas offered a $100 value gift card for only $75[4].

However, it’s noteworthy that not all brands participate in such promotions. Apple, for example, typically refrains from offering discounts during Black Friday. Nevertheless, the prevalence of gift card deals during Black Friday indicates the significant economic influence of these programs.

Economic Impact of Gift Cards

The economic influence of gift cards cannot be overstated, particularly during the holiday shopping season. Retailers offer rare deals on gift cards both in the lead-up to Black Friday and during the event itself. The surge in online Black Friday sales in 2022, totaling over $9.12 billion in the United States, reflects the financial power of this shopping extravaganza[5].

Gift Cards and the Changing Shopping Landscape

As shoppers increasingly seek ways to manage their budgets, the practice of giving gift cards is on the rise. By giving gift cards, shoppers can control their spending while still participating in the holiday tradition of gift-giving. This trend is notably “up significantly over last year”[5].
As retailers prepare for the holiday season, gift cards emerge as a valuable component of their strategy. The challenge lies in balancing the digital evolution of gift cards with inclusivity. While digital gift cards provide numerous advantages, retailers must ensure that they don’t leave older demographic groups behind. It’s vital to consider inclusivity as a key component in this transformation, especially given the demographic shift towards an aging population in the Western world[6].


In the fast-paced world of Black Friday sales, gift cards have emerged as powerful tools for both consumers and retailers. The economic impact of these programs cannot be understated. As consumers continue to embrace the convenience and flexibility of digital gift cards, retailers should strategize to harness their potential effectively. Discounts and bonus cards offer a win-win scenario for both parties, attracting customers and fostering brand loyalty. By keeping inclusivity in mind, retailers can ensure that no customer is left behind, ultimately creating a universally accessible and cherished shopping experience during the holiday season. Gift card programs during Black Friday sales, with their ability to maximize sales, enhance customer loyalty, and address shifting shopping trends, undoubtedly represent a win for all stakeholders.

1 Savvy Global
2 Square
3 BuyBox
4 Black Friday
5 CNN Business
6 Modern Retail

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