The Best Kept Secret for Boosting Holiday Season Sales

Jason Stephenson

For salon and spas looking forward to the holiday retail boost, gift certificates can account for a significant increase in revenue. Last year, consumers spent $130 billion on gift certificates, a more than six percent increase over 2014, according to CEB, with an average of $40 spent per card. The company's ninth annual CEB TowerGroup report shows that digital gift giving or "e-gifting," which registered a 26% rise in 2015, will continue to support overall industry growth. Long-term prospects for e-gifting remain promising as plastic cards go digital.  CEB projects that total gift card volume will reach $160 billion by 2018.


A Review of 2015 Gift Certificate Sales Trends

gift certificate sales


The adoption of online booking and point-of-sale solutions has enabled service businesses like spas and salons to really take advantage of consumer holiday-spending dollars over "Black Friday weekend", which includes Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.  In fact, last year, salon and spa owners using Booker sold approximately $3M in gift certificate sales within that four-day period, an increase of over 450% from what a normal weekend yields.


cyber monday gift certificate sales


The Key to Holiday Gift Certificate Sales Success

The average shopper will do over 48% of their holiday shopping online.  Traditionally, many service based businesses close for some or all of the holiday weekend and some salons and spas are also closed on Mondays. One thing’s certain: Spa and salon owners are getting savvier on giving the gift of beauty by accommodating shoppers with the ability to sell gift certificates in-store and online. By enabling online booking and eCommerce options, spa and salons can still take advantage of those big holiday gift certificate dollars while their employees enjoy time with friends and family (or at home binging on Netflix).  It also provides a significant edge over their competition, especially if those competitors aren’t using a spa or salon management system like Booker.

"During the holidays, Booker is especially useful because it enables us to still schedule services and receive revenue when the spa is closed through the convenience of online booking and online gift certificate sales,” says Caitlin Nietubicz, Spa Manager of Essential Therapy L & Y.

“We love that Booker provides us with a link to promote our specials to our clients through social media and email blasts,” Caitlin added. “Due to this, we have the ability to begin our Black Friday promotion on Thanksgiving evening so that our clients can take advantage of the offer early in the morning without leaving the comfort of their home. During Christmas, we've had clients purchase 30 gift certificates at one time because our offers are not only enticing, they’re also available while other businesses are closed."

Not sure where to start?

Here are a few reasons to start selling gift certificates right away:

  • Increase sales: Gift certificate sales come with a significant uplift, with 72 percent of customers spending more than the value of the gift card, First Data reported.
  • Generate new business: Gift certificates are a great way of expanding business. Your current clients will often purchase gift certificates for their family and friends, which hopefully turns them into loyal clients as well. 
  • Drive return visits: Offering gift certificates in denominations that are higher than price points for a single service or item will encourage customers to return to your spa or salon to spend the remainder of their balance (and more $$ out of their pocket). 

Still not convinced?

Well, did you know that:

  • 2/3 of gift certificate consumers spend 38% more than the certificates's value?
  • Or, that 55% of gift certificate users visit your business more than once to deplete their certificate?

Isn't it time to consider gift certificates for your salon or spa?


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