Holiday Marketing Ideas – Gift Certificates

gift certificatesSo now you have a Vintage Clothing Retail Boutique of your very own and you are wondering why your sales seem to have gone backwards during this Holiday Shopping Season instead of moving forward. You notice that the other retailers in your area are claiming that they are selling a lot more clothing and accessories than usual, yet you can’t seem to understand why you are not. Sure it could do with the fact that no-one likes your store because your employees act like they are better then everyone else, if that is the case you should already know that by now. It may have to do with your lack of marketing or ability to make sure that you have a new selection of vintage clothing for your customers each week.

It could have a lot to do with a number of factors, but before you start changing everything up trying to figure out what is wrong, please don’t forget the obvious. That is that people don’t usually purchase vintage clothing as gifts. Sure we as collectors call it “Premium Recycled Vintage Apparel,” but to the laymen it is still “Used Clothing”….and i hate to even say this but in most of their minds,”isn’t that stuff you find in a thrift store?”

Sure they are off-base and hopefully you have trained your sales staff on how to answer such questions, however this does not mean that the consumer is going to get it and do all of their shopping with you. What you need to do is offer them incentive. Explain to them that each piece is unique and one of a kind, then give them an opportunity to purchase a Gift Certificate for their loved one. This way they don’t appear “cheap” as they may call it, but instead a little cultured. The person receiving the gift certificate can redeem it for whatever they want.

You read that smart business owners offer gift certificates. You know from experience that you appreciate gift certificates. Now you’re wondering how to create your own gift certificates.

No matter what your business is, even Vintage Clothing Boutiques can create their own gift certificates, with real value, and encourage your clients to buy and use them as gifts.

Suggestions on How to Create Your Own Gift Certificates

There are a number of different computer software programs that will assist you in making a gift certificate of your very own. If you know how to use a couple of different programs than you have way more options.

1. Microsoft Publisher: This program allows even a novice to create small business gift certificates. The software provides a gift certificate template to get you started. Simply start Microsoft Publisher. A “New Publications” window opens on the left. Click the top choice, “New Publications for Print” and then click “Gift certificates” in the new window. You will have a choice of 35 different small business gift certificates, ready for you to customize. Select a design you like, and click areas to type in your information. If you don’t like the gift certificate color scheme or font, go to the task pane on the left and choose a new one.

2. Microsoft Word: This software, too, offers gift certificate templates. In Word, under “File” click on “new” and type “gift certificate” into the task pane on the right. These 30 templates offer all-purpose as well as specific occasion gift certificates. Select a line of text, and customize your small business gift certificates.

3. Adobe PhotoShop: This graphics program allows you to place a photo of your business or product on your small business gift certificates. In PhotoShop, under “File” click on “new” and enter the dimensions of your gift certificate. A common size is about 3.5″ height by 7″ width. Leave a margin of at least 0.25″ on all sides. Color blocks are good, and can be added to your gift certificate easily in this program. Make it clear in writing that this is a gift certificate. Add your business name and address. Type the word “Number” with a line or box in which the number can be entered. Indicate that “This certificate entitles (space for a name) to (space for your offer)” or type the exact offer. You will also want a line that tells the recipient that the gift certificate is not redeemable for cash, and that its redemption value does not exceed a given amount. Provide authorization and expiration spaces, and print.

4. PageMaker: For clearer type, you may want to design the graphics of your small business gift certificates in a program such as Adobe PhotoShop, and then import those into PageMaker. Add the copy in PageMaker and print. You can line up 3 on a page by copy/pasting your gift certificates.

5. Giftango: This is not software, but a website where you can download and modify free small business gift certificates.

Gift Certificates for Online Businesses

You can create gift certificates for online businesses, too. Check first to see if the shopping cart service you use makes provision for gift certificates. They will be able to tell you how to create your own gift certificates for online shoppers.

Uses for Small Business Gift Certificates

Small business gift certificates are appreciated by both the gift givers and the gift recipients. They are easy to give and fun to spend.

Use small business gift certificates to introduce your business to new customers. You can potentially bring in a loyal customer or client who will be with you for years. Say thank you to loyal customers with gift certificates Add gift certificates to your regular line of merchandise.

Use small business gift certificates for private bookshops, boutiques, beauty salons, nail salons, restaurants, spas, candy stores, flower shops, etc. Use gift certificates online for any kind of business you have.


Authentic Gift Certificates, Presentation

Think about the presentation of your gift certificate and how it differ from others. We have created gift certificates for Vintage Boutiques by laying out a design in Adbe Photoshop, then cutting out a shape out of an old recycled cardboard boxes, then gluing the GC to the cut out cardboard. This gives the Vintage Gift Certificate a card stock backing which makes it look very nice. We have also used old denim jeans pockets for envelopes to put the Vintage Clothing Gift Certificate in for presentation.


Generic Gift Certificates

If you decide not to create your own gift certificates, you can purchase generic gift certificates. They will be less effective as an advertisement, but can still bring customers to your store.