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Just In Time Etsy Gift Cards For The Holidays

Oct. 18, 2012
Shopping, Shopping News
Just in Time Etsy Gift Cards for the Holidays
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The long wait is over! The popular online handmade marketplace Etsy has finally launched its Gift Cards feature that will be accepted by over 100,000 Etsy shops. Etsy is a fast growing online market where it’s easy to turn your passion for handmade goods or vintage items into a thriving business. Competitor handmade marketplaces ArtFire and Big Cartel have already been offering gift certificates for years so Etsy is late to the game but just in time for the holidays.

Gift cards are a proven way to spread the word about a shop, gather new customers, and maintain your existing customer base. Etsy sellers have been waiting anxiously for Etsy to come out with a Gift Cards feature for years. Etsy first announced that Gift Cards would be introduced soon on the Etsy blog at the end of August. On Tuesday, Etsy finally announced the launch of site-wide Etsy Gift Cards much to the delight of shoppers and sellers alike. Only available at stores using Etsy’s in-house Direct Checkout payment system, Etsy gift cards will help sellers sell more to new customers this holiday season.

These gift cards from Etsy come just in time for the end of the year holiday gift giving season for those who can’t figure out the perfect gift for someone. Shoppers can now skip the Black Friday sales at big box retailers and go straight to giving the perfect handmade gift – anyone in the US can purchase a Gift Card on Etsy in denominations of $25, $50, $100, or $250 with a personal note to email or print out to his or her desired lucky recipient. To redeem their Etsy Gift Card, gift receivers enter their gift card redemption code on the Redeem Your Gift Card page and Etsy automatically adds the gift card dollar amount to their Etsy account balance. The balance can be applied to any items in multiple Etsy shops that accept Etsy gift cards. The easiest way to find out which items are eligible, search with the “Accepts Etsy Gift Cards” check box checked when browsing for your perfect handmade gift.

If you’re a seller on Etsy, what are the primary benefits of offering Etsy Gift Cards for your shop?

  1. Easy Set Up
    To start accepting Gift Cards, all you need is to have Etsy Direct Checkout set up for your Etsy shop. Angela Nielsen, President and Creative Director of One Lily Creative Agency and Quotable Life, notes “In order for an Etsy shop to accept gift cards, they must be setup for Etsy Direct Checkout, so only those shops that setup that will be able to use them. But if they’re setup – they are, automatically eligible to accept any gift card purchases, so it makes it very easy on the shops not needing to do anything extra.” You’ll also be able to tell if a shopper used an Etsy gift card or not in the invoice and receipts.
  2. Shoppers Buy More
    Gift Card Consultant, Shelly Hunter of Gift Card Girlfriend, confirms that Gift Card shoppers tend to buy more: “Gift Card shoppers are less price sensitive. They shop with what feels like ‘free money’ so they are more apt to pay full price for merchandise rather than sticking to sales and clearance items.” What shopper doesn’t love free money? Not only do shoppers with gift cards shop for full priced items, Shelly also mentions that “Gift Card shoppers almost always overspend their gift cards by around 20%” which means increased sales for you.Furthermore, Online Optimism adds “The new gift cards will allow consumers to make purchases from multiple Etsy stores, helping to increase the numbers of items per purchase for each order on Etsy. Taking advantage of customers looking to make large purchases is just one benefit for sellers to sign up to accept these new gift cards.”
  3.  New Customers
    Even though Etsy has become known as the place online to find unique handmade gifts, there are lots of people who have never heard of Etsy and will be introduced to a whole new world of quality one-of-a-kind finds. These Etsy newbies will be eager to shop and discover your shop with the special gift they never knew they always wanted.Your hand knit chunky cowls and embroidered Flight of the Conchords pillowcases will now be showcased to all new shoppers just learning about the greatness of Etsy. Anyone seeking to redeem an Etsy gift card will filter their search by those who accept Etsy gift cards so your shop will have priority in search results. If you accept gift cards, they will find your store before your competitors who don’t accept gift cards.
  4. Bundle savings
    Offering Etsy coupon codes along with accepting gift cards will dramatically increase how shoppers will save on your shop and buy more than they normally would. Gift cards and coupons help introduce new customers and fans to your online store.

The only issue that sellers and buyers have commented on about the new Etsy gift card program is that $25 is the lowest gift card amount that you can purchase. Sometimes, online retailers like to offer low value gift cards around $5 to $10 to past customers to encourage them to shop for more. This strategy won’t work for Etsy gift cards where you the seller would have to purchase the gift cards yourself to offer to your customers. Instead, offer a coupon code to your best customers so they will save when they shop with you again. Additionally, make sure your Etsy shop is set up to accept Direct Checkout as a method of payment and you’ll be automatically set up to accept Etsy gift cards as well.

Also, Etsy sellers often questioned how does your shop receive the money from the gift cards? Hilary Goldman of A Slice of Delight Hand Crafted Soaps explains how it works: “It’s up to a person to want to buy a gift card starting at $25 (that’s the lowest limit) to purchase it and the funds are ‘held’ at Etsy with a redemption number. The person who receives a printed ‘gift card’ or ‘e-mail’ can then use it to buy what they want in any shop. Of course when the buyer uses the gift card number your shop will be ‘paid’ out of those funds held.  I guess if I had a friend that just loved ‘everything Etsy’ and I did not know what to buy him/her – a gift card would be perfect.”

For an added bonus, if you purchase an Etsy Gift Card by November 14th, Etsy will enter you in a contest to win a $250 gift card!

What are your thoughts about Etsy’s new Gift Cards?