Five Top Tips for Driving Gift Card Sales through Design, Innovation and Merchandising

By Craig Padley, Retail Sales Director at Thames Technology


Retailers are in constant competition to encourage consumers to choose their gift cards over that of their competitors and ultimately increase sales.

Below are our five top tips for driving gift card sales through design, innovation, and merchandising. Offering new ways to entice consumers to make that all-important transaction.

Know your customers

Are you aware of your target audience when it comes to gift cards? Who is buying the gift card and for whom?

Even if your brand is typically aimed at male consumers, it is often women who purchase the gift cards such as for their children to gift to their friends on their birthday, or their partners to gift to their fathers for Father’s Day.

Therefore, it is essential your gift card range appeals to both the purchaser and the recipient while also representing your brand.

Designing for a gift card mall

When designing for malls it is less about the gifting event and more about your brand and creating a gift card that will stand out amongst a wall of other gift cards.

So, it’s advisable that you test your gift card designs to make sure they capture the eye of the consumer. With Thames Technology’s 3D rendering design software, we can superimpose your mall designs onto a current mall to see how it stands out.

Designing for giftable events

By reviewing your sales to identify peak periods for gift cards you will be able to establish which events trigger a spike in demand and determine if a specific event design would benefit your range and drive sales further.

For example, a sales spike in March may be linked to Mother’s Day and a spike in June could be attributed to Father’s Day. However, don’t forget the biggest selling event is still ‘Happy Birthday’ and features all year round.


We all know that the till point is a destination for gift card sales if that is what the consumer intends to purchase. However, often customers will be looking for a physical gift and by displaying gift cards in gift-related areas of the store you will be able to capture the impulse purchaser who may have otherwise left empty-handed.

For ideas on out-posting, Thames Technology has created Smart Display, a range of countertop and free-standing display units which are perfect for displaying event cards that will be available for a month and then removed after the event.

Innovation and embellishment

Innovative designs and exciting materials can enhance your gift card offering especially for high average transaction value (ATV) events such as weddings, new baby, and Christmas. Consumers will not only appreciate the enhanced look of cards and carriers our case studies have shown that customers are likely to load more value onto and embellished designs driving up ATV.

In 2021 here at Thames Technology, we launched Metalprint paperboard together with Holmen Iggesund for the UK gift card market. This is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to full-face foil, creating impactful designs that stand out and ultimately drive sales and increase ATV while being more sustainable.

To learn more about Metalprint or any of our Innovative ideas please visit our website:


Related Posts