How To Set Up ShopKeep’s Gift Card Program (& How To Make It Profitable For Your Small Business)
Ahh, the gift card. That classic capitalistic invention that makes every recipient say, “Thanks?” Why give cash when you can give something that works exactly like cash…but only at one business (if you remember to bring it at all)?
But, in all seriousness, gift cards are an extremely valuable and important aspect for small businesses. It’s estimated that more than $150 billion is spent annually on gift cards, making it a quick and painless way to increase your profits and improve customer engagement. COVID-19 has also significantly increased business demand for gift cards as a way of supplementing their cash flow, even during a physical closure of your store or restaurant.
ShopKeep, one of our highest-rated point of sale systems, has a highly intuitive gift card integration — one you should seriously consider adding if you’ve chosen ShopKeep as your POS.
Read on for a quick and easy guide to setting up your gift card integration with ShopKeep.
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Why Should Your Business Use Gift Cards?
There are several reasons why you might want to offer gift cards in your retail store or restaurant. Maybe you want to increase engagement with your brand and create brand awareness. As I discuss in the article, How To Implement A Gift Card Program For Small Business: What You Need To Know & How To Get Started, people also spend more at your store when they pay with a gift card.
Selling gift cards can provide your business with emergency cash flow during a crisis — many businesses sold gift cards during the COVID-19 pandemic to maintain an income while their physical storefronts were closed.
Whatever your reasons for offering them, gift cards make sense for most business models. According to ShopKeep, gift cards provide an easy way to attract new customers by serving as marketing tools. They are “mini billboards,” in essence.
Why A Gift Card Program Linked To Your POS Is The Best Option
Although there are several ways to implement gift cards, there are advantages to using a gift card setup that links with your POS software. In particular, a gift card program that integrates with your POS ensures you get the most accurate sales data and reporting. Your POS may also be tied to your loyalty program, your customer directory, and other important business information.
With a POS-integrated gift card system, you can also check customer balances from your POS, track gift card sales, and offer a seamless sales experience. These things aren’t possible if you use different programs that don’t share the same data set.
How To Set Up ShopKeep Gift Cards In 5 Steps
Read this section to learn how to add integrated gift cards to your ShopKeep POS service plan and start selling them.
Step 1: Add Gift Cards To Your ShopKeep Account
Note: If you already have gift cards enabled on your account, skip down to step 2.
Gift cards are not available on all ShopKeep accounts. To add gift cards to your ShopKeep POS, you’ll need to subscribe to the “Essential” package ($79/month, billed annually) or the “Advanced” package ($179/month, billed annually).
If you’re not sure if your account has gift cards, sign in to your ShopKeep BackOffice as the Business Owner or as an employee with the “Manage Account” permission. Click on “Marketing” and then “Gift Cards.”
If Gift Cards are locked on your account, click “Add Gift Cards” and follow the prompts to upgrade your account to a package that includes gift cards.
Step 2: Add Gift Cards To Tenders
The next thing you’ll want to do once you’re ready is to add gift cards to your accepted tenders. To do this, you’ll need to log into your Back Office and click on Settings. Then, select the Tenders tab on the left-hand side of the screen.
This will bring up a new page. Scroll down and check the box that says Gift Card.
Step 3: Create Item For Gift Cards
Next, you will want to create an item for gift cards that you can easily access from your POS system. Go to the Item List and add a new basic item. Give this new item a name (I would suggest using Gift Card). Change “Price Type” to “At the Register.”
Step 4: Set Up Liability Tracking
Scroll down to the Advanced item settings. Choose “Gift Card” (or whatever you named the item) from the “Liability Tender” drop-down menu. This will automatically make the item non-taxable.
Click Save. You’ll then have the option to add the Gift Card item to your Item Shortcuts panel.
Step 5: Update Your Register
Get updates for your iOS or Android register to sync the changes you just made to add gift cards to your register. Go to your register’s main menu, and in “Setup,” click “Get Updates from BackOffice” to sync changes to the register.
Note: This does not update the ShopKeep app itself; app updates are available via the App Store.
On the next screen, tap “Get Updates.”
Once your system sync is complete, you’re ready to start selling gift cards!
How To Make The Most Of Your ShopKeep Gift Card Program
Once gift cards are enabled, you need to make sure customers start buying and using gift cards. It’s also important to keep track of your sales to ensure your gift card program is actually working. Fortunately, ShopKeep makes these tasks easy.
Personalize Your ShopKeep Gift Cards
You will need to order your ShopKeep-compatible gift cards from eCard Systems. These are physical, magnetic stripe gift cards that will work with your ShopKeep credit card reader. The gift cards also have a scannable barcode and a number that can be entered into the POS manually. When you order your cards, you’ll have the opportunity to personalize your cards with your business information and even add custom artwork (for an added fee).
Be thoughtful about your gift card design so that it looks enticing to buyers and reflects your brand, including your marketing slogan, business logo, or maybe even a cheeky message that makes the card even more giftable.
Learn How To Sell & Redeem Gift Cards On ShopKeep Register
While you’re waiting for your gift cards to arrive, you can use ShopKeep’s support resources to learn how to sell and redeem gift cards on the register. ShopKeep’s gift cards support page provides detailed instructions on how to do things, such as:
- Issue a gift card
- Check a gift card’s balance
- Redeem a gift card
- Issue a return to a gift card
The instructions vary somewhat depending on if you’re using the Android or iPad version of ShopKeep Register, so make sure you’re following the appropriate instructions for your POS device.
Get Acquainted With Your ShopKeep Gift Card Reporting Portal
Your ShopKeep BackOffice has a gift card reporting portal that contains important data about your ShopKeep gift card sales and redemptions. For multilocation businesses, ShopKeep’s gift card portal makes it easy to see combined gift card sales across all locations or sort gift card data by location. Using ShopKeep’s gift card support page mentioned above, you can learn more about ShopKeep’s gift card reporting suite and how to run gift card reports. Some reports you can generate include:
- Transaction Detail: Lists each gift card transaction across all business locations.
- Merchant Summary: Gives combined totals for gift card transaction types across all business locations, including Load Amount (add an amount to card) and Sale Amount (redeem the card on a sale).
- Location Detail: List of gift card transactions for a particular location.
- Location Summary: Shows summary totals for each transaction type at a particular location.
- Single Card History: Enter a gift card number to see every time it’s been loaded or used in a sale.
- Liability Detail: See the balance of every gift card for all locations as of a particular date.
- Liability: Transaction totals for all locations up to the selected date, including liabilities (gift cards) not yet redeemed.
Sell Online Gift Cards
Want to boost your online sales? ShopKeep merchants who have eCommerce enabled can sell even more gift cards with ShopKeep eCommerce web store gift cards on their ShopKeep online store. Note that ShopKeep’s eGift cards can only be sold and redeemed online and that ShopKeep’s physical gift cards are in-store only and cannot be purchased or redeemed online. Also, for reporting purposes, it’s important to know that eGift cards do not sync with your ShopKeep Register gift card sales and will only show up in your eCommerce portal.
Though the program has some limitations, it could work out great for certain types of businesses, such as restaurants that offer online ordering for takeout or delivery or retailers that want to promote special online-only deals.
To take advantage of ShopKeep’s online gift card feature, you will need eCommerce enabled on your ShopKeep account (this feature is included in the $79/month “Essential” package).
Are ShopKeep Gift Cards Right For You?
Overall, ShopKeep’s gift card program is highly functional, easy to use, and inexpensive compared to many competing POS systems with integrated gift cards. However, the program does have a few shortcomings. In particular, its eCommerce features are somewhat limited since customers can buy eGift cards in your online store but can’t redeem them in your store. For a multichannel business that wants more flexibility and syncing of online and in-person sales, you might want to check out the gift card programs offered by Square and Shopify POS. Nevertheless, for most small restaurants or retail businesses that sell primarily in person, ShopKeep gift cards should work out just great.
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