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Whether you’re reading this in mid-fall or early December, it’s time to gear up for the holidays at your beauty and wellness business. Let’s get right down to hard sales numbers.

A staggering 80% of U.S. shoppers plan to buy gifts early this year (39% in November and 41% in October or sooner). As you prepare and promote your retail offerings to entice and satisfy the early birds, you have to include gift cards in your holiday planning.

Yes, they’re convenient for shoppers who want an easy way to treat loved ones to personal care or a little pampering. They also promote your brand effectively. But there are additional reasons why gift cards make strong business sense not just during gift-giving seasons but throughout the year.  

Zenoti insight
Spas and full-service salons that sell gift cards earn more revenue per store. 

Source: Zenoti 2022 Achieving Greatness Report, a compendium of data insights and strategies that define today’s high-performing salons and spas 

Here, we cover frequently asked questions about the use of gift cards at beauty and wellness businesses, along with ways to drive additional revenue with gift cards. You’ll also discover the benefits of using Zenoti software to create and manage your gift card programs.

What do customers prefer: physical or digital gift cards?

Gift givers tend to prefer physical gift cards... but receivers prefer digital, according to a 2023 research study. The authors found this is partly because “givers overestimate the extent to which recipients see digital (vs. physical) gift cards as violating the norms of gift-giving.”

The lesson learned here? Make sure you’re offering both, with digital gift cards available for purchase through your business website, at the point of sale (checkout and in-store kiosk), and through a mobile app for customers. Your website and mobile app, specifically, are your 24x7 channels for gift card revenue.

Why should salons, spas, and medspas have a year-round gift card strategy?

Think of gift cards as a referral program for your brand. They help you expand your customer base by making it easy for happy customers to refer friends and family by way of a gift. Your satisfied guests are not just recommending your business – they're giving loved ones the money to try your services.

A session on beauty and wellness industry trends at Innergize 2023 hosted by Zenoti presented a statistic worth noting: 25% of gift cards are redeemed by new customers. This means one in four people redeeming gift cards is a new guest – and potential lifelong customer, making gift cards an acquisition tool you cannot afford to ignore.

For your year-round gift card strategy, think beyond holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and the December festive season. As stated above, make gift cards readily available for customers to buy anytime through as many channels as possible: your website and in-store point of sale at minimum, and through a mobile app for customers.

How often should I offer gift card promotions at my business?

Whatever frequency you choose, make it predictable for customers. Idaho-based PURE Medical Spa offers gift card promotions a couple times each year – for Black Friday / Cyber Monday, during PURE’s “12 days of Christmas,” and for Mother’s Day.  

“We only offer two options,” says PURE founder and medical director Julie Acarregui. “Buy a $200 gift card and get $50 free, or buy a $400 gift card and get $125 free. We have had so much success.”  

Here’s an unexpected value to gift card promotions: Acarregui notes that customers often buy gift cards for themselves, to put money in their wallet and let it sit there. She says, “People know they can rely on it, and we don’t offer the promotions any other times of the year.”

Why use Zenoti for my salon, spa, or medspa gift card program?

With Zenoti, it’s easy to create and manage both physical and digital gift card programs. For starters, delivery is a snap. Digital gift cards are delivered via email to gift recipients. Customers who purchase physical gift cards can choose mail delivery or in-store pickup.

Need a quick design for your gift card? Zenoti offers pre-designed templates for rapid launch of gift card programs. Or you can upload your own artwork to maintain your brand look and feel, like Zenoti customers OrangeTwist, GlossLab, and Snip-Its.

Here are some more gift card tips based on experiences at businesses using Zenoti for their gift card programs.

1) Give customers the option of amount-based or service-specific gift cards.

Offering gift cards for predefined and custom amounts keeps it simple for buyers. With service-specific gift cards, the buyer can select services from your menu, but the recipient has the flexibility of choosing a different service when they redeem the gift card.

Why offer service-specific gift cards?

This is strictly a strategic sales move. Service gift cards help guests feel more intentional with their gifting. Picture giving a friend who just moved a spa gift card worth $50 for a specific service: an ofuro soak. The subtext: “I know you’re exhausted from the move – treat yourself to a little relaxation.” Now picture the same scenario, giving a general gift card worth $50. The cards have the same dollar value, of course – but the service gift card feels more personal.

Service gift cards also encourage recipients to go beyond their usual choices – selecting add-ons for their visits or scheduling repeat visits for new services – potentially increasing each guest’s lifetime value. For instance, a guest who receives a gift card for brow waxing is likely to add the service to her regular color visits to your salon.

Boosting guest convenience even more, Zenoti supports the inclusion of a tip amount on service gift cards, making the gift truly complete. Mom needn’t spend another $20 after a Mother’s Day facial if the gift card already includes that tip.

2) Support gift card redemption across your entire brand.

This boosts portability and convenience for guests. With Zenoti, a business owner or the corporate office can control which stores will participate in cross-center gift card programs.

3) Honor member pricing on service gift cards.

Starting October 2023, Zenoti-powered businesses can easily verify if a gift card buyer has a membership with the business and then offer members discounted pricing on service gift cards. This feature rewards your regulars with even better deals, helping deepen their loyalty to your business.

4) Track program performance centrally.

Say goodbye to manually logging gift card data and using spreadsheets to create reports. With analytics in Zenoti software, it’s a breeze to track metrics like gift card revenue, liabilities, and cross-center comparisons.

How to use gift card analytics to drive business to your salon, spa, or medspa

Businesses using Zenoti can view reports to identify customers with expiring gift cards – and then encourage them to visit. PURE Medical Spa founder and medical director Julie Acarregui says, “Our spa directors will reach out to those clients and tell them, ‘Your gift card’s going to expire at the end of this month. When can we get you in next week or the following?’”

The outreach benefits both parties: customers get premier self-care treatments before their gift cards expire. PURE fills the books and can expect additional revenue beyond gift card amounts as 75% of people who use gift cards spend more than the value of the card. A 2022 consumer study by Blackhawk Network showed that 60% of people receiving a $100 gift card spend at least an extra $74.

Bonus: How can I sell more gift cards in-store?

Make gift giving effortless and enjoyable for customers during the holidays and all through the year.

1) Set up attractive displays at your cash wrap so guests can browse gift card designs at checkout.

2) Train your front desk with a short script. Something like “Would you like to buy gift cards as holiday presents?” is helpful and low key.

3) Include pretty packaging for physical gift cards sold. You’ll boost the ‘wow’ factor and save work for the giver.  

4) Tweak the script by season or promotion to bring consistency and constancy to gift card sales by your staff.

Explore Zenoti software to simplify gift giving for customers and drive revenue for your business.


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Gita Mani
Senior Content Specialist
Gita helps brands find the right words for their messaging, with the customer’s best interests informing her approach. Being in nature is her favorite way to unwind.
Cullie Poseria
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Fitness
Coming from a healthcare family, growing up as a competitive athlete, and being trained as a filmmaker, and MBA, Cullie brings diverse experience to her storytelling and digital business-to-business product marketing. Her writing focuses on sharing trends and insights from her experience in software, entertainment, wellness, and fitness.

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