To some people a gift certificate is the ideal gift, allowing the recipient to choose what to spend it on; to others, gift certificates are not such a thoughtful idea. But, whichever way you look at it, gift certificates (or gift vouchers or gift cards) are a very popular option when it comes to gift giving.
Hotel gift certificates hold a prepaid amount (or customer credit) for future use at the property. Gift certificates for hotel stays are especially appealing because they represent a memorable experience rather than a physical product, making them a personal and thoughtful gift. They also offer convenience in their flexibility, allowing the recipient to redeem their gift certificate any time before the expiry date.
For lodging operators, gift certificates are a great way to promote their property, build their customer base and increase revenue streams.
The Advantages of Selling Hotel Gift Certificates
When a happy customer purchases a hotel gift certificate for a friend or family member, they are actively advocating that property — building the property’s credibility and reputation, and expanding the property’s reach.
Gift certificates are a way for the satisfied guest to share their positive experience with someone they care about and feel will enjoy your property just as much as they did. This means that gift certificate recipients are highly targeted customers with good potential for becoming loyal guests. Satisfied gift certificate recipients are likely to return and/or buy a gift certificate for one of their friends or family members.
Once gift certificate recipients are on property, they usually spend more than the value of the voucher — particularly on ancillary services — making gift certificates a great way to maximize revenue. According to research conducted by the gift card industry, 72 percent of customers spend more than the value of their card.
And for those gift certificates not redeemed, well, that’s 100 percent straight profit!
How to Sell Hotel Gift Certificates
Manual or paper-based methods of selling and managing gift certificates are prone to error; keeping track of voucher numbers, values and expiry/issue dates manually is time consuming and can lead to inaccuracies that cause confusion and even revenue loss. To sell and manage gift certificates efficiently and successfully, an automated system is key.
Some property management systems (PMS) like WebRezPro include a gift certificate function that allows properties to sell pre-paid customer credits as gift vouchers for future stays, automatically track vouchers and their associated codes, values, issue/expiry dates and customer information, and easily convert vouchers into real reservations upon redemption.
When it comes to promoting your gift certificates, don’t be shy! Your guests can be made aware that gift certificates are available a number of ways: via signage at the front desk, the in-room guide, post-stay emails, your website and social media. Customers will especially appreciate the option to purchase gift certificates leading up to traditional gift-giving holidays like Christmas.
Focus on promoting gift certificates as a special, memorable experience… and live up to that promise. Hotel gift certificate recipients have high expectations — after all, their stay is a very personal and thoughtful gift!