In the search of the perfect gift card - How Zalando drives revenue with their gift card engine

Since the early 90s, consumers could relieve you of the burden of selecting a specific gift and buy you a prepaid gift card. Zalando, as one of the market giants, serves as an example to show the gift voucher’s potential. In this article, we’re going to describe all aspects of Zalando campaigns. We’ll see what’s worth noting while creating gift cards and, as you will learn, they’ve developed a brand-new quality of gift vouchers campaign. And we’ll try to find the answer, what is the key to their success?

UNWANTED GIFTS TAMER

Every year, the Internet fills up with mismatched gifts that the receivers are trying to get rid of. On the other hand, most of them know that finding the perfect gift only gets harder with each occasion that appears during the year. This everlasting consumer problem has become a real cash cow for the retail trade. The last few years have shown a steady growth of in gift card popularity and put them in the place of being one of the most desired gifts.

When the giving of cash may be regarded as inappropriate, a gift card is a subtle way of giving exactly the same value. Moreover, stores like Zalando have visually customized their gift cards to make each of them a personal gift. Summing up, a customer gets a nicely wrapped cash gift and a guarantee of receiver satisfaction.

From the store’s point of view, aiming at gift cards was, for sure, a big step in the right direction. In 2015, gift cards sales already equaled $138 billion and moving along with time, their market value is still growing. Accordingly, the stores should face the decision of what kind of gift cards are the most desired rather than whether to offer them at all.


HOW ZALANDO MAKES GIFT CARDS

In the following section, the Zalando offer is described piece by piece.  Their gift card engine provides gifts for lots of occasions. Moreover, with multiple, diversified designs it makes a prepaid card look like a tailor-made gift. Such marketing personalization results in the selling of more gift vouchers instead of just being a once in a blue moon thing. Let’s go for the details.

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At the first glance, you can see that the cards are in a range of designs. Depending on the occasion, customers can choose from 6 different themes. There are gifts for birthday, congratulations, to show appreciation, etc.

The pre-paid amount on the card is limited but still up to the buyer. In the UK, it starts from £20 and ends at £100. Each card contains a field for a special dedication and for a private message.  Again, it makes a prepaid card look like a tailor-made gift and this is the key to creating a customized, personal, and ultimately top-selling product.

There is no minimum order value or expiry date on the card. Undoubtedly, this move made their gift card very attractive (but at the same time, it demands a high-quality infrastructure to keep the card redeemable forever). 

In order to start, a customer can choose from 3 types of gift: 

  • gift cards, 
  • gift box, 
  • email & print yourself

As you can see, Zalando offers more than classic gift cards. Let’s explore how the gift box and print-yourself options work.

A gift box is an advanced and more expensive version of the gift card. In the box, the receiver gets a gift voucher and a piece of paper for a private message, all in the chosen design. In the same way as before, there are 6 available themes and no expiry date or minimum order value set.

Whereas email & print yourself options is all about personalization. The card creator enables you to dedicate a gift and add a message printed before delivery.

DISTRIBUTE WITH EVERY CHANNEL

People are increasingly choosing to go online to purchase gift cards, although there are still many who prefer classic, hand-to-hand gifts. Aiming for a better appeal to customer's preferences actually demands both distribution channels. Zalando took note of this data so their system distributes gift cards via email, by hand or as a PDF. Finally, this kind of marketing personalization is reflected in the continuous rise of gift cards sales.

SHOP EASY

From the receiver point of view, shopping with a Zalando gift card is a piece of cake. While he or she is purchasing an item in the store, all he or she has to do is enter a code displayed on a gift voucher and redeem. Moreover, if the receiver wants to find out about the remaining balance (even if they lose the card), he or she can log in to the Zalando portal and see all cards. It’s worth noting that Zalando leverages this fact to promote their brand and track customer activity.


IN THE NUTSHELL

To sum up, the described features combine to build a powerful tool which lets Zalando drive more revenue. Let’s take a look once again at what differentiates them from the competition.
 
Zalando gift cards:

  • Are available in many designs
  • Are distributed by many channels for free
  • Have unique code
  • Do not have an expiry date or minimal order value
  • Keep the balance online so no physical card is needed

Plus, a couple of minor yet still important features:

  • Can be combined with discount vouchers
  • Does not exclude or cut down the possibility of free delivery or returns
  • Can be combined with as many Zalando gift vouchers as a customer likes - up to a maximum credit value of £700

Impressive, right? If you read about Zalando discount campaigns, you’ll find out how important it is for them to master their promotion management. Their marketing strategy is a combination of clever ideas, endless testing, efficient customer tracking and constant adjustment to the target. But this success is only possible with their powerful, bespoke software.