Shopify Gift Cards Guideline: Boost Sales and Customer Loyalty

Written by: Hannah

Topics: eCommerce Tips

Published: July 1, 2024

12 minutes read

Ultimate guide to shopify checkout customizations

Gift cards have become a retail phenomenon, offering a hassle-free gifting option for customers and a strategic advantage for businesses. But their popularity goes beyond convenience – Shopify gift cards are powerful tools for boosting sales, attracting new customers, and increasing brand loyalty. 

This comprehensive guide dives deep into the world of Shopify gift cards. We'll explore how they function within your online store, the benefits they offer, and how to leverage them for maximum impact.

Let's explore this valuable strategy to boost your Shopify store's success.

1. What is a Shopify gift card?

Shopify gift cards are digital or physical vouchers that allow customers to purchase and redeem them for products or services in your online store. This convenience has made them increasingly popular for both Shopify merchants and customers. Gift cards cater to a wide range of gifting needs and can be customized to match your brand aesthetics, creating a memorable experience for recipients. They provide a versatile solution that can increase sales and customer loyalty for your business.
Shopify Gift Cards

Shopify Gift Cards

For store owners, research shows that 52% of people have purchased a gift card for someone else in the past 12 months. In fact, a study by the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that gift card recipients spend an average of $59 more than the value of the card.

This translates to a potential boost in average order value and additional sales for your business.

For customers, Shopify gift cards offer several advantages:
  • Convenience: They provide a hassle-free gifting option, eliminating the need for guesswork and ensuring the recipient gets something they truly desire.
  • Flexibility: Gift cards offer recipients the freedom to choose from your entire product selection, ensuring they find the perfect item.
  • Universality: They're perfect for any occasion, from birthdays to holidays, making them a universally appreciated gift.

But how do Shopify gift cards work? It's simple! 

Shopify gift cards function as a form of stored value, essentially pre-paying for future purchases in your store. They operate similarly to digital vouchers or electronic gift certificates, offering customers a flexible payment option at checkout. When a customer purchases a gift card, they receive a unique code. The recipient can then redeem this code at checkout to apply the stored value towards their purchase.

Shopify gift cards come in various forms, catering to diverse needs and preferences. Let's delve into the three main types:

1.1. Shopify Digital Gift Cards

These are electronic vouchers delivered directly to the recipient's email after purchase. They're ideal for last-minute shoppers or situations requiring instant gifting. You can think of them as virtual gift certificates that can be redeemed immediately upon receipt.

  • Fast and Convenient: No physical production or shipping is needed, making them the quickest option for both sender and recipient.
  • Eco-Friendly: Eliminate the environmental impact associated with physical cards.

  • Lacks the Tangible Touch: May not feel as special or personal as a physical gift card.

Shopify digital gift card

Create the digital gift card through Shopify Supply

1.2. Shopify Gift Cards Physical

These are tangible cards shipped to the customer after purchase. They provide a traditional gifting experience, ideal for special occasions like birthdays or holidays. 

Shopify allows you to personalize these cards with your brand logo, a heartfelt message, or even a custom design, adding a special touch.


  • Traditional Gifting Experience: Offers a more personal and memorable way to present a gift.
  • Customization Options: Enhance the gift-giving experience by adding your brand identity or a personalized message.


  • Production and Shipping Time: Take longer to reach the recipient compared to digital options.

Shopify physical gift card

Shopify physical gift card

1.3. Shopify Customizable Gift Cards

This category encompasses the ability to personalize various aspects of both digital and physical gift cards, allowing you to tailor them to your specific needs and brand identity.


  • Flexible Denominations: Set a range of gift card values (e.g., $10, $25, $50) to cater to different budgets and gifting occasions.
  • Expiry Date Control: Manage cash flow by determining a timeframe for redemption (e.g., 1 year).
  • Branded Design: Design beautiful cards that reflect your store's personality and strengthen brand recognition with every gift.

Shopify custom gift cards

Custom Shopify gift cards

Understanding these options helps you pick the best type of Shopify gift cards for your brand and customers. Offering both digital and physical versions with customization allows you to cater to a wider audience and maximize the impact of your gift card program.

2. Benefits of Shopify Gift Cards for Your Business

Forget the frantic mall searches and tangled wrapping paper – Shopify gift cards are the new wave of gifting. But their benefits go far beyond just simplified gifting! 

Shopify gift cards are a secret weapon waiting to be unleashed on your online store, a powerful tool capable of boosting your sales, building customer loyalty, and amplifying your brand awareness.

Here's how gift cards for Shopify can transform your online business into a success story.

2.1. Flexibility for Promotions and Deals

Shopify gift cards are the ultimate marketing chameleon! 

You can use them to create targeted promotions and deals that resonate with your audience. Offering them as rewards in your loyalty program can incentivize repeat purchases with exclusive discounts on gift cards, or bundle them with popular products at a reduced price. 

The possibilities are endless, allowing you to craft strategic campaigns that drive sales and achieve your marketing goals.

Shopify gift cards

Flexible Shopify gift cards promotions and deals

2.2. Attract New Customers

Shopify gift cards act as a gateway to your brand, introducing new customers to your amazing products and services. 

When people receive them, they're curious to explore the options you offer, potentially becoming loyal fans in the process. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your value proposition and convert one-time recipients into repeat customers for your business.

2.3. Cultivate Customer Loyalty and Retention

Offering gift cards as rewards within your loyalty program sends a powerful message – you appreciate your customers' business.

cultivate customer loyalty by gift cards
Cultivate customer loyalty and retention by gift cards

This positive feeling fosters customer loyalty, encouraging them to come back and shop with you again, strengthening your brand relationships, and driving repeat sales.

2.4. Amplify Your Brand Awareness

Every time a gift card is redeemed, your brand name gets seen by the cashier and potentially even other customers. It's like free, built-in advertising with every purchase! 

As your Shopify gift cards circulate, your brand name reaches a wider audience, increasing brand awareness and keeping your store top-of-mind for future purchases.

In addition, by offering gift cards, you demonstrate that you care about the gifting experience. This focus on customer satisfaction builds trust and positions you as a customer-centric business. 

This positive brand image attracts new customers seeking a personalized and thoughtful shopping experience, further propelling your brand's success.

2.5. Streamline Your Operations

Shopify streamlines the entire gift card process, from purchase to redemption. 

You don't have to worry about managing physical inventory, printing cards, or dealing with complex fulfillment logistics. This frees up valuable time and resources, allowing you to focus on other crucial aspects of your business.

In other words, both you and your customers enjoy a hassle-free experience with Shopify gift cards. The digital format eliminates the risk of lost or stolen cards, while the user-friendly redemption process ensures a smooth experience for your customers.

2.6. Generate Additional Revenue Streams

Unlike traditional sales where payment is received upon product delivery, Shopify gift cards generate immediate income for your business. 

The moment a customer purchases a gift card, the funds are deposited into your account, even if the recipient waits months to redeem it. It's like getting paid upfront for future sales, giving you a significant cash flow advantage.

Studies reveal a delightful surprise – gift card recipients often spend more than the card's value while browsing your online store. On average, they spend an additional 31.75% on top of the card's value (Source: Bankrate Poll).

The excitement of discovering new products and the freedom of choice entice them to explore beyond the initial value, leading to increased average order value and a significant boost to your bottom line.

generate additional revenue by shopify gift cards

Generate additional revenue by Shopify gift cards

In essence, by incorporating Shopify gift cards into your strategy, you can unlock a treasure trove of opportunities to boost sales, build customer loyalty, and cultivate a thriving online business.

3. Best Practices for Shopify Gift Card Success

Shopify gift cards offer a treasure trove of benefits for your online store, but maximizing their impact requires strategic planning. Here are some best practices to turn your gift card program into a sales powerhouse!

3.1. Crafting the Perfect Gift Card Experience

To maximize the impact of your Shopify gift cards:

  • Offer the Deal with Discounts: Incite purchases by offering discounts on gift cards, especially during promotional periods.
  • Use Shopify Gift Card QR Code: Streamline redemption by adding scannable QR codes to physical cards. Customers can then scan the code with their smartphones to be directed to a mobile redemption page.
  • Create custom designs: Reflect your brand's personality with beautifully branded gift card visuals.
  • Enable personalization: Allow customers to add custom messages or images for a unique touch.

  • Bonus Tip: 

    Offer customization options for a personal touch. Allow customers to upload photos, write messages, or choose from pre-designed themes for a truly unique gift.

3.2. Expanding Your Gift Card Reach

To broaden the reach of your Shopify gift cards beyond your online store:

  • Sell everywhere: Utilize Shopify's Buy Button to offer your gift cards on other websites, expanding your reach and attracting new customers.
  • Reward loyalty: Integrate gift cards into your loyalty program as a valuable reward, incentivizing repeat business and customer engagement.
  • Forge strategic partnerships: Partner with complementary brands to cross-promote gift cards and tap into new audiences.
  • Leverage social media: Create shareable gift card content and run targeted social media campaigns.

These diverse distribution strategies can help you tap into new customer segments and increase overall gift card adoption.

3.3. Leveraging Seasonal Opportunities for Gift Cards

It's a fantastic way to leverage the gifting frenzy and boost sales during typically slow periods. Studies show a significant 114% increase in gift card sales during the 2021 holiday season.

To capitalize on peak shopping periods and boost gift card sales:

  • Create themed designs: Create themed gift cards for holidays and special occasions, capitalizing on seasonal shopping sprees. (e.g., Offer gift cards with festive winter scenes for Christmas, adorable animal illustrations for back-to-school season, or spooky Halloween-themed designs.)
  • Run targeted promotions: Run special gift card promotions during Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) to capitalize on the peak shopping season by offering discounts, bonus value, or bundled gift cards with popular products.
  • Develop seasonal bundles: Create pre-designed gift card bundles with themed products or experiences relevant to the season. For example, a "Back to School Essentials" bundle might include a gift card and a selection of school supplies.
  • Align with cultural moments, and current events: Align your gift card offerings with cultural trends and current events (e.g., Involve highlighting gift cards for upcoming sporting events, movie releases, or popular video game launches)

Implementing these seasonal strategies can help you maximize gift card sales during high-traffic shopping periods and tap into consumers' festive spending habits.

seasonal shopify gift cards

Seasonal Shopify Gift Cards

3.4. Enhancing Customer Experience with Gift Cards

  • Turning negatives into positives: Use gift cards as a gesture of goodwill to resolve customer complaints, fostering positive brand perception. 
  • Personalized recommendations: Use purchase history data to recommend gift cards for recipients based on the buyer's past purchases.
  • Implement automated thank-you notes: Send automated thank-you emails to gift card recipients, including a message from the sender (if applicable).
  • Enable scheduled deliveries: Allow customers to set future delivery gift cards for birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasions.

3.5. Streamlining Gift Card Operations

To ensure a seamless gift card experience for both you and your customers:

  • Integrate with Shopify POS: For businesses with a physical storefront, integrate gift cards with Shopify POS to allow for easy in-store redemption. Customers can simply present the code of their Shopify POS gift cards at checkout, and the value will be deducted from their purchase total.
  • Abandoned Carts No More: Send a follow-up email reminding customers about their abandoned cart and offer a discount on a gift card purchase to encourage them to complete the checkout process.
  • Clear Communication: Set clear terms and conditions for gift card use, ensuring a smooth experience for everyone. 
  • Optimize for mobile: Ensure your gift card purchase and redemption process is mobile-friendly.

  • Pro Tip: 

    Ensure the terms and conditions for gift card use are readily available on your website. This includes outlining expiration dates, if applicable, redemption channels (online only, in-store, etc.), and any usage restrictions (e.g., cannot be used towards shipping costs).

3.6. Leveraging Data for Gift Card Success

To maximize the effectiveness of your gift card program through data analysis:

  • Track sales patterns: Analyze sales data to understand buying trends (peak seasons), that inform targeted promotions (e.g., pre-holiday campaigns with special discounts) and ensure adequate inventory management (stocking up for high-demand seasons).
  • Analyze redemption behavior: Track how long gift cards are held before redemption to optimize your program like offering incentives for faster redemption (e.g., bonus points) or creating targeted campaigns based on typical holding times.
  • Refine marketing channels: Analyze which marketing channels (e.g., email marketing, social media ads) convert best for gift card sales and focus your marketing efforts on those channels to reach the right audience and maximize sales.
  • Measure impact on Customer Lifetime Value: By tracking how gift card purchases translate into repeat customers and their average spend (CLTV), you can assess their loyalty potential and segment data to see if gift recipients become higher-value customers.

Shopify gift card data

Shopify gift card data

4. Managing Gift Cards on Shopify

While crafting a winning strategy for selling and promoting Shopify gift cards is crucial, managing them effectively is equally important. Effective gift card management involves tracking sales data, monitoring redemption rates, and analyzing customer purchase behavior associated with gift card usage. Here's how to stay on top of your gift card program with ease.

4.1. Unveiling the Data by Tracking & Reporting

You can gain valuable insights by tracking your gift card sales within Shopify. 

This allows you to see how many gift cards are being purchased, the average purchase value, and any trends over time. You can use this data to identify peak buying periods (e.g., holidays) and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.

Shopify provides comprehensive gift card sales reports. 

These reports offer detailed information such as the date and time of purchase, the purchased denomination (e.g., $25, $50), and the customer who bought your Shopify gift cards.

This data can help you understand your customer buying behavior (e.g., preference for higher denominations for special occasions) and identify opportunities to promote specific gift card values.

4.2. Keeping Tabs on Outstanding Balances

It's essential to monitor the outstanding Shopify gift cards balance. This refers to the total remaining value of all active gift cards in circulation.

Shopify gift cards balance

Shopify gift cards balance

Keeping track of outstanding balances helps you maintain accurate inventory records and ensures you have enough funds to cover future redemptions.

4.3. Managing Active Shopify Gift Cards

Shopify allows you to view and manage all your active gift cards in one place. 

You can easily see the unique code for each card, the Shopify gift card check balance, and any expiration date (if applicable). This centralized management system lets you address any customer inquiries about their gift cards efficiently.

By utilizing these valuable tools and reports within Shopify, you can effectively manage your gift card program, ensuring smooth operations and a positive customer experience.

5. How to create gift cards in Shopify?

For online businesses, Shopify makes creating and managing gift cards a breeze. There are two main ways to create gift cards on Shopify, using built-in functionality or third-party apps. 

Additionally, for developers seeking even more control, the platform offers a Shopify Gift Cards API that allows for custom integrations with your online store.

However, in this article, we will take a look at the most common methods that are used by most Shopify store owners.

5.1. Using Shopify's built-in functionality

Creating gift cards in Shopify is a straightforward process that can be completed in just a few steps:

Shopify gift cards built-in functionality

Shopify gift cards built-in functionality

  1. Log in to your Shopify admin panel.
  2. Navigate to “Products” -> “Gift Cards" 
  3. Click the "Create a gift card" button. 
  4. Set the denomination (value) of the gift card: You can choose from predefined denominations or enter a custom amount.
  5. Customize the look and feel of your gift card (Optional): This may include uploading a custom Shopify gift card image for the gift card design or modifying the description text to reflect your brand.
  6. Click "Save".

5.2. Using a Third-Party Shopify Gift Card App

The Shopify app store offers a variety of apps that can extend the functionality of your gift card program. 

Here's a general guideline for using these apps (specific steps may vary slightly depending on the app):

  1. Visit the Shopify App Store
  2. Search for "Gift Card" apps
  3. Install the chosen app
  4. Configure the app settings: Each app will have its own configuration options. These may include setting denominations, designing the gift card appearance, integrating with your loyalty program, or setting up specific marketing triggers.
  5. Create your gift cards within the app: Once configured, the app will provide a dedicated section to create and manage your gift cards using the app's functionalities.

For most businesses, Shopify's built-in gift card creation offers a user-friendly and efficient solution. However, if you crave advanced features like bulk creation, intricate design customization, or integration with other systems, then exploring a third-party Shopify gift card app might be the path forward.

No matter which method you choose, Shopify empowers you to create and manage gift cards that bring joy to your customers and boost your online business.

6. The Last Words

Gift cards have transformed from a mere convenience to a strategic tool for online businesses. Shopify gift cards unlock a treasure trove of benefits that extend far beyond just facilitating gifting. 

This comprehensive guide has equipped you with the knowledge to leverage their power and propel your online store toward success.

Here's a quick recap of the advantages you can unlock:

  • Boost Sales: Increased customer spending & targeted promotions.
  • Build Loyalty: Reward programs & happy gift recipients turn into fans.
  • Amplify Brand Awareness: Free advertising with every redemption.
  • Simplify Operations: Hassle-free management with Shopify.

Ready to unlock these benefits and watch your business flourish? Create your Shopify gift cards today and boost sales & customer loyalty by following our comprehensive guidelines. 

Get started now and witness the transformative power of gift cards for your business!

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About The Author

  • Hannah

    With over 5 years of experience under her belt, Hannah is an eCommerce writer who crafts content specifically for a website that deals with online sales. She simplifies technical details to assist entrepreneurs in utilizing the platform and launching their online ventures.

Table of content

1. What Is A Shopify Gift Card?

2. Benefits Of Shopify Gift Cards For Your Business

3. Best Practices For Shopify Gift Card Success

4. Managing Gift Cards On Shopify

5. How To Create Gift Cards In Shopify?

6. The Last Words

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