Selling Gift Cards Online Made Easy
March 21, 2024

InComm Payments offers industry-leading e-commerce solutions to drive merchants’ gift card sales.

When it comes to shopping, convenience reigns supreme. The advent of e-commerce, enabling consumers to enjoy on-demand food delivery, entertainment, transportation and more from their sofa or an out-of-home location, has certainly elevated consumers’ enthusiasm for comfort and ease. In 2020, the pandemic ushered in a wider adoption of online shopping among consumers, impacting many retailers who saw their e-commerce sites suddenly rack up increased visits and sales. While consumers are venturing back into brick-and-mortar stores these days, they continue to shop online for just about anything — from cleaning products and pet food to physical and digital gift cards.

By 2026, the global e-commerce market is expected to total over

$8.1 trillion.*

“During COVID-19, we saw a significant rise in people being more comfortable shopping online,” remarked Jaime Yeager, Vice President of Business Development at InComm Payments. “People started using online as their primary method of shopping. And the merchants that had the most flexibility in the online space gained the most share.” Jaime noted that big box retailers saw strong gift card purchases via their online channels, but that gift card sales among smaller retailers were not as robust. “We saw struggles, for example, in the grocery space; maybe the stores hadn’t quite converted to an app or online usage,” Jaime said. “Big box stores were further along in their e-commerce capabilities and benefited,” she added.

With gift cards always among the most-requested gifts for any occasion, smaller retailers realize it is time to step up their gift card e-commerce game to attract shoppers. “It’s important for a merchant to have an e-commerce platform for their gift cards, because if they’re not in that space, their competitor most likely is,” noted Tori Campbell, Director of Business Development at InComm Payments. “Offering gift cards online is a very powerful tool to drive sales and customer loyalty.”

Tori added that “if you’re not present in the e-commerce world with gift cards today, it’s a lost opportunity to foster customer engagement.” The caveat is that retailers may face imposing barriers when trying to implement or upgrade a platform to sell the cards. “Many times they don’t have the internal infrastructure knowledge or IT team to be an expert in this space,” Jaime Yeager said. “Mid-size to smaller merchants really rely on a partner like InComm Payments to help inform their strategy and drive their e-commerce.”

To address this challenge for mid-size to smaller merchants, InComm Payments launched eCaaS Lite (eCaaS stands for e-Commerce-as-a-Service.) Through this solution, InComm Payments embeds a link on the merchant’s e-commerce website; when clicked, it connects to our consumer-facing e-commerce website, The Gift Card Shop (TheGiftCardShop.com). As way to identify the merchant, their logo is featured prominently on the co-branded homepage. InComm Payments then manages the merchant’s gift card mall to include both the merchant’s gift card and third-party cards they wish to sell, including iTunes, Starbucks and many others. 

“InComm Payments acts as the merchant of record,” Jaime explained. “We take the order payment, and also fulfill the card for them,” she added. “Really, the only thing merchants have to do is place that link on their website, and any shopper who clicks on it will be sent to our user-friendly online gift card mall.”

The ease of integration, cost of entry, and partnership with the payment technology leader makes eCaas Lite very attractive to merchants looking to expand their e-commerce gift card capabilities. Tori Campbell noted that InComm Payments can have a site ready for card sales in about four to six weeks. “Another differentiator is the simplicity of our pricing model; we don’t have multiple lines of fees or charge for promotional set up and reporting,” she emphasized. “Partners will also have a dedicated account management team to help grow their online gift card business,” Tori noted, “and by working with InComm Payments, we have cross-functional relationships across the enterprise that can open doors to other ways to grow revenue, not just in e-commerce.”

With eCaaS Lite, gift cards are sold separately from the merchant’s site; the gift cards cannot be coupled with other items from their website on a transaction. (After buying their gift card, consumers will see a purchase from TheGiftCardShop.com on their billing statement.)

eCaaS Lite is a variation of eCaaS, InComm Payments’ more heavily merchant-branded solution, and is a great fit for enterprise merchants. “Via our API, eCaas supports an integrated cart solution, meaning that we can offer gift cards along with other items like socks and toothpaste in the same shopping basket,” Jaime noted. She added that this highly advanced eCasS platform is employed by several big box partners and “is configured to enumerate the bill so that one entity (the merchant) fulfills the item and the other entity (InComm Payments) fulfills the gift card.”

Regardless of their size, merchants that offer an e-commerce gift card solution provide a great benefit to their gift card shoppers – one that enables them to interact with the merchant from virtually anywhere. “Having gift cards present on an e-commerce site gives merchants one more touchpoint to engage a shopper,” Tori pointed out. If merchants don’t offer gift cards via an e-commerce site, it takes them out of the running for a sale as the customer will likely go someplace else to get the card. As Jaime explained, “with more and more people shopping online or in a hybrid model, sometimes a customer has the time, but other times just needs to grab a gift card for an upcoming birthday party, and they want to be able to do that quickly without having to go into a store — especially if sending it long distance. To maintain their share in the space,” Jaime continued, “it’s really important that merchants have representation in each of the channels where consumers are shopping for gift cards.” 

While InComm Payments is helping companies as varied as McDonald’s and Sheetz strengthen their gift card e-commerce presence, it has also ventured into a partnership with a national charitable organization, Meal Train®, an online platform that streamlines meal organization for friends and family experiencing major life events. “Meal Train found this gap in their service — where people wanted to give support but couldn’t because they weren’t local or didn’t have time to donate their services,” Jaime said. “So we set up a gift card link on their website that directs prospective supporters to TheGiftCardShop.com where they can send various gift cards as donations.” As with other partners using eCaas Lite, Meal Train’s website is co-branded with TheGiftCardShop.com, and users can search for cards by category, brand or occasion. “It’s been a great strategy for Meal Train to provide an alternative way to give,” Tori added. “And it’s been great initiative for us using gift cards as a tool to promote good in the world.”

Accessibility, comfort and convenience have become absolute and practically non-negotiable requirements in today’s world of commerce. This edict applies to just about anything a retailer might be selling. With gift cards already a significant revenue driver for many retailers, it only makes sense to make the cards easier for consumers to buy. A user-friendly e-commerce presence can certainly click for enterprising merchants.

Prefer to keep reading? Browse our site for more information on our gift card programs and our revenue-driving solutions.