How to Sell Gift Certificates

December 2022
Gift Certificate example
See how a gift certificate product page can look here.

Offering gift certificates for sale on your website gives your customers a good option for gifting your prints and products to their friends and families, especially if they are too late to order a print before the holidays or if they'd just rather give the recipients the option of choosing their own print. This article will explain how to set up gift certificates for sale in your WideRange Galleries admin control panel.

The general process here is to set up a main "Gift Certificates" product (which will serves as the Gift Certificates page on your website) with a bunch of sub-products under it which will be the actual dollar amounts that people can add to the cart. Check out the gift certificate page on my photo site to see how the end result will look and function.

Setting up the Gift Certificate Products in the Admin

gift certificates products screenshot
A screenshot of how the gift certificate product structure will look on the Products page in the admin.

1) The first step is to add the main "Gift Certificates" product:

  • Go to Products > Add
  • for the Product Label/Title, write "Gift Certificates".
  • Leave everything else blank.
  • Click SAVE.

2) Now you will add all the specific gift certificate dollar amounts as sub-Products underneath the main "Gift Certificates" product that you just create. You'll start by adding the first one:

  • Go to Products > Add.
  • For the Product Label/Title, write "$100 Gift Certificate" (or whatever $ amount you want).
  • For the Parent Product, select the main "Gift Certificates" product.
  • For the Price, enter the same dollar amount you wrote in the Title.
  • Click SAVE.

You should designate a thumbnail image of the individual Gift Certificate sub-products, so that they have a thumbnail image in the cart and order confirmation emails.

  • Go to Products > Modify.
  • Click EDIT for the individual "$___ Gift Certificate" sub-product that you just created.
  • Choose or upload a Thumbnail Image. (This can just be a jpg image of the gift certificate you create).
  • Click SAVE.

3) Now you will duplicate the gift certificate dollar amount sub-product item to create all the different gift certificate price items. So for the $100 Gift Certificate sub-product that you just created above, click the DUPLICATE button to quickly create as many copies as you want.

Once you've created your duplicate gift certificate sub-products, now edit their titles and prices to give them the various dollar amounts you want.

You will end up with a product structure similar to the screenshot on the right, with the main "Gift Certificates" product page on top, and all the individual amounts nested underneath it.

Turn off Sales Tax for all the Gift Certificate products

4) Once you have your list of all your gift certificates entered, be sure to switch all their Tax settings to NO. (Sales tax is not supposed to be charged on gift certificates).

Configure the Gift Certificates product page

5) Now you need to go back and configure some details with the main "Gift Certificates" product to make the page look and function how you want.

  • Go to Products > Modify.
  • Click EDIT for the main, top-level "Gift Certificates" product.
  • In the Page Text area, write your descriptive text about your gift certificate.
  • In the "Advanced Settings" panel, enter a URL Code such as "gift-certificates". (This will be the address for this gift certificates product page on the website).
  • For the Product Page Format, choose Sub Products - Listed in Single Dropdown Menu. (Remember that the Page Formats always describe what the page should display - in this case, you want the page to display its sub products – the different gift certificate amounts – in a single dropdown menu).
  • Click SAVE.

Linking to the Gift Certificates page

Assuming you completed the above steps successfully, you now have a functioning gift certificates page where people can add the desired gift certificate amounts to the cart. But now you need to link to the page somehow.

The address to the page will look like this:

(Assuming that your entered a URL of "gift-certicates" in Step 3 above).

You can use this link address to insert a link in any text on any page of your site, such as perhaps your Prints Information page. Or maybe you could create an announcement banner (at Settings > Notices) with this link in it to notify people that gift certificates are available. You can also promote the gift certificates and include the link in your emails newsletters.

Fulfilling Gift Certificate sales

Once you receive an order for a gift certificate, you need to fulfill the sale. Here's how to do this:

1) The first thing you should do is respond to the customer to ask them how to customize the gift certificate. Most importantly, who should it be labelled FOR and FROM?

2) Once you know that, you can create your gift certificate. This is just a matter of creating something in Photoshop, such as my example at the top of the page, or you can google around for "gift certificate templates" to find some helpful templates to start from. I recommend sizing it to about 7" wide and maybe 3.5" tall, give or take, at 300ppi. The certificate need to include the following info:

  • a "Gift Certificate" title, of course
  • the amount of the gift certificate
  • who it's for
  • who it's from
  • a custom discount code they can use on your website to redeem the amount
  • your website address
  • your email address to contact you for questions

* Once you've created a gift certificate image, be sure to save the source file with all layers preserved, then you can use it again as a template and next time you'll only need to edit the to, from, and amount info.

3) Send the gift certificate to the customer. I recommend emailing them a JPG image file as well as a PDF version. The PDF version will usually be easier for them to print. The customer can then print the gift certificate to give it to their recipient, or mail it, or even email it to them. This is a good option especially when they are last minute gift purchases before Christmas or a birthday.

If there's time and you want to get fancy you can print the gift certificate for them and mail it to them.

Add a Discount Code for the Gift Certificate

The final step is to create a discount code in the admin that the recipient can use to redeem their gift certificate in your website cart.

  • Go to Products > Discounts.
  • For the Discount Code, enter the same discount code you included on the gift certificate (this is usually the recipient's name, one word).
  • In the Notes, you can just write something about who it's for, so you don't forget later on.
  • For Discount By: choose "Set Amount".
  • Enter the Discount Amount corresponding to the gift certificate amount.
  • For Discount Permanence: it should be the "Valid once" option.
  • Leave the Valid Date Range blank, assuming that the gift certificate won't expire.
  • For Apply To: fields, you can allow the discount to apply to all products and all photos, unless you need to specify certain ones and exclude others.
  • Click SAVE.

All set!

Though it seems like a lot of steps to set up, fortunately you only need to do the bulk of the initial setup once then it's smooth sailing for subsequent gift certificate sales.

Posted in Knowledge Base and tagged Sales.