Now’s the Time to Plan for the Winter Holidays (Yes, Now)

The winter holidays are still about a half year away. But for retailers, they start today.

Budgeting and planning early for the winter holidays isn’t just a good idea; it’s a must. December is make-or-break time for many businesses because there’s so much money on the line. Let’s look at some numbers:1

2021 holiday sales grew a record 14.1% to a record $886.7 billion.

Online and other non-store sales were up 11.3% to $218.9 billion.

All this spending happened despite supply chain issues, labor shortages, rising inflation and the omnicron variant. The 2022 holidays will have its challenges, too, including more inflation, higher gas prices and a possible recession. But, let’s face it, people want to celebrate and people want to buy. And you want to make it easy for them to get what they want-how they want it.

Is your sleigh ready (your Digital Gifting platform)?

People love gift cards, especially around the winter holidays. How much do they love them? Here are some more numbers for you:1

For the 15th year in a row, gift cards are
the #1 most requested holiday gift.

So, you need to sell gift cards. Period. And your best tool for doing so just might be the Blackhawk Network Digital Gifting platform. This easy-to-use online gift card platform lets you sell gift cards of almost any denomination to almost anyone on almost any device. You can offer a number of design choices, personalization and more. And it can be branded with your logo, colors and fonts to blend right into your current website.

But the ability to sell gift cards is only part of this feel-good holiday story. Once you have the platform in place, you can run gift card promotions-very easily-and that’s a whole different ball of wax.

If you’re already using our platform (thank you), you know what we mean. You’re selling a lot of gift cards and bringing in a lot of additional revenue with your promotions.

If not using our platform, you’re leaving money on the holiday table. In fact:

Brands that don’t run gift card promotions
miss out on an average of 37% of annual revenue.2

“Ouch,” you’ll say if you don’t have our platform working for you before the end of the year.

The winter holidays are getting longer

One reason we all spend so much during the winter holidays is that we’re encouraged to do so. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and whatever else marketers can think up have stretched the holiday shopping season well into November and, even, October. Your shoppers will be looking for deals, and you should be providing them.

Reward-based promotions-gift card promotions-work because they give your customers what they want. You need to take advantage of your new tools (and the power of gift cards) to get your biggest possible slice of the holiday spending pie.

More holiday things to think about

Besides getting your Digital Gifting platform set up, what else should you be thinking about to have a successful holiday season? Here’s a short list of things you need to consider, starting today:

Your holiday goals and objectives

  • Are you focused on bringing in new customers?
  • Want to encourage gift card self-use?
  • Increase cart size?
  • Increase gift card load size?

In-store considerations

  • Physical fixtures (printing lead times)
  • Holiday physical gift card designs
  • Employee training for new products or to encourage gift cards

Online/digital considerations

  • Your social media strategy
  • Increase eGift offering to meet demand
  • Digital holiday card designs
  • Digital Gifting platform (you only have a few weeks left to get set up for the holidays)


  • Advertising for promotions (broadcast, print and digital)
  • In-store signage (printing lead times)
  • Employee training on promotions nuts and bolts

Happy holidays start with a happy phone call

Want more info? Check out our Holiday Readiness ebook(Coming Soon).

But the best thing you can do to help ensure a happy, successful winter holiday season is to talk to Blackhawk Network. We can get your Digital Gifting platform up and running, help you with promotions and much more. And it all starts with a conversation about your business.

Just click here to get started or call 866.219.7533.

1 2021 NRF Holiday Report, 2021

2 Blackhawk Network Data Analysis

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