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Learn: Everything You Need to Know About Gift Cards



What is a Gift Card?

A gift card is a virtual card which you can sell to your customers which can be redeemed on future orders from your site for the value listed on the card. But let’s start from the beginning. To demonstrate how this feature works, I’m going to create a $100 gift card. Before I begin, I'm going to explain one important distinction between the way these work and discount codes.

Discount codes are generic codes where anybody who is eligible to use the code, can use it. There is no stock of them to track, they don’t have any value in themselves, and they can be expired easily. The gift card will be recreated as an individual product within the Standard Store. They are stored in your sites’ inventory, and each one keeps track of the balance remaining on it separately from any other gift cards you may have issued.



How to create a Gift Card product.


Before we start, you should create a new Standard Store which will be used exclusively for gift cards. This is to ensure that when you create discount coupons in future, you can easily set them to not apply to your gift cards.

You should also go through your existing discount coupons to check for any which apply globally - these should be modified or recreated in a form which does not apply to your gift card standard store.


The potential issue is that when your gift cards are in the same store as other products, it can be difficult to filter them out when applying the discount from discount coupons. If they're in a separate store it's a lot easier to exclude it from coupons.

You should ensure that your gift cards are always sold at their face value, otherwise you could be the victim of discount-stacking. If they're ever accidentally discounted in a store-wide sale you may find yourself in the situation where somebody purchases your $100 card for a 20% discount, and then uses it to purchase a print that _also_ has a 20% discount. This could mean they buy a $125 print and only pay $80 for it, which gives them a much bigger discount than you had intended.

For this reason, before you make gift cards available on your store you should go through all of your existing discount coupons and check that they aren't applying globally. Coupons that are global in scope, applying to all products in your store, should be re-created to exclude products in the gift card Standard Store.

1. And the gift card Standard Store is where we start.


 2. Now click on Add Product.


 3. This is where to select which type of product we are adding, namely a Gift Card Product.


 4. After selecting this, it’s time to give it a name. I’ll keep it simple and descriptive and go with $100 Gift Card.


 5. Now, remember to press the Save button.

6. Meet my shiny new product, $100 Gift Card.


7. As I scroll down, you’ll see that it’s a lot like a standard product. Apart from one small difference which I will come back to.


8. At the bottom of the page you can see the biggest difference.


9. The first, as I have highlighted, is that there are two price boxes. This is because it’s possible to sell a card which can be redeemed for more than it was purchased for.


10. The Price box is where you set the price that the card is sold for. In my example, I’m just going to make it $100.


11. The next box, Available Credit, shows how much the card can be redeemed for. Again, for the purposes of this example, I’m setting it to be $100.

Please Note: It’s possible to create a card with sells for less than it is redeemed for; such as a card which the customer buys for $75 but which is redeemed for $100, like gift cards from Costco or other large retailers. We do not recommend doing this unless you know exactly what you are doing, and are doing so for a reason.


12. You should probably disable Include in Shipping Price Calculator, as this is a digital product.



13. Next you will be asked if you wish to include the gift card in your shipping price calculations. You should set this as No, as this normally isn't a product which requires physical shipping. Now, there's an additional requirement here in order for this option to work properly. You will also need to set up 0-value 0-shipping amount tiers for all of your shipping methods (for both domestic and international shipping methods), otherwise your gift card will pick up your lowest shipping amount instead of being free to your customer.


Please note: If you do not add these to your shipping methods, you may not be able to offer free shipping for these products. 


14. This next part is different from your normal standard product. Normally this is where you would choose whether the product is included in the tax calculation for the purchase.

The image below shows the options for the standard product on the left and the gift card product on the right


 The reason this is not taxed is that if you were to charge tax on it when it is purchased, and then charge the customer tax again when they redeem it on a purchase, they would effectively have been taxed twice when purchasing a single item. Any sales tax should only be charged on the physical product that has been purchased.



How to purchase a Gift Card product

I’ll walk you through the process of buying a gift card during this section, and touch on anything important which you should be aware of. From the start, it’s pretty much a standard transaction.


 1. First, Click the gift card you like to purchase.



 2. Click Add to cart button


 3. Wait until you confirm the purchase is successful. Normally, you'll see a message on the screen and item will be added in your cart.


4. Go to Cart on the top right corner and Click Checkout.


 5. From the shopping cart, click continue.


 6. It will take you to the sign in page. Your customer will be given an option to purchase as a guest or sign-in to their account. Let's use fast check out for this example.


7. The Gift Card is ready to purchase. Make sure to enter necessary details and proceed to payment.


 8. Once the order has been placed customer will be taken to the page order receipt. This means their payment has been processed and they will receive an email for the Gift Card Code.




How does the customer receive the Gift Card Code?

1. This is where the transaction becomes different to a standard store purchase. The receipt which the client receives contains the gift card code used to redeem the card balance.



2. The email the customer receives contains the value of the gift card, the available balance, and the code which is unique to this card.



Re-sending Gift Card codes

If a customer has lost their code and requests a replacement, this is very easy to do. Let’s try a different way to directly access your active (and spent) gift cards.

1. From the site editor, click on the Jump to menu on the upper right of the page, and choose “discount coupons/gift cards.”


2. Now click on the Gift Cards tab.


3. This will bring up the dedicated Gift Cards tab. You’ll notice it’s very similar to the product view of a single card value.

Please note: This page, however, will show all cards that have been issued, sorted by reference number. As you can see below there is also a $500 gift card listed. This means you can check all of your cards in one place, regardless of their value. (If you wish to check cards for each card type sorted separately you can still check them in the Standard Store)



4. Now click on the card reference which you wish to look up - for this example, it’s #273.


5. On the right is the Resend Gift Card Email button. Click on this.

Now, this is an important dialogue. As was mentioned earlier, unlike discount codes which can be used by anybody, gift cards are unique products. So be careful if you add additional addresses to this field, as anybody who has the code is able to use the available balance.

If you don’t add any addresses, it will only be sent to the address entered by the customer when they purchased the gift card. Also, if you tick the box beside “Only Send To Emails Typed In The Box Above?” it will send the gift card email to the addresses typed in, but not to the customer’s original email address - this could be useful if they have changed their email address, or if they request for it to be resent to a different address.


6. In this case, I simply press the Send Email button, and it will re-send the gift card email to the purchaser, myself.


7. It will then re-send the email (or emails).


8. The recipient should see a new email containing the gift card code again, but this time with the current balance - in this case, it reflects the $14 purchase it was used for earlier.




The checkout process when using a Gift Card

 1. Let’s start by going through the purchase steps up until you get to the checkout.


 2. Hover over the Cart button at the top right corner of the page and click on Checkout.



3. In the shopping cart, click Continue to Checkout.


4. It will take you to the sign in page. Your customer will be given an option to purchase as a guest or sign-in to their account. Let's use fast check out for this example.



5. This is where you enter the code from your gift card email.




6. The code here is the "6ace" sequence.



  • Enter the following gift card code and click the button labeled "Apply".




7. The transaction will update, and you will see the total be reduced either partially or totally by the funds on the gift card. In this case, $14 has been removed from the gift card and the transaction has become free.



8. Complete the transaction by entering your payment details, then click Place Order.



9. You will then receive the receipt which confirms the gift card was used and the order was completed successfully. 



How to check the balance on a Gift Card

Let’s show you how you can check the status of your active gift cards.

1. We start back in the Pages list on your site editor and go to your gift card Standard Store.


 2. Now click on edit on the $100 Gift Card product.gc40.png

3. This will take you into the product page for the $100 Gift Card.


 4. From here, scroll down and click on the Gift Cards Issued tab.


5. This page lists the cards which have been issued, along with their original and current balances.



Viewing & Managing Gift Cards Usage and Orders

1. Let’s take a closer look at one of the cards. We’ll use 273, which is the one I used to pay for a transaction earlier in this article.


2. This page shows the original and remaining balance on this card. Also, from here you can resend the gift card email (which will be referred to again later in this article).


3. On the Redemptions tab, you can see the orders which it has been used on, along with how much of the card balance was used for each.


4. If you click on the Order No. entry to review the details for the order.




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