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How do You Sell Gift Cards / Vouchers in WooCommerce?

Let’s be honest – if you run a B2C WooCommerce store and you don’t currently sell gift cards, this is the right time to get started.

If you do a quick Google search about “Gift Card Statistics”, you will probably notice a huge trend: gift card sales are on the rise (we’re talking billions), as well as the percentage of customers spending more money than the redeemed amount.

The good news is – you can enable gift cards with a simple click of a button or, alternatively, purchase a premium plugin to get a more efficient, automated, integrated system.

Either way, there is really no excuse: you should start selling gift cards (or “vouchers”) from today, or at least test it away. Sometimes – trust me – ecommerce marketing is pretty simple: see what works (specifically on Amazon and Alibaba), and copy it.

In this post we will analyze different solutions. We’ll see how to use a simple coupon code (oh yes, you can do that), as well as taking a look at the best free and paid plugins out there.

1. Free WooCommerce Workaround: Sell a Gift Card as a Downloadable Product

If you’re like me, you probably love workarounds. WooCommerce is so flexible that workarounds are not only possible – but they also work perfectly.

The first (free) way to enable the sale of a WooCommerce Voucher / Gift Card is to create a coupon code e.g. a $50 discount on the shopping cart. Go to WordPress dashboard > WooCommerce > Coupons > Add New:

WooCommerce: create a new coupon code to be used as a gift card

Yes, you’ve just created a $50 gift card – just so you know πŸ™‚

Now that you’ve decided the coupon code and the amount, use a graphic design software to create a good-looking gift card image. I love using Canva.com – they even have predefined “Gift certificate” templates for you to use (https://www.canva.com/templates/gift-certificates/):

Creating a Gift Certificate image via Canva.com

Now download the image as PNG or JPG – you’ve now got a “downloadable product”! The last step is to create a new WooCommerce “downloadable” and “virtual” product, and then click on “Add file” to add the the gift certificate as download:

WooCommerce: create a downloadable product called “Gift Card”

In this way, you’ve just enabled the sale of gift cards on your WooCommerce store. You don’t even need PHP, and can use this free method to run some marketing tests. Of course this option has its limitations, so let’s take a look at some plugin alternatives.

2. Free WooCommerce Gift Card Plugins

There are two gift card plugins available on WordPress.org, and this is a great starting point. The only major difference between the two is the average ratings: 3.6 vs 3.1 at the moment. As usual, I always recommend to go beyond the average rating and consider the speed and level of support, the size of the support team, the options and – last but not least – the quality of the plugin code.

a. WooCommerce Gift Card Plugin by WP Ronin (free)

The plugin can be downloaded for free at https://wordpress.org/plugins/gift-cards-for-woocommerce/

This free plugin adds a “Gift Card” custom post type to your WooCommerce store. Each gift card sold has its unique code and can then be used by the recipient as a coupon code in the checkout.

To create a gift card, you simply need to add a new simple product and tick the “Gift Card” checkbox. Add an image and the product is ready to be sold.

Creating a new Gift Card Product

The plugin also adds new fields to the single product page:

Custom Fields @ WooCommerce Single Product Page

b. WooCommerce Gift Card Plugin by YITH (free)

The plugin can be downloaded for free at https://wordpress.org/plugins/yith-woocommerce-gift-cards/

Unlike the previous plugin, YITH creates a new “product type”. Instead of simple / variable, you can select “Gift card”:

Adding a new Gift Card product via YITH WooCommerce Gift Card plugin

The great benefit is that you can add multiple gift card amounts within a single product, similar to a variable product with options:

Entering Gift Card amounts via YITH WooCommerce Gift Card plugin
Gift Card product (YITH WooCommerce Gift Card plugin)

With the gift card purchases enabled, YITH changes the default WooCommerce checkout by renaming the “Have a coupon?” field into “Do you have a coupon or gift card?”:

Checkout UX (YITH WooCommerce Gift Card plugin)

Testing free plugins costs nothing, so this is your chance to implement this on your test/development website and see if this works for you (and your customers).

3. Premium WooCommerce Gift Card Plugins

The great thing about the free plugins available on WordPress.org is that you can test them out without having to buy the premium version.

Once you’ve found that the free plugin works and suits you, you might want to investigate if it’s worth investing into a proper “gift card engine”. The ROI is potentially very high.

It’s quite impossible to cover all the options, so let’s stick to the most reliable plugin developers out there: WooCommerce.com and YITH.

a. WooCommerce Gift Card Plugin by YITH (premium)

This is the premium version of the free plugin we mentioned earlier. YITH WooCommerce Gift Card Plugin can be purchased on YITH website as a standalone product, or you can join the YITH Club and for an affordable annual subscription you can use all their WooCommerce plugins on up to 30 sites.

The plugin page on YITH is very detailed, so I won’t spend too much time copying their content.

What really stands out, in my view, are the following features:

  • User can enter their own Gift Card amount
  • Admin can verify if the recipient received the coupon via email
  • Admin can customize the email template
  • User can add a custom message
  • User can delay the gift card delivery on a custom date
  • User can select multiple recipients
  • User can edit the gift card via the My Account page
  • And so on…

And here are a couple of nice screenshots:

When considering the purchase of a premium plugin, support is something I value a lot. And YITH support is fast, skilled and have a team of 30+ developers.

Besides, their plugins are constantly updated to keep up with WooCommerce and they’re usually quite happy to accommodate your customization requests.

b. WooCommerce Smart Coupons by WooCommerce (premium)

The official WooCommerce plugin is not called “Gift Cards” – this is due to the fact this is an all-in-one solution. However, as all multi-purpose plugins, it might not be entirely focused on gift card sales.

Smart Coupons allows customers to buy credits for themselves or buy them as a gift. It automatically issues coupons on product purchase, provides β€œApply Coupon with One Click” technology and more. It won’t use images in this case, instead the recipient email gets a unique code that can be used at checkout.

In section #15 and #16 of the official Smart Coupons plugin documentation, WooCommerce describes the “workaround” to create Gift Card products after setting up a coupon via the dashboard:

Checkout UX for Gift Cards / Store Credit (WooCommerce Smart Coupons premium plugin)

I strongly suggest to contact the WooCommerce pre-sales team and read the documentation before buying – both will be extremely useful and there is no doubt WooCommerce would be very happy to help you.

c. Other WooCommerce Gift Card Premium Plugins

There are many more gift card plugins available on the internet for purchase. Each one is different, has its pros and cons, has its good or bad support and its own features.

I’ve only tested the YITH and WooCommerce official plugins described above so I can’t be of any help.

Rodolfo Melogli

Author, WooCommerce expert, WordCamp speaker and Internet marketer, Rodolfo Melogli has worked as a WooCommerce freelancer since 2011. He helps entrepreneurs and developers overcome their WooCommerce nightmares :) Rodolfo is the organiser of WordCamp Dublin, the Dublin WooCommerce Meetup, the Dublin Ecommerce Meetup and the Dublin WordPress Meetup. He enjoys interacting with people, travelling and chasing tennis & soccer balls. Of course, he loves pizza too.

21 thoughts on “How do You Sell Gift Cards / Vouchers in WooCommerce?

  1. hello there, I have a directory website and I’m researching how I can intergrate offering vouchers. My question, most of the business owners dont have website in my market niche, how do they redeem these vouchers or coupons? I’m confused about all these plug ins from the ones offered from woocommerce vouchers pdf… that cost $199 for 5 website…how come these are cheaper? Are these really woocommerce. Sorry, I’m just a newbie. Please take the time to answer thanks!

    1. Hey Jacky, the best would be to ask this to the plugin pre-sales teams πŸ™‚

  2. How do I add multiple gift cards as a single downloadable product?

    1. Hey Deepak – thanks so much for your comment! You can add many file downloads to a single product πŸ™‚

  3. Hi. This is a very informative article thank you. I understand how the first method creates a downloadable image as a product but could you explain how to add the coupon to that product?

    1. Hey Archit – thanks so much for your comment! Here it is: https://docs.woocommerce.com/document/coupon-management/#section-3

  4. If I do the free option, will it work like a gift card in the fact that it will allow the user to use any unused portion another time? Do they have to use it all at once? Or will they be able to use it until it is done?

    1. Hey Jason thanks for your comment. I’m not 100% sure, so please ask the pre-sales team πŸ™‚

  5. This is very informational. Much appreciated. However, is there any way to create a function or shortcode to check gift card or voucher balances? For example, you purchase a gift card as a present and send to 3rd party – they use it and have a balance remaining. Will they have an option to check balance without logging into an account on the site that offers the gift card or voucher?

    Thanks.

    1. Hey Will, thanks for your comment! Try asking the pre-sales teams, they should be able to help πŸ™‚

  6. I have come back to this thread after finding a plugin that appears to work very well and the support is amazing. It is packed with features and seems to do most of what you need, and with good admin reporting features. The weakness is the way you have to configure the voucher templates, but you can get it how you want, just takes time. Here is the link in Code Canyon.

    I have done my first testing phase and it works well.

    https://codecanyon.net/item/woocommerce-pdf-vouchers-wordpress-plugin/7392046?s_rank=2

    You will recall my rant about the ignite woo plugin in the thread above. So this is what I am looking to replace it with.

    1. Good to know JP, thanks for your amazing feedback!

  7. Hi! You mentioned that there are some limitations when using the 1st method – Sell a Gift Card as a Downloadable Product. What exactly are those limitations compared to the plugins for gift cards?

    Thank you for your time!

    1. Hi there, thanks so much for your comment! Well, if you take a look at the plugin features you will understand why… the 1st method is simply selling a downloadable product, same coupon for every user, you can’t track, you can’t access stats, and so on πŸ™‚

  8. Thanks for this Rodolfo, I feel compelled however to mention ignitewoo: gift certificate pro . I am currently using this on one of my sites and in the past it has worked well. However, I have had issues and the support from the developer is nothing short of woeful. He never answers the support tickets, I have had to call him several times (international) and eventually I get an answer , but never a solution. I had a serious issue with the plugin recently and due to the lack of support (literally 3 weeks of emails, tickets and calls) I had to pay a developer to write some code to work around the problem.

    I will be swapping this out in the very near future.

    1. Thanks for your feedback JP!

    2. I’m also using this plugin, it combines a lot of features that you just can’t get with other plugins (that I’ve found). However, like you, I just can’t seem to get any real solutions out of support… πŸ™

      After much frustration, I’d love to find an alternative with similar features (plus being able to schedule the delivery of the voucher… that would be a bonus).

  9. Right time for me to read this article as I just launched my Marketplace. Well, thank you!

    1. Brilliant, good luck πŸ™‚

  10. Business Bloomer Forever!

    1. Thank you Conrad πŸ™‚

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