To help generate sales for as long as possible throughout the holiday season, outdoor gear retailer Evo promotes its digital gift cards, which are one of Evo’s most-purchased items.

Gift cards are a key part of Evo’s holiday season, says Nathan Decker, the outdoor gear and fashion retailer’s director of e-commerce.

“Gift cards are the second-most prolific item we sell,” he says, noting that the retailer sells more than half of the year’s volume in the month of December.

Those massive gift card sales are stem from a company-wide push the retailer has made over the last six years. For instance, Evo offers both physical gift cards and digital gift cards. For both cards, Evo has various domination options, and shoppers can include a personalized message with the gift cards. Digital gift cards are attractive, as shopper receive them immediately. For physical gift cards, shoppers can design the card, and Evo will hand-write a custom message onto the card packaging.

During the holidays, Evo promotes gift cards on every page of its e-commerce site and prominently within its gift guide. The merchant also features gift cards in a banner on its site search results page. Evo puts messaging about gift cards in nearly all of its holiday-related emails, including a dedicated email send featuring “last minute gifts,” which prominently features gift cards.

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The retailer promotes gift cards from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas, Decker says. Evo also heavily promotes its digital gift cards after shipping cut off dates.

“Gift card sales get increasingly elevated messaging as we approach Christmas, and gift card sales peak on the days just prior to Christmas,” Decker says.

Gift cards are a missed opportunity for many retailers, as only 36% of Top 1000 merchants sell gift cards online, according to Internet Retailer’s Top500Guide.com.

What’s more, gift cards are the most popular holiday gift, as 49% of holiday shoppers plan to give a gift card during the holidays, according consultancy Deloitte LLP 2018 holiday survey that surveyed more than 4,000 consumers in September.

In addition to promoting gift cards on every web page, Evo also perpetually keeps its help center phone number at the top of each page in the banner, even above its logo.

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“When customers have questions, we don’t want them to have to look very far to find a way to reach us,” says Justin Courtney, Evo’s customer care manager. “Our team of gear experts is ready to help.”

The retailer recently expanded its customer service options to include texting, in addition to offering shopper help via phone calls, chat, email and Facebook Messenger.

Shoppers seem to like the new options as 25% of customer service inquiries come through live chat or SMS now, Courtney says.

“The holiday season is huge for our business,” Courtney says. “We want to make contacting us from our website as easy as possible, whether that be via phone, chat, SMS or email.”

Evo is No. 714 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500.

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