Did you know you can create and sell your own gift cards and vouchers with ShopFactory?
According to a study by Ernst & Young around 54% of customers plan to give away Gift Cards or money this Christmas. This makes gift cards and money the number one present, ahead even of books and sweets.
So if you are not already selling gift cards, you are probably missing out on sales.
And now, with the recent release of ShopFactory Cloud as part of your ShopFactory 11 subscription, you can make your gift cards look even better with your own custom designs.
To create a gift card or gift voucher follow these simple steps:
1: Open ShopFactory 11 and go to ShopFactory Central
2: Click on the ShopFactory Cloud icon and go to the new ShopFactory Cloud interface.
3: Click on My Products to go to your cloud products
4: Click on the “Add Products” button and select the Product Type gift voucher
5: Set up your Gift card / Voucher and publish it.
Once you have created your gift voucher you can start selling it directly by sharing it as a cloud product in emails, via Tweets, on Facebook or through any other channels.
Or you can add it to your ShopFactory store by creating a new product in ShopFactory and assigning the same SKU / Catalog number to it.
So how do you create your own gift card design?
Our pre-designed gift voucher template uses your product image and company logo to customize the design.
If you want more control, then you can create your own design.
Gift cards are automatically delivered as PDF documents – as soon the customer has completed the payment, and can be used in your online store to purchase products.
Customers will receive the gift card by email and can also download it, so it is important to keep the size of the PDF document as small as possible.
As gift cards are often printed out, this must also be considered, when you create your design.
Use A4 or letter size for your design. These are the most common paper sizes used by your customer, and the Santu process is based on these sizes.
Another fact to consider is, that Santu will insert some information about the gift voucher in the center of the page, such as the gift code and the order number. So you must leave space for it.
Just check out the pre-designed template to see where this information is positioned.
However the space above and below this information is yours.
Don’t forget the instructions on how to use the voucher in your design. Instructions will not be inserted into your design, to give you more flexibility.
Most designers include the instructions below the information we insert, and limit their design to the upper third of the page.
Creating a PDF template
You can easily create a PDF document using a text program like Microsoft Word or Open Office.
Just save a single page document as PDF file.
While many design programs such as Photoshop can also create PDF documents, they usually just generate large images and insert them in a PDF document – creating large files which are hard to deliver to customers.
So one of the important factors when creating your PDF template is to make sure that the template file does not get too large, to prevent it from being blocked by email clients.
Creating a gift card is therefore not just about the design. It also requires some fine tuning to keep the file size small.
Four tips to generate small PDF documents
With the right design your gift voucher file size can easily be kept below 100kb.
Creating and optimizing a PDF document is not so difficult once you understand that you are not just dealing with a big image.
1: Use a text editor
Use a text editor such as Microsoft Word or the freely available Open Office to create your PDF document.
Don’t use Photoshop or other image editors which create huge PDF documents.
Alternatively you can install a PDF printer on your computer.
That’s a small program which works just like a printer, but saves the document you print as a PDF document on your computer instead. You will find free ones online with a search for “PDF Printer”.
2: Use only fonts that are built into Adobe Reader
PDF readers come with a number of text fonts which are built into any PDF reader – regardless of operating system.
Because these fonts are built in, they don’t have to be added to the document.
The result: a much smaller gift voucher PDF file.
Before I knew this, I used to create PDF documents sometimes with multiple different fonts, as well as using bold and italics. This can quickly add one megabyte and more to a single page PDF document – affecting its deliverability!
Here is a list of the included fonts:
3: Limit the number of images you use and compress those well
Every image increases the size of your voucher.
So a good idea is to limit the number of images to prevent overloading the ticket and keep its size manageable.
Optimize any images before you add them as well. This can be done by reducing their dimensions and by using image optimization services such as https://tinypng.com/ (which also optimizes JPEG images).
4: use a PDF compression tool, once you have created your file
There are a number of online tools available which help you compress PDF even further, after you have created them. One example is http://compress.smallpdf.com/, but you will find more online.
All you have to do is upload your PDF document, and the tool will compress and optimize the file for you.
This process can easily half the size of a document, and in some cases achieve much more.
Don't hesitate to contact us, if you still have questions.