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BigCommerce Gift Certificate: The Complete Guide!

Last updated: September 01, 2023
This article has been written and researched by our expert Avada through a precise methodology. Learn more about our methodology





With the development of the world, there are a variety of new gifts created for people. One of them is Gift certificates.

Gift certificates and gift cards are two types of popular gifts in the market today, particularly in the world of eCommerce. BigCommerce, one of the world’s most popular online marketplaces, introduces to people the gift certificate feature to keep up with the world’s change.

So, what are gift certificates on BigCommerce? And how to use it?

All will be solved in this post. Besides, we also provide you with 8 useful tips to help you sell gift certificates more efficiently.

What are gift certificates?

Gift certificates

As the name suggests, the gift certificate is a card that can be changed into a certain amount of money or specific products or services. It can be understood as a prepaid store-value money card to apply when purchasing merchandise from that store

When a person buys a gift certificate, the data will immediately be sent to the store system. Afterward, they will send them an email notifying the transaction and the certificate details via emails. However, this type of card cannot be redeemed offline, so it seems more helpful with eCommerce stores.

On BigCommerces, gift certificates are a feature available for all the sellers. It allows them to sell the electronic gift certificates as a product and send customers emails about the order without human control. Only when the order status is marked as Completed will the gift certificates be emailed to recipients.

The difference between gift certificates and gift cards

In fact, many people think that gift certificates are gift cards. However, it is not true. There exists a great difference between these two terms which is that gift certificates are only redeemed one time while gift cards can be reloadable.

For example, gift certificates can be used to pay for certain goods or services, such as a free lunch, spa service that customers want. In contrast, gift cards allow users to save an amount of money and apply it more than once.

Why should people sell gift certificates?

It can be said that gift certificates are an interesting option for eCommerce. But do you know exactly the reason why people ought to sell gift certificates as well as their advantages?

This section will help you clarify them all.

Attract new customers

Attract customers

It is said that gift certificates are a favorite option for holidays or special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. It will help people save time spent thinking about which present is suited to their friends and family. Instead, they can send them a gift certificate, and the recipient can purchase what they like.

In addition, several people tend to be keen on cards or certificates more than other types of products. Therefore, you can sell gift certificates, which meets their demand and increase sales more easily.

What’s more, gift certificates help you increase new customers considerably. When your customers give others your store gift certificate, the recipients will then visit your store and buy a product. This is regarded as a perfect opportunity since the recipient, who may have never known about your store before, will access your site to redeem the certificates, leaving them a good impression and turning them into loyal customers.

Increase revenue


People tend to use all the certificates they receive since they consider it such a pity to refuse to use them. However, it is estimated that all the products they order often exceed the gift certificate’s value, which means that they have to pay extra money to get what they want.

By doing that, merchants can increase the sales and the value of each sale, bringing them more revenue.

Provide customers more options

As mentioned above, gift certificates are an interesting option for presents. Rather than wasting time finding a suitable present or giving the recipient cash, givers can give gift certificates. It is the intersection between cash and products because gift certificates are exactly a certain amount of money that customers pay for the store in advance, and recipients can redeem them to acquire the present they want.

Furthermore, both physical gift certificates and electronic gift certificates should receive the same attention. The reason for it is that some people prefer to send virtual gift certificates but the others like printing them and sending to their recipients as a gift.

How to activate gift certificates on BigCommerce?

To start using gift certificates feature on BigCommerce, the very first step for users is to activate it on your account. So, click on the BigCommerce dashboard and you will see a section name Marketing on the left side of the screen, open it. Still in this column, a list of features in terms of marketing will be shown to you.

Open Marketing

Then, select Gift Certificates. Now, you will see a block including Select a currency, Enable Gift Certificates, Gift Certificate Values, and Gift Certificate Expiry.

With Select a currency, merchants are allowed to select a specific currency for you gift certificates, which means only people using that unit of money can access and use gift certificates from your store. Otherwise, select “only visible” when you want it is available with different currencies.

By clicking on the checkbox in Enable Gift certificate, you have already turned on this built-in feature of BigCommerce for your store.

However, that is not done. The Gift Certificate Values section offers shop owners two options: to specify a list of allowed gift certificate amounts (give the fixed amount of value for each gift certificate) and allow customers to enter the value for gift certificates. In the second option, sellers can set the maximum and the minimum value for the certificates and when shoppers click on the certificate, instead of the fixed price displayed, they are allowed to add the amount of money they want to purchase.

The Gift Certificate Expiry enables enterprises to set the time when the certificate becomes invalid. Click on the checkbox means that you enable this function and you can set the time you want. Merchants are advised to clearly understand the applicable laws in their area before setting the expiration time for gift certificates. If you are in the United States, click here to get the overview of US gift certificate laws.

Choose Save and you can start creating your first gift certificate on BigCommerce.

Enable Gift Certificates

When everything is completed, the gift certificate will be automatically displayed on your store, allowing customers to click on it and purchase. The link’s location varies since with each store theme, the link will be placed in different locations. Also, sellers can select a suitable place for this link based on their desire.

How to deactivate gift certificates on BigCommerce?

Disable Gift Certificates

It is easy to deactivate a gift certificate; what you have to do is just coming back Marketing ** and open **Gift certificate. You will see the checkbox is already chosen with the symbol tick inside the box. Click on the box, and the gift certificate will be disabled immediately.

However, keep in mind that deactivating gift certificates doesn’t mean the existing certificates are disabled, and people cannot do anything with this certificate. It is impossible to buy gift certificates in your store, but any customers who already possess gift certificates can redeem them.

How to track gift certificates on BigCommerce?

BigCommerce also gives users the ability to record and track data related to gift certificates which lets them acknowledge the practical situation and avoid being cheated or copied. Through the certificates’ unique number, sellers can check to make sure that this certificate is not copied or used previously.

More than that, merchants can keep up with the latest data on their gift certificate sales. Open Order and select Gift Certificates and plenty of statistics will be shown to you like code, customer name, amount, balance (the amount remaining on the gift certificate), date purchased, and the status.

Open Gift Certificates

There are four types of gift certificate status on BigCommerce: active, pending, disabled, and expired.

An active gift certificate means that it is ready to be used while the pending one indicates that this certificate is bought but the procedure is not completed. When it finishes, the code will be marked as completed and will be delivered to the recipients. When the gift certificate is labeled disabled, it cannot be used anymore. And when the recipient uses all the amount in the certificate, it will be marked as expired.

In addition, merchants can get more detailed information like sent to, from, message, and gift certificate history of the order by clicking on plus sign below.

If you are looking for a specific gift certificate, you can make use of the search query on the top bar. You can click on the filter icon to narrow down results. Multiple advanced search queries are offered to you to help you find the certificate in the shortest time. Open the Advanced search button and you will see a range of criteria, such as keywords, certificate status, certificate ID, certificate value, remaining balance, date purchased, and expiry date.

BigCommerce also enables you to personalize your search button by setting a sort order based on your preferences. Likewise, if you tend to use an option more frequently than others, it is possible to create a custom view that enables you to filter the gift certificate more rapidly. You can get the necessary details in a short time to make smart decisions for your business, particularly with the large-sized stores which have hundreds of gift certificate orders each day.

How to customize gift certificates on BigCommerce?

After creating a gift certificate, BigCommerce users are given multiple tools to customize it. Opening Gift Certificate Templates which is placed in the Storefront section, you will see a roster of gift certificate templates which is designed for different themes like Birthday, Boy, Celebration, Christmas, General, and Girl.

However, this ability is limited with the templates: users can modify the text and cosmetic design and be unable to create new templates or delete the existing ones. You can see the image following is how the default gift certificate templates look like:

Default BigComerce gift certificate templates

Customize the text

To customize the template, you can select Action and then click on Edit. By offering the WYSIWYG Editor, users can freely edit the text or table cell properties in the template without knowing about coding or IT.

By default, while editing, you will see multiple variables which represent different content for the gift certificate. They are:

Variables Meaning
%%LNG_GiftCertificate%% text “Gift Certificate”
%%LNG_GiftCertificateCode%% text “Code”
%%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateCode%% the automatically generated certificate code
%%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateAmount%% value of the gift certificate
%%GLOBAL_HeaderLogo%% store name which is set in StorefrontLogo by updating the text version of the logo
%%LNG_GiftCertificateTo%% text “To”
%%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateTo%% name of the gift certificate recipient
%%LNG_GiftCertificateFrom%% text “From”
%%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateFrom%% name of the gift certificate sender
%%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateMessage%% text “Hello, here is a certificate for you!”
%%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateExpiryInfo%% text “Expires on ##/##/####”
%%LNG_RedeemGiftCertificate%% text “Redeem your gift certificate at”

When you want to change a variable, just select it and replace the content inside %% by the one you like. Nevertheless, it is advisable that the two variables %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateCode%% and %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateAmount%% should not be changed since they are integral part of any BigCommerce gift certificates.

Users are also to see how their gift certificate looks by exploiting the preview mode so that merchants will easily find out the unsuitable part or text to fix it. Finally, don’t forget to click on the Save button which is placed on the bottom of the screen to save your customized templates.

Customize the background images

Besides the text, users are allowed to replace the default background images by the one they like to increase your personalization. By obeying these 7 simple steps, anyone, even people who have never used BigCommerce before, can change the gift certificate template’s background image.

The first step is to upload the image. To do that, you need to enter *Storefront** and then select Image Manager. There, you can select a suitable image to upload for your gift certificate template via the button Upload Image…. In case you are not satisfied, just deleting it by using Delete Selected. A note for you when choosing images is that the default size of the image is 560 x 134 px. Of course, you can upload images with any sizes but if it is larger than 560 x 134 px, only a part of the image will be displayed. Consequently, try to use an image with the default size.

Upload images

After uploading the image, it’s time to come back Storefront and select Gift Certificate Templates. You will see a list of templates available for you.

In the row of the template you want to modify, click on the symnol in the Action section on the right of the screen, and select Edit.

Edit background images

Now, the template will be opened and you will click on the Edit HTML Source WSIWYG icon. Afterwards, the codes of the template will appear on the screen. Find the code beginning with

background: URL('https://cdn#.bigcommerce.com/###.gif')

(# and ### varies among different templates) and replace it by the code below to change the default background image by yours:


When it is completed, choose Update and then Save your changes. If you want to see how the gift certificate will be with the new change, click and select Preview to preview your new gift certificate.

Preview changes

Also, BigCommerce provides you with the ability to remove the background image. What you need to conduct is to delete the code

background: URL('https://cdn#.bigcommerce.com/###.gif')

Don’t forget to save your changes and the background image will be removed in the gift certificate.

How to remove a gift certificate on BigCommerce?

In case you would like to delete a gift certificate, just select Orderon the menu and then enter Gift Certificates. Find the certificate you want to remove, click on it, and select the top bar’s trash can icon. The gift certificate will be deleted immediately.

Remove gift certificates

Still in this part, users are allowed to invalidate the gift certificate by clicking on it and select Expired from the status drop-down.

Some advice for setting up gift certificates

Sell electronic gift certificates

Electronic gift certificates

Not paper or plastic gift certificates, electronic ones are the best type that you should sell.

The reason for it lies in the four types of customers that electronic gift certificates can approach without spending too much money. They are:

  • Last-minute shoppers who often purchase goods in the end, like on Christmas
  • People who know their recipient’s favourite brands or stores but having no ideas of their sizes, models, colors, or flavour to get the suitable
  • People who are living abroad
  • Men who in many cases put the gift shopping in the too hard basket

What’s more, in the recipients’ status, it will be much easier for them to copy and paste the code straightforwardly to your eCommerce store, compared to typing each individual letter and number from the paper or plastic certificates to your site. It also decreases the likelihood of man-made errors when typing the code.

For instance, in the code, the letter “l”, “O” is similar to “1” and “0”, so if they don’t look carefully, they will mistake them for each other. Meanwhile, by copying and pasting, you will no longer have to worry about this problem.

Make a separate page for gift certificates

Rather than use a tab on the main navigation bar or in the footer for the gift certificates, creating a page for gift certificates is regarded as a smart idea which allows shoppers to purchase and checkout simply and rapidly. You can add a link navigating to the gift certificate page at the bottom page of the product category or the shipping information.

Otherwise, you can place the copy, imagery and the link to your gift certificate page on the “No results found” page. Therefore, when the system cannot find anything relevant to the keyword of visitors, the information will be shown on the screen so that customers can click on it and access your gift certificate page.

Set value of order for freeship

Free shipping

Although recipients receive the gift certificate via email and they will not have to pay any shipping fee for this, they have to pay for the product delivery when redeeming the certificate for the products they want.

Hence, by setting the threshold for free shipping, people will be more likely to purchase gift certificates at that value to help their recipients save money for shipping products, like buying a $100 gift certificate, you recipient will pay no fees for shipment.

Offer rapid delivery services

There are several websites that require weeks just to deliver products, which is considered a great drawback of these sites. Since, with this period of time, people can go to the mall and find a similar product. There is no reason for them to waste such a long time only waiting for the product shipped to their houses. The shipments are required to run right after people redeem the gift certificates.

Sell gift certificates with no expiration date

It is suggested that merchants not set expiration dates for gift certificates, whether paper, plastic or electronic gift certificates. The recipient will be confused when finding out that their certificate is invalid, and it can be the barrier preventing them from repurchasing gift certificates from you.

Moreover, if the gift certificates are valid forever, you will have a certain number of customers and when there are any special deals, you can email the unused certificate recipients about it.

Add giver information to the gift certificate emails

Your email will be considered a scam and easily moved to the junk mail folder when the recipients are not aware of your brand. However, if the giver’s information like email address or name is included in the mail, the credibility will increase significantly. They will recognize and open your email.

Thus, a tip for you is to use a format that consists of sender’s information in the notification mails, such as “[your brand] gift certificate from [giver name]”, and more.

State CTA clearly

Offer clear CTA

In the email announcing the gift certificates, sellers are advised to offer their recipient a transparent call to action (CTA). Let them know that there is a person send them a gift certificate and provide them with the main information of the gift certificate like

  • The value of the certificate
  • A link or button navigating to your site to start shopping
  • Detailed information of the physical store that they are able to redeem (if possible)
  • Your customer support contacts like email or phone numbers, so they can connect to you when desiring to ask questions.

Send notifications about the balance left

In many cases, recipients don’t redeem all the values of the certificates at one time. Hence, it is so important to let them know about the balance remaining. This helps them clarify the amount of money left in the certificate and reminds them to redeem certificates for the product they like.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, it can be said that gift certificates are an interesting idea that can be sold on BigCommerce stores. It lets merchants offer their customers more options without having to add more products. Also, there is no difficulty in setting up and using gift certificates on BigCommerce, by following all the guides above, you can skillfully create and manage gift certificates on their store.

If you have any questions or tips, don’t hesitate to share with us below this post!

Roger has over 4 years of experience in SEO. While in college, he started learning about SEO and showed a passion for the field. Right after graduation, he embarked on SEO projects and achieved great success. After years of working, he has learned deeply about SEO. Currently, he is the SEO team leader at avada.io

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