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Physical or Digital: Which Gift Is Best?


If you own a business and know the importance of offering motivation to your employees, you probably already know how gift cards can come in handy. They’ve become so popular in business, and many people use them as a memorable way to say thank you. You’ve maybe used gift cards with your clients as an incentive or given them out to your friends or family. If you’ve used digital and physical gift cards, it’d be easier for you to choose either.

Whether physical or digital, gift cards serve you best when you want to gift someone without making the purchase yourself. Many stores, especially supermarkets, still offer physical gift cards, although the numbers are going down. More people are resorting to digital gift cards because it’s easier to purchase and share with someone. It’s even easier when the actual gift is also digital.

Physical Or Digital Which Gift Is Best

For example, if you use LearnDash Gift a Course plugin to purchase a gift card for someone, the giftee would easily receive the card and use it to gain access to the course you’ve bought for them. In fact, when used alongside WooCommerce, the entire process becomes more seamless.  

Still, it’s good to note that most gift cards expire, meaning you should always note their expiry dates and fees before loading them with cash.

If you’re used to making bank overdrafts on non-essential things, then gift cards would help you a great deal. Moreover, if you’re not sure of what to buy for your loved one during a special occasion, a gift card would serve both purposes of saving you the hassle and making the recipient feel appreciated.

Have You Ever Wondered How a Gift Card Operates?

Here’s how: As aforementioned, gift cards are used for many purposes, including compensation or incentive. The gift card buyer loads money into it, and, using it, the recipient can make payments at specific stores, restaurants, gas stations, etc., as indicated on the card.

With a closed-loop gift card, you’re only able to make payments at specific stores. On the other hand, you can use an open-loop gift card at any store where that card brand is acceptable.

What’s the Difference Between a Physical and a Digital Gift Card?

As you might have already noticed, both physical and digital gift cards serve the same purpose. The major difference is how they reach their intended destination.

Physical gift cards are also called plastic gift cards because they’re tangible plastic cards shipped to the buyer, mostly by post. The gift card may take a few days, probably a week or two, to be delivered to the buyer, depending on the sender’s distance from the sender.

On the other hand, digital or e-gift cards are not tangible but are instead in digital form. They’re delivered to the buyer electronically. In simple terms, e-gift cards are specially designed to be used either online, over the phone, or both. As opposed to physical cards, digital cards reach the recipient with the click of a button.

For many years, physical gift cards were the order of the day for many businesses. However, the trend is quickly changing with the growth in popularity of multiple online stores, including the emergence of WooCommerce. As a result, many businesses and individuals nowadays prefer digital gift cards over physical ones for various reasons.

Below are some of those reasons…

Pros of Digital Gift Cards

1. Digital Cards Are Delivered in Just the Nick of Time

If you forgot to buy a gift card, and are afraid that time will close in on you, then a digital gift card is there to help you. Most last-minute people have less to worry about gifting because of the speed and convenience they enjoy while using them. Moreover, a digital gift card will save your busy recipient the hassle of having to forego their busy schedules just because of using the gift card. Think of a case where you’ve used the LearnDash Gift a Course plugin to purchase a course for someone.

In such a case, both of you don’t have to leave the house. An integration of LearnDash and WooCommerce, you can select a course and pay for it without much sweat. The beauty of it is that you can make the purchase any time, whether during normal working hours or not, and the recipient gets access immediately.

2. You Can Hardly Lose Them

One big advantage of digital gift cards is that you don’t easily lose them. If you’re a person who can’t help misplacing things, digital gift cards are your best option. You only need to retrieve them from your mails and you’ll not have lost any cash in that way. If you’re used to losing money in physical gift cards simply because of losing or misplacing the physical cards, then you now have your way out with digital gift cards.

3. They Are Cost-Friendly

With physical gift cards, a buyer or retailer has to make payments to get the actual gift card. On the other hand, with digital cards, such payments don’t factor in always. In most cases, buyers are only required to make digital orders of their gift cards after joining an online program.

Moreover, a buyer or retailer is spared from spending a lot by paying shipping costs as they would have done in physical gift cards.

4. They Are Safer

Many consumers have suffered from not receiving physical gift cards, a rare challenge with digital gift cards. Physical gift cards are subjected to theft and are sometimes misplaced. The case is quite different with digital gift cards because they don’t take long to reach consumers. Moreover, they’re safe because of their ease of being tracked.

5. They Are Climate-Friendly

Considering the costs of making paper and the whole process involved, from the cutting down of valuable trees like pine and spruce to the air pollution that’s caused by the mixing of chemicals during pulping, which becomes useless when the plastic cards are discarded after use, it only makes sense to go for any available alternative that’d help us protect the environment for future generations.

Come to think of it: If you choose to go the LearnDash Gift a Course way, everything happens smoothly without the need for any physical item. All you’ve got to do is select the courses you’d like to gift and, in a seamless integration, make payment through the WooCommerce plugin, and an email would be fired immediately to the recipient.

6. Cheap Customization Options

Cheap customization opinions are what every buyer is looking, and you get that with digital gift cards. These cards allow for customization, probably even more than you would need, at a way lower cost. Customization allows for creativity and proactiveness in a business’ gift card program, making it possible to make the gift card more appealing to the recipient. This provides a range of brands for your consumer or recipient, from which they can choose their gift of choice.

So far, we believe we have answered your questions about gifting and left you on solid ground. With digital gifting, you have less to worry about.

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In 2009 he started contributing to WordPress and couple years later built his first WooCommerce store. Now he's helping WooCommerce storeowners all over the world make more money with their stores. Wordpress problem solving expert, backend developer, founder of BogdanFix.

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