The final days of the 2020 holiday shopping season are upon us and if history is any indication, there is still plenty of shopping left to be done.

Rakuten Intelligence data shows that online sales are already up 57.6% during the 2020 holiday season compared to last year. With two weeks left to go, however, shoppers are running out of time to guarantee that their gifts will arrive under the tree in time for Christmas.

Enter: The e-gift card, a revenue generating opportunity for advertisers and publishers that is, in many ways, 2020-proof. In fact, a growing number of advertisers pay commissions on e-gift cards.  There are several benefits to recommending this type of holiday purchase: 

  • You don’t have to worry about shipping deadlines – With a number of carriers experiencing shipping delays and some shoppers hesitant to head to stores to buy physical gifts, e-gift cards offer a socially distant alternative that empowers a shopper to buy a gift for someone without having to worry about whether or not it will arrive on time.
  • You can support emerging brands and local businesses – Shoppers are showing a growing tendency to buy directly from new and emerging brands. Data from Rakuten Advertising’s Direct to Consumer (D2C) Report shows that D2C brands on our network grew their same store sales by 39% year-over-year during the 2019 holiday shopping season. By promoting e-gift cards from D2C brands, publishers are empowering shoppers to buy directly from their favorite manufacturers and encouraging gift recipients to try out products from new businesses.
  • They promote incremental purchasing
    E-gift cards give the recipient a reason to check out a retailer’s online store. Once there, the advertiser has an opportunity to create incremental online purchasing opportunities to encourage the recipient to spend more than just the value of the e-gift card.

Here’s what you can do to maximize your own potential earnings with e-gift cards.

Understand how you will be paid
Commissioning on e-gift cards tends to work in one of two ways:

  • When a gift giver purchases an e-gift card
  • When an e-gift card is redeemed

Before working with an advertiser to promote e-gift cards, it is important to understand how they commission on gift cards. This information is all readily available through your affiliate network.

Work with an advertiser to create a sense of urgency
E-gift cards can be a great way for publishers to drive additional post-holiday sales, especially during a period that tends to be traditionally slow in online retail. Work with your advertiser partners to come up with incentives that encourage shoppers to redeem their gift cards, such as additional savings for using those gift cards within the first two months of receiving them.

Create a last-minute shopping holiday of your own
As a publisher, you have the power to designate a day where you will promote a specific product to your audience.  Select a day or series of days close to the holiday and notify your advertiser partners that you will be heavily promoting e-gift cards to your audience during that time.

When it comes to the holidays, gift cards can be the best option for those who are hard to buy for, or for the relatives you may not get to see this year.  Everyone loves giving and receiving a gift card, and for publishers and advertisers, promoting this gift option is a way to reach new audiences for a brand, and build loyalty with those who are already fans.

Want to get in front of the top advertisers in the world? Join our publisher network today.

Rakuten Advertising connects leading agencies, brands and publishers to active and engaged consumers around the world. With access to Rakuten’s diverse media properties and audiences, combined with an award-winning performance network and proprietary consumer research, Rakuten Advertising creates the right conditions to reach new customers and sustain long-lasting loyalty. Its foundation of advanced technology, data and strategic services positions Rakuten Advertising to offer a differentiated suite of marketing and advertising solutions, while constantly pushing the industry forward. It is a division of Rakuten Inc. (4755: TOKYO), one of the world’s leading Internet service companies. The company is headquartered in San Mateo, CA, with offices throughout EMEA, APAC, LATAM and North America. Learn more at