Etsy Expands Gift Cards to Europe after Issuing $4 Million in US
By Ina Steiner
Etsy has issued more than $4 million in gift cards since their launch in the U.S last October, and buyers purchased $1 million in gift cards in December 2012 alone. Etsy is now taking the cards international just in time for holiday shopping - the gift cards will be available in British pounds and Euros.
Buyers in 18 countries across Europe can now purchase Etsy Gift Cards, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
Noticeably absent from the list is Etsy's neighbor to the north, and the marketplace said it was actively working to make gift cards available in Canada as its next step. "Expanding Etsy Gift Cards to our international community will continue to be a priority for us."
Etsy said the gift cards expand new buyer reach: 25% of all gift card purchasers thus far have been completely new to Etsy. During the 2012 holiday shopping season, people bought over 39,000 Etsy gift cards (from mid-October through December 31, 2012), totaling $1.9 million.
Sellers must use Etsy's Direct Checkout payment processing in order to accept gift cards. Sellers who use Direct Checkout will automatically be able to accept Etsy Gift Cards no matter the currency. So users cannot purchase gift cards in Canadian dollars, but Canadian shops will be able to accept gift cards.
One seller in Greece pointed out that while she could purchase gift cards, she would not be able to redeem them at Greek shops, since they're restricted from using Direct Checkout.
The gift cards are available for sale exclusively on the Etsy website and are not available in retail store gift-card racks. Having a presence in brick-and-mortar retail locations helps card issuers acquire new users, but they must share revenue with the distributor (Blackhawk Network is the largest) and with the retailer.
Gift-givers can purchase Etsy gift cards at Etsy.com/giftcards in their local currency and can send them via email or print them. Recipients can restrict their searches to items available for purchase with gift cards using the "Accepts Etsy Gift Cards" filter in the left navigation.
The ability to accept Etsy Gift Cards is now available to over 90% of shops, Etsy said, and any shops that accept them will have a green Gift Card icon above the "Add to Cart" button on their listings.
More information is available on the Etsy announcement board.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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