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Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are a built-in feature of BigCommerce that allows your guests to purchase an electronic gift certificate for any range you specify and have it emailed to the recipient automatically.

When a customer buys a gift certificate, the purchaser receives an email confirming their order and the recipient receives a notification email with the certificate details attached.

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You can find which orders used a specific gift certificate from the Gift Certificate History in OrdersGift Certificates.

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You can find if a gift certificate was used for an order from OrdersView. Gift certificate data is also included in order exports.

Any order containing a gift certificate must have an order status of Completed before the gift certificate will send.


Enabling and Disabling Gift Certificates

Go to MarketingGift Certificates.

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  • Enable Gift Certificates? — select the checkbox to enable the gift certificate system. Deselect to disable it.
  • Gift Certificate Values
    • Specify a list of allowed gift certificate amounts (one on each line) or
    • Allow customers to enter the value for gift certificates (specify a minimum and maximum amount)
  • Gift Certificate Expiry — select to set the amount of time after which the gift certificate will expire

When enabled, a Gift Certificates link appears at the top of your store's pages. Shoppers use this link to purchase gift certificates. The exact location of the link may vary based on your store's theme or if it's been customized.

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Credit CARD Act Before setting an expiration date for a gift certificate, you should familiarize yourself with the applicable laws in your area. See Credit CARD Act Requirements for Gift Certificates, Store Gift Cards, and General-Use Prepaid Cards for a good overview of US gift certificate laws.

Save your changes. When enabled, your store will show a Gift Certificates link.


Viewing Gift Certificates

This allows you to view the details of any gift certificates purchased in your store.

1. Go to OrdersGift Certificates.

You will see any purchased gift certificates with the following details:

  • Code — the gift certificate code
  • Customer Name — the name of the customer who purchased the gift certificate
  • Amount — the original amount of the gift certificate
  • Balance — the amount left on the gift certificate
  • Date Purchased
  • Status

Click the + sign next to the code to see more gift certificate details, including:

  • Sent to
  • From
  • Message
  • History of purchases made with that code

Gift Certificate Statuses

Gift certificates will have one of the following statuses. They change automatically, but you can also change the status manually by selecting it from the drop-down.

  • Active — gift certificate is ready to be used
  • Pending — gift certificate has been purchased, but the order is not yet complete (order status must be Complete)
  • Disabled — gift certificate balance has been depleted
  • Expired — gift certificate has expired

Searching Gift Certificates

Create an advanced search from OrdersGift Certificates by clicking Advanced Search.


Advanced Search

  • Search Keywords
  • Certificate Status

Search by Range

  • Certificate ID
  • Certificate Value
  • Remaining Balance

Search by Date

Select from the drop-down or enter a custom range

  • Date Purchased
  • Expiry Date

Sort Order

Choose how you want your search results to be sorted. You can choose between Ascending (shows lowest values first) or Descending (shows highest values first).

  • Certificate ID
  • Gift Certificate Code
  • Purchasing Customer
  • Certificate Value
  • Remaining Balance
  • Date Purchased
  • Certificate Status

Resending Gift Certificates

If a gift certificate recipient reports they're unable to find the gift certificate email in their inbox, you can send it to them again. Advise the recipient to also check any "spam" or "junk" folders in case the message gets flagged. Gift certificates can only be resent to the original recipient's email address.

1. Go to OrdersGift Certificates.

2. Find the certificate you want to resend, click the Action button to the right, and select Resend Certificate.

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Purchasing Gift Certificates as a Customer

Gift certificates can only be purchased/created from the storefront and cannot be used to purchase other gift certificates.

1. Locate and click the Gift Certificates link. Generally, this is located in the top menu of a storefront but may vary from theme to theme.

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2. Fill in the gift certificate details fields. Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

  • *Recipient's Name — Name of the person the gift certificate is being purchased for.
  • *Recipient's Email — Email address of the person the gift certificate is being purchased for. The gift certificate code will be sent to this email address once the order has been completed.
  • *Your Name — Name of person sending the gift certificate. This will appear on the gift certificate email that is sent to the recipient after purchase.
  • *Your Email — Email address of the person sending the gift certificate. This will appear on the gift certificate email that is sent to the recipient after purchase.
  • Your Message — A message to be included on the gift certificate. Maximum of 200 characters.
  • *Amount — The value of the gift certificate. The choices listed are determined by the Gift Certificate Values setting described in the first section of this article.

3. Click the I understand that gift certificates are non-refundable checkbox.

4. Select a Gift Certificate Theme from the list of following options. The theme determines the colors and background image used in the gift certificate email that is sent to the recipient after purchase.

  • Birthday
  • Boy
  • Celebration
  • Christmas
  • General
  • Girl

5. Click Preview to view an example of the gift certificate with the settings you selected filled in or click Add Gift Certificate To Cart to proceed with the purchase.

Once the purchase has been completed, an email containing the gift certificate as an attachment will be sent to the recipient's email address. The gift certificate will contain a code which they can use to redeem their gift certificate at checkout.


General Customization

Go to Storefront › Gift Certificate Templates. There you will see a list of the gift certificate templates available to your customers:

  • Birthday
  • Boy
  • Celebration
  • Christmas
  • General
  • Girl

Customization is limited to text and cosmetic design. New gift certificate templates cannot be created, nor can existing templates be deleted.

By default, the gift certificate templates look like this: 

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Edit any of the templates by clicking ActionEdit. You can then customize the text or table cell properties of each template using the WYSIWYG Editor which appears.

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All of the gift certificate content is generated by the following variables:

  • %%LNG_GiftCertificate%% — displays the text "Gift Certificate"
  • %%LNG_GiftCertificateCode%% — displays the text "Code"
  • *%%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateCode%% — displays the automatically generated certificate code
  • *%%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateAmount%% — the value of the gift certificate
  • %%GLOBAL_HeaderLogo%% — displays the store name set in Storefront › Logo by updating the Text version of the logo. See Using a Logo Image.
  • %%LNG_GiftCertificateTo%% — displays the text "To"
  • %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateTo%% — displays the name of the gift certificate recipient
  • %%LNG_GiftCertificateFrom%% — displays the text "From"
  • %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateFrom%% — displays the name of the gift certificate sender
  • %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateMessage%% — displays the text "Hello, here is a certificate for you!"
  • %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateExpiryInfo%% — displays the text "Expires on ##/##/####"
  • %%LNG_RedeemGiftCertificate%% — displays the text "Redeem your gift certificate at"

To customize the text generated by these codes, delete the entire variable including the beginning and ending %%, and replace it with the text you'd like to appear instead.


Be careful! %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateCode%% and %%GLOBAL_GiftCertificateAmount%% are essential to gift certificate functionality, so we do not recommend modifying them.


Customizing the Background Image

All gift certificate themes include a default background image. Follow these steps to replace it with a custom image instead.

1. Go to Storefront Content Image Manager , then click the Upload Images… button.

2. Upload the image you'd like to use as the background of your gift certificate.

The default size of the gift certificate image is 560 x 134 px. The image you upload can be any dimension but, it will only show a portion of the image if it is larger than the default size.

3. Go to Storefront › Gift Certificate Templates.

4. Click ActionEdit to the right of the certificate whose background image you want to customize.

5. Click the Edit HTML Source WYSIWYG icon.

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6. Locate the code that begins with background: url(''), hen using the following format, replace the URL inside of the quotations with the URL for your custom image.

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7. Click Update, then Save your changes.

To preview your customized gift certificate, click ActionPreview.

To delete the default background image altogether, remove the entire line of code that begins with background: url(''), then Save your changes.



Are customers taxed for gift certificates?

No. Sales tax is not applied to the gift certificate itself. Sales tax is applied when the gift certificate is used to make a purchase from the store. Avalara has a good blog post on this.

Can customers use multiple gift certificates on the same order?

Yes. Gift certificates can be stacked.

Can I customize my gift certificate themes?

Yes, you can customize their colors and background. For instructions, see General Customization.

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