A Gift certificate is the best solution for customers who don't know what to buy as a present. Customers just order a gift certificate with specific parameters (the name and address of the person who the certificate should be sent to, certificate worth and a cover message), and the store administrator sends the certificate to the recipient via email or regular post. Customers are also encouraged to bundle a certificate with any number of products from the store catalog. These products are marked as free products.
Once a gift certificate is created, the customer adds it to the cart and orders it as a regular product. After the order containing the certificate is processed or completed, the certificate becomes active and gets sent to the recipient. The person who received the certificate can then visit your web store, choose products from your catalog and add them to the cart. At checkout, he or she will be offered to redeem the certificate, i.e. to enter a code specified in the certificate. The certificate's worth will be subtracted from the order total. If the certificate doesn't cover the order total completely, the rest of the sum can be paid off through any available payment method.
Certificates never expire and can be used to pay for orders at any time. It's also possible to use the same certificate for multiple orders if the certificate's worth hasn't been expended by previous orders. The only limitation concerning gift certificates is that it is impossible to pay for an order with a gift certificate if the order contains nothing but another gift certificate.