Gift cards are like Christmas. Everyone loves it. They are happy as soon as they get one. No wonder gift cards are most popular during the holiday season.
“No, I do not want gift cards,” said no one ever. Can you imagine your friends or family saying that when you offer them one? There are people who collect gift cards (empty ones, though!). No matter what kind of customers you have, online or offline, they wouldn’t mind getting their hands on gift cards to offer it to someone they love. If you think of it, gift cards are an expression of love. It is exactly why businesses should use them- to spread the love! Here’s an article on Why Should You Use Gift Cards For Your Business
There are several more reasons why a business should get serious about gift cards. Here are some of them:
Helps with customer engagement:
It is one of the easiest ways to engage with your customer or someone who you would like to be counted as one. Gift cards offer a plethora of marketing opportunities. With the right kind of offer, you can easily use it to engage with your customers over and over. Here’s an article on Using ML Techniques to Improve Customer Engagement.
Build a community:
Having a community of your customers is one of the strongest sales channels that you can build. Starting from clearing their queries to using it as a medium for upselling and cross-selling, a highly engaged community can be your cash-cow. What does a gift card have to do with a community? Buying a gift card could be how you make your entry. How does that sound?
A community member should have more perks than the average customer. By using your gift card as a way to be a part of an exclusive community, you are providing a doubly attractive offer for your customers.
Gives you cash upfront:
Hear this. A customer walks into your store. Pays you $100. Doesn’t take a single product off the shelf, nor are they ordering anything else on your website. You do not even know if they would be buying a product from you from the money that they have paid you upfront. How’s that? That’s exactly what happens when someone buys a gift card from your store, online or otherwise. If the card’s value is not redeemed, you don’t have to worry; the merchant can still keep the funds.
For brands, apart from the money that a gift card fetches, there are also times when the one who is purchasing the gift card from you might be passing it to someone who might not be a part of your target audience at all. Once the recipient of the gift card buys something from you, there is a huge opportunity for you to make them fans of your brand. It is a win-win for the recipient of the gift card as well since they are in a position to try out your products without risking it.
Increase customer loyalty:
Without a doubt, the customers who purchase from you are the ones who are already in love with your brand and the products you sell. By understanding them and their wants a bit more, you can forge the existing relationship. Customers who feel a strong bond with a company are more likely to purchase, are easy to upsell and cross-sell to, and will be your most vociferous supporters. If you keep making them happy by offering exceptional experiences and stellar products, they will be loyal to you. Here’s an article that can help you build your customer loyalty.
Result in more sales:
We know that one of the simplest ways to convince a business that something is good for them is to tell them that it will increase their sales. We didn’t begin the article with ‘Increase in sales’ as the first benefit of having a gift card program because we wanted to walk you through the other benefits as well.
The gift card recipient will not completely use up the gift card’s value in the first purchase. So, you are more or less guaranteed a second visit, at least. What does that mean? You have a minimum of two chances to make the customer fall in love with your brand? Understand what they like based on their first visit and offer them an even better experience during their second visit.
Increase in revenue during the holidays:
There is too much pressure during the holidays to pick out the right gifts. Your customers might want to give gifts not only to their family but also to their friends. Imagine the pain of buying gifts for more than five people! Gift cards have a solution to it. Instead of nitpicking about what to buy, the size of the product, and worrying if it will get delivered before the holidays, it becomes much easier for them to offer gift cards. It is the fastest solution to your customer’s holiday gifting dilemma.
Easy to distribute:
One of the most significant benefits of gift cards is that it is as mobile as mobile can be. Imagine if a retailer like Apple starts doling out gift cards with the condition that those who have one can redeem it for the latest iPhone (the card should have the same value as the product or more). That would completely alter the game, isn’t it? There would be more people standing in virtual lines to buy gift cards.
Or if they want to reduce the queue at Apple stores, all they need to do is distribute it in different places and assure them that the phones can be picked up at the Apple store. This reduces the time taken at the store to collect iPhones. Does it sound far-fetched? Maybe. But can you see the advantages that come with it?
Security is a big concern for businesses these days. In a matter of minutes, businesses can lose millions of dollars if sensitive information is leaked. Losing your customer’s details can be devastating for your reputation as well, and don’t ever expect them to come back to you or put in a good word about you to their connections. Gift cards can reduce the amount of fraudulent activity, and you don’t have to worry about customer information getting stolen too. While there are fraudulent activities that cannot be avoided, it indeed reduces the number of such thefts.
Gift cards have a multitude of benefits for your brands like we have outlined in the article. From providing a great customer experience to increase your business’s sales, it is the goose that lays golden eggs. Use it wisely, and it will reward you in the same proportions, or even more.
If you have a brilliant in-house marketer or have the chops to hire an external consultant, they can help you create lasting connections with a customer with the help of a gift card. You are only limited by your imagination.