Written by: PRAVIN KAMBLE

Gift Cards Can Help Businesses Overcome Economic Challenges

Challenges aren’t new for businesses. An economic downturn is a disaster in the making as it stifles people from doing what they want to do. We’ve recently navigated the vicissitudes of a pandemic that no healthcare organization in the world was prepared for. A recession seems minuscule after Covid, but we should be prepared to

Challenges aren’t new for businesses. An economic downturn is a disaster in the making as it stifles people from doing what they want to do. We’ve recently navigated the vicissitudes of a pandemic that no healthcare organization in the world was prepared for. A recession seems minuscule after Covid, but we should be prepared to handle what is thrown our way.

This article discusses how gift cards can help businesses overcome economic challenges.

    1. Your loyal customers can support you:
    2. It gives an opportunity for your loyal customers to support your business during this season of uncertainty. They can purchase gift cards and use them at a later date. Encourage spending by offering discounts for gift card holders. It will encourage more people to buy gift cards. The average order value gets increased when customers purchase using gift cards. “Overspending the amount of a gift card is the new normal,” according to a study by First Data.

    3. Builds brand awareness:
    4. “If you build it, they will come” is a quote that has not aged well. A top-of-the-mind recall is something that every business wants. Why? Because it is difficult to stay relevant when there are so many brands that are competing against each other. Gift cards act as a cost-effective solution to be remembered by your customers and target audience alike, especially the physical ones.

      The wallet-sized cards share tidbits about your organization, including your logo, tagline, and every detail you want to mention. They don’t cost a bomb, either. Even virtual gift cards are helpful in promoting your brand with online customers.

    5. They generate useful data:
    6. Number crunching plays a crucial role in eCommerce stores these days. With a plethora of customers to cater to, unless you have access to all the numbers and can gain insights from them, you will be seriously missing out. Understanding how your customers shop and what motivates them to buy from you is one of the most important things businesses should know.

      Here are a few examples of data you should collect– marketing analytics, transactional data, click-through rate, page views, etc. You can also collect data by sending surveys to customers. The best part about virtual gift cards is that you can access data on how much is spent, what products are the most popular, the highest-selling categories, etc.

    7. Gets you access to new customers:
    8. Gift cards offer businesses the unique convenience of exposing their store to new customers. They are a popular choice during holidays and are the most-requested item when the customer doesn’t know what to buy. This is where a gift card becomes the best thing to buy.

      When a gift card is given as a “gift,” the recipient is usually someone who has never been your customer. There are chances that the recipient might not even be a part of your target market. Offering gift cards is easily one of the best ways to get access to new customers. Since the gift cards are pre-paid, they will surely purchase from you. It is a great opportunity to show how you care for your customers. Use the chance to make them keep coming back for more.

      When the customer who purchased the gift card in the first place hears that the recipient had a good experience buying from your brand, they are more likely to recommend your store to others as well. During times of crisis, what more does a consumer need than a friend tom-tomming about your brand? Gift cards have win-win written all over them. You need to sweeten the offer more to encourage more gift card purchases. Offer $10 extra to the one who is purchasing the gift card. You are only limited by your imagination. Your objective is to reach as many people as possible. Find ways to make the deal work for both parties.

    9. Gift cards improve cash flow:
    10. Compared to most other marketing techniques, gift cards have the ability to improve cash flow. A gift card is the only item that can be sold without having to take out anything from your inventory. You get the money first. The product might be sold months later when the recipient of the gift card decides to use the card. Until then, you are swimming in cash.

    11. Captures holiday sales:
    12. Gift cards are a panacea for several businesses during the holiday season. It is great for non-traditional businesses too. You can give gift cards for varying services. The card could be for a gym membership or a home cleaning service. No matter your business, you could leverage the holiday season to get more sales.

Six steps to market your gift cards during an economic downturn:

  • Make sure they are visible everywhere, both in-store and online.
  • Create a campaign to tell about your gift cards. Elucidate the benefits for customers and the various offers available when you are a customer with a gift card.
  • Give incentives to the store’s employees to promote gift cards. Train them on how gift cards benefit the store and its customers.
  • Market the gift cards across channels where your customers are present.
  • Make sure that gift cards are generously mentioned in your email newsletters to your customers.
  • Prepare different types of content, including blogs, videos, podcasts, mini-bytes, etc., on gift cards.
  • Offer special discounts on gift cards to make more people buy your branded gift cards. Remember that gift cards are not just another commodity. It can help you with building brand awareness too.

.What can businesses do with gift cards to help customers?

We’ve established that gift cards are great for businesses during an economic downturn. Here’s what businesses can do during these tough times to gain loyalty. The idea is to give gift cards to your loyal customers. If your eCommerce store is stable, with reasonable profits being posted month-on-month, then giving away is one of the best things you can do.

It will be an incredible story of goodwill that can never be measured in terms of dollars. You don’t have to give away a fortune and not to every customer, either.

Find your most loyal customers. It could be someone who has purchased from you for the past few years or someone who is a member of your loyalty program. You could send them a gift card valued anywhere from $5 to $20. Your customers will love you for it. Your patrons will remember it for a long time. The gesture could even make it to the newspapers, delivering a simple but strong message to the community.

Wrapping up:

The economic impact on businesses during Covid is slowly mitigating, but we are looking at a recession that could seriously impact the spending ability of your customers. This is a time for businesses and customers alike to care for each other. Businesses can use several strategies, including gift cards, to keep the business afloat.

If you are looking to incorporate gift cards into your eCommerce store, don’t worry. The team at 99minds will be delighted to help you set it up. Get in touch with us, and we will take it from there.