As supply chain issues stress physical inventory and inflation is high, consumers are turning to gift cards to fill the void and increase their purchasing power. According to a recent consumer survey from Fiserv, 58% of consumers said gift card promotions encourage them to buy more gift cards during this inflationary period. This follows a festive season in which supply chain issues have pushed 29% of consumers to buy more gift cards than in previous years.
For retailers, gift cards have long been a proven offering based on their ability to generate revenue, build customer loyalty and build brand recognition. Payment interactions are a gifting opportunity for retailers to promote their brand, maximize customer engagement and drive sales.
With economic factors driving consumers to purchase more gift cards than ever before, it’s important for companies to keep their gift card programs current and relevant, and offer incentives to customers who keep their gift cards up to date. spirit. With that in mind, here are four creative ways retailers can use gift cards to create positive customer experiences and drive sales:
- Importants events : It’s common for consumers to give gift cards around holidays and birthdays, but retailers should consider promoting the use of gift cards for common milestones such as back-to-school, graduation, graduations, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, and even for businesses. milestones to show appreciation to employees. Seventy-two percent of consumers view gift cards as appropriate gifts for milestone events, with graduation considered the most appropriate time to give a gift card.
- Creative promotions to motivate consumers: Buying a gift card is more than just loading money onto a card for someone else. Merchants can strengthen ties with customers by offering discounts, bonus cards, physical gifts, and other incentives. When asked what type of promotion would encourage them to purchase a gift card, consumers indicated than a bonus gift card (i.e. buying a $50 gift card and getting an extra $10 for free) would be their biggest motivation.
- Omnichannel opportunities: While most consumers are used to seeing in-store kiosks with physical gift cards, digital gift cards are becoming increasingly popular due to their accessibility and the widespread adoption of digital wallets. Buying and redeeming a gift card online should be simple, with similar promotional opportunities to their physical counterparts. Retailers can even deliver digital gift cards via instant messaging and social media apps for other digital promotions throughout the year.
- Charitable donation: Businesses that want to use gift cards to make charitable donations have no shortage of options. Businesses and individuals can purchase gift cards as part of their corporate social responsibility programs or to donate to nonprofit organizations. For example, Fiserv works with a national bakery-café that donates 10% of gift card proceeds to a leading nonprofit organization.
For retailers, gift cards are a great way to enhance each customer’s brand experience. Beyond traditional giveaways, creative retailers can leverage gift cards by incorporating gift card incentives into marketing campaigns or leveraging gift card sales to support nonprofits, name just a few different options. Adding elements of creativity and progressive thinking can help retailers increase sales while building and strengthening customer relationships.
Tom Niedbalski is the Vice President of Gift Solutions at Fiserva global financial technology and payments company providing solutions for banking, global commerce, merchant acquiring, billing and payments, and point of sale.