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Gift and loyalty cards: Good for business

March 28, 2013

Article courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner MTG

It’s easy to understand why consumers like gift cards; they’re personal, thoughtful gifts that aren’t invasive, and recipients can use the cards on what they want when they want it. And they are fun! Gift cards are continuing to grow in popularity and are estimated to account for nearly $140 billion in consumer spending by 2015.

For merchants, when a happy customer physically hands an endorsement of your business to another person in the form of a gift card, it is the best kind of advertising. Knowing that same individual will continue to come back because he or she is anxious to reap the benefits of your loyalty card program is even better. Gift cards and loyalty cards, whether physical or virtual, earn the same thing: extra business and recognition for your organization.

Below are some great reasons to consider a gift card program:

  • They secure future sales because they are good at any time, and they are especially helpful for post-holiday inventory clearance.
  • They attract new customers, acting as a built-in referral from the giver. They establish or strengthen a relationship with your business.
  • Approximately half of all recipients end up spending well beyond the value of the card, generating additional revenue. 
  • Shoppers using gift cards are more than twice as likely to pay full price for an item.

Selling gift cards that feature your brand identity is also an effective marketing tool; they help build customer loyalty and increase brand recognition. Personalized cards are ultra-convenient, secure, and they work with most existing POS equipment. They can even be given as loyalty rewards themselves.

Loyalty programs come in a variety of shapes and sizes but they all represent a form of “giving back” to the customer. They may offer points, direct discounts, free goods, or access to special offers. Members could also gain access to additional benefits after passing certain levels of spending.

However they’re structured, the aim is to add value to the customer experience so they will spend with you instead of a competitor. In addition, loyalty programs deliver immense value to your business:

  • You’re signaling your appreciation and care for your customers, allowing them to feel privileged and strengthening their loyalty.
  • Through the application process, you’re collecting contact and demographic information on your best customers.
  • You can track customers’ purchases so that you can present them with personalized deals or promotions and even reshape your overall offer.

Programs can be tailor-made for your business in line with your versatility, from generic or individually-branded gift cards to multi-tiered rewards plans providing points, discounts, gifts, and promotions. The cards can even perform like electronic punch cards, recording purchases to qualify for a free product. Set up is easy and the software to run transactions can be installed directly on your existing terminals and PCs.

Call us at MTG with any questions you might have or for more details on what these programs can bring to your business: 1.888.599.2209.

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