Next Steps For Starting A Gift Card Program
Now that you see the value and ease of establishing a gift card program, whats next?
- If you dont currently have a POS system in place, that should be your first step. Gift card programs represent a small fraction of the overall value POS systems provide. Our team of dedicated POS software advisors can provide you with a shortlist of the best system for your business. Just take a quick questionnaire to get the ball rolling.
- If you do already have a POS system in place, reach out to your vendor rep to determine what the best course of action is and/or who your third-party card supplier is.
How To Make Gift Cards For My Business
Gift cards are a wildly popular consumer item. Online retailers and brick and mortar stores alike offer gift cards, gift certificates, and plasticloyalty program cards online and at point of sale. Gift cards promote customer loyalty and when your customers give gift cards to their friends andfamily members, youvegot an opportunity to expand your customer base. Creating and selling gift cards is surprisingly simple. Just follow these 3 easy steps:
The following list provides ten ways small businesses can make or save money with a gift card program:
New And Return Customers
Making gift cards for your business is a great way to drive new customers as they work similarly to a refer a friend scheme. People who already shop with you can introduce their friends and family, who may not have been inclined to visit your business, by gifting them with a digital/physical card on special occasions.
Gift cards are also a great way to secure regular shoppers. A recent survey carried out by the GCVA found that 43% of shoppers have made a one-off purchase from a business after receiving a gift card, and a further 22% have become a regular customer.
TIP: Some gift cards require customers to fill out their contact information to set up the card. This is a great way to get customers to return back to your store because you can then begin sharing any promotions your business is having through marketing channels.
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Bbb Tips: Why Your Small Business Should Be Offering Gift Cards This Holiday Season
- Logan HickleBetter Business Bureau Great West + Pacific
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Does your business offer gift cards to your customers? If not, this may be the season to start.
Consumers are expected to spend an average of $1,000 on holiday gifts this year, and most of the people shopping arent hoping for traditional presents. The National Retail Federation reports that 56% of consumers would prefer to receive gift cards in their stockings. Theyre on more holiday wish lists than electronics, clothing, or jewelry.
For some companies, the timing couldnt be better. Supply chain shortages have made it harder to acquire some items from large retailers this holiday season, so more shoppers are turning to smaller local businesses to pick up their presents.
As a small business owner, you could end up seeing a larger share of the customer market as a result. If that happens, you want to have as many options as possible available to your shoppers, which this year should include gift cards.
The research surrounding gift cards points to many advantages for your business and its bottom line.
A gift card is the only category of gift that grew year-over-year from 2020 according to the NRFs survey. Also, from 2018 through the second quarter of 2020, the average number of gift cards purchased per quarter rose sharply, jumping from 2.6 to 4.7.
So, how do I set up a gift card program for my business?
Is there a monthly fee involved?
How To Offer Gift Cards At Your Business
Gift cards are one way businesses are generating revenue during the coronavirus outbreak. Here’s how to offer them at your business.
Setting up a gift card program for your business requires just a few simple steps and increases customers’ spending potential.
Gift cards are a simple way to attract new customers, increase sales and reward loyal fans with little to no effort. Customers who buy gift cards for others spend 38% more than the actual value of the gift card they purchase. Likewise, a study by First Data found that 72% of gift card shoppers spend more than the value of the gift card when they come in to redeem their present.
Not only are gift cards a great tool for spreading the word about your business, but they also bring new customers through the door and increase basket size across two separate sales transactions. Heres how to get started with gift cards at your business.
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How To Create Online Gift Cards For Your Business
Weâll walk you through three of the simplest ways you can sell digital gift cards. One thing to keep in mind when evaluating gift card platforms: Make sure that your business receives the funds as soon as your customer purchases their gift card, not when they redeem their gift card. You should also review each platformâs fees, if applicable. Choose the platform that puts the most cash into your pocket as quickly as possible.
Closed Loop Gift Card Program From A Gift Card Issuer
Third-party gift card vendors offer a full-feature solution for small business owners. This is an excellent solution if the gift card program offered by your payment processor or merchant bank is restrictive or if the features are limited.
- Comprehensive reporting tools. You can keep track of customers that bought your gift card and look for opportunities for them to use your gift cards more or to reward them. This allows you to build relationships and makes your marketing efforts more effective.
- Easier to customize. You can create your own pricing structure and create custom designs of the actual card.
- Your business could require an additional gift card processing solution, which could involve an increase in the overhead expenses and the need to navigate the complexity of integrating it to your existing systems.
- Closed-loop gift cards can only be used at one store or with the corporation’s brands. Only specific gift card processing programs can accept closed-loop cards.
- The cost would likely be more than the gift card program provided by your bank.
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Make Customers Aware Of Your New Gift Card Option
Example #1: Offer a free gift card of a lesser amount for any gift cards purchased of a designated amount. In other words, I could buy a gift card for $100 to give as a gift, and as an incentive, I might receive a second, free gift card for $20.
In this example, the $100 gift card will get the recipient into your store, while the $20 gift card will ideally get me back into the store.
Example #2: This option is similar to the first, as it is designed for customer retention. This strategy, however, awards a free gift card with the purchase of items over a designated amount. Lets say I spend $100 or more on a new pair of shoes. In this example, the store would reward me with a $20 gift card to be used at my next purchase.
These strategies may seem like theyre giving away a lot of capital, but the next section highlights how its more of a long-term investment.
About Gift Card Girlfriend
|From gift card tips and practical advice, to inspiring ideas and insights into the gift card industry, Shelley Hunter, Gift Card Girlfriend and spokesperson for Giftcards.com, is your go-to guide. As a gift card expert, she can address any gift card question or concern you have, plus share her signature way of turning gift cards into thoughtful, personalized gifts.|
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Consider The Different Tools Available For Gift Cards
The next decision to make along this process is whether you want to set up physical gift cards or virtual e-gift cards. There are pros and cons to each. Physical gift cards are more promotional they sit in wallets and on countertops, reminding customers of your shop. E-gift cards, on the other hand, are easier to keep track of for customers, and theyre easier to create for you.
Lets discuss options for both.
Ways To Maximize Your Gift Card Program
Maximizing the amount of money you can make from a successful gift card program requires doing more than simply putting the plastic on the counterthough that is a great place to start. Youll definitely sell more gift cards through impromptu sales from customers who intended to shop for gifts and you might find that loyal customers that see a gift card is available will now give your card in lieu of others. While profits from these sales are good and might even cover the cost of running the program, there is so much more you can do to market and use a gift card. Below are ten ways small businesses can make money with a gift card program.
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Kabbage Gift Certificate Program
Online lender Kabbage recently launched a gift certificate program for small business owners looking for an easy way to sell gift cards onlineâand, in the process, benefit from a much-needed infusion of cash to help keep their businesses operational during the coronavirus pandemic.
Existing Kabbage customers can simply sign in to add Payments to their account. If youâre not already a Kabbage customer, you can create a free Kabbage Payments account by entering some basic information about your business, plus information for the bank account into which youâd like gift card sales to be deposited.
From there, youâll receive a URL that you can share with customers across your marketing channels. Through that link, your customers can purchase gift cards of any amount between $15 and $500, which they can redeem at any timeâtheyâll never expire. Alternatively, consumers can find your and other local businesses participating in Kabbageâs gift card program through the platformâs small business search portal. Kabbage has also partnered with Facebook to help businesses promote their gift certificates on the platform. Youâll be able to track gift card purchases and redemptions right on the Kabbage Payments dashboard.
Choose A Free Template
Business owners can easily create digital gift certificates with Adobe Spark, Canva, Microsoft Office and other apps or software programs. Canva, for example, offers free gift certificate templates that can be customized with your logo and message. Users may choose the desired size and shape, add frames, upload images and change the fonts. When you’re done, you can send the gift certificates directly to your customers by email or download and print them.
Another popular choice is Adobe Spark. Simply choose a theme and size for your gift certificate, select a stock photo or upload an image that reflects your brand and then add your logo, message and business name. Next, download the design to your computer or smartphone and print it out or share it on your website and social media pages.
These apps don’t offer the same functionality as a POS system or a more advanced program like Square, Shopify or Toast. They only provide a free gift certificate template and no analytics or marketing tools. A better option is to set up an online gift card program that allows you to track customer engagement and other key performance metrics. Although you may need to pay a commission per sale, you’ll gain valuable insights into your audience.
How To Make Gift Cards For Your Business
Now that youve got a better idea of why you should be making gift cards for your business, its time to find out how to do this. As a small business owner, you may not have the budget to spend money on physical gift cards. These can also be pretty costly and not very simple to set up. Instead, well share some simple ways you can make a digital gift for your business.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Gift Card Program
US consumers spend over $100 billion dollars on gift cards every year. Whether youre a restaurateur or retailer, a gift card program is a fantastic tool to help you not only attract customers, but also make more money.
Well show you a few simple ways you can take your gift card program from ordinary to extraordinary and get the most out of these popular schemes for your business.
Leave your legacy POS behind
Older systems arent designed to handle tomorrows retail challenges. Weve done some of the most important research on POS systems for you in our free guide.
Costs For Gift Card Programs
Exact costs for your gift card program will vary depending on the company you work with. Many processors offer gift card programs with no setup fees and low costs. Typically, the largest cost will be purchasing the cards themselves. Basic, pre-designed costs that are customized with your business name and logo will cost less than fully customized cards. Purchasing more cards will generally lower the price per card.
Universal loyalty programs that dont go through your processor may have different fees. Some companies charge a monthly fee in addition to the costs of cards. Others charge transaction fees each time a customer uses the card. Services like Loyalty Gator let you pick between a month-to-month payment option or pre-paying in 12-month increments.
Cards themselves start around 25 cents per card for basic designs in larger quantities. However they can run to a few dollars per card for fully customized designs or small batches.
However, many credit card processors have trial offers where you can test drive a gift card program. In that case, youll try pre-designed cards free of charge. Youll typically receive 250 or 500 cards to get started enough to help you determine if a gift card program will be a good fit for your business.
How Small Businesses Benefit From Selling Gift Cards
There are many reasons why you should consider setting up a gift card program. Here are the top three:
- They increase your revenue now. When a customer buys a gift card today, you get that revenue today. You collect the payment upfront and remove purchases from your stock when customers redeem their cards. This can be especially helpful in generating revenue during the coronavirus outbreak.
- They can attract new customers. Existing customers can give gift cards to a friend or family member who doesnt know about your store. Its a great way to promote word-of-mouth marketing.
- They boost customer loyalty. Once a customer purchases a gift card, they have to return to your store to use it. Customers may even spend more than the gift cards balance, meaning more revenue for your store.
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Sources Of Custom Gift Cards For Small Businesses
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With the holidays approaching, now is a great time for businesses to start thinking about tapping into the $124 billion-a-year gift card industry. Gift cards have long been an effective way to boost holiday sales. For small businesses unsure where to start with the marketing and selling of gift cards, fortunately there are a whole host of gift card tools available for small businesses.
Why Choose Us For Your Custom Plastic Gift Cards
At Plastek Cards, we have built our reputation on providing the highest quality gift cards at affordable prices. In fact, we guarantee that your gift cards will be made with 100% accuracy. Dont take our word for it, see what hundreds of customers have said about the quality, service, and price they have received from Plastek Cards.
Unused Cards Are Pure Profit
This one speaks for itself, sometimes gift cards go by unused for whatever the reason may be. When this happens, its pure profit for your business.
Whether your goals include building relationships, generating more revenue, or increasing traffic to your business gift cards can help you reach new business goals.
If you want to learn more about gift cards, download out free “Ultimate Gift Card Guide for Business Owners”: