7 Benefits Of A Store-Branded Gift Card Program

Store-branded gift cards are a marketers avenue to new loyal customers.Have you ever thought of offering real, store-branded gift cards for sale in your business? If not, it's time to learn how gift cards can benefit your sales, brand awareness, and customer acquisition. 

The U.S. gift card market is a force to be reckoned with. In fact, the gift card market has gotten big enough to be considered an industry of its own. Experts forecast the gift card industry to reach $221 billion by 2024, according to a study by Research and MarketsBut more importantly, 50% of all of those sales happen during the months leading up to the holiday season. 

Consumer preferences around purchasing and using gift cards continue to evolve, but some trends remain consistent. Consumers love to give gift cards, and they also love to get gift cards. Gift cards continue to hold the spot for the most requested gift for more than a decade now. And gift cards continue to be the last minute gift of choice for 84% of shoppers. On top of that, 81% of all shoppers say they will buy at least one gift card during the holiday season. And 38% of shoppers surveyed plan to give five or more gift cards this year. 

If you’re not already offering your own store-branded gift cards in your business, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity. 

For retailers, gift cards are gold in the pocket. The gift card sales season coincides with a time of year when retailers are hoping to make the bulk of their sales for the year. With this being your biggest sales quarter of the year, it is the perfect time to take advantage and grab your own share of those gift card sales. 

Let’s dive in and consider the many ways offering your own store-branded gift cards will support your goals this holiday season, as well as continue to support your efforts year round. 

Increase sales now…. and later

Let us count the ways:

Gift certificates are nice, but gift cards are nicer. Studies show that consumers are 30-50% more likely to buy a gift card than a paper gift certificate. Having branded gift cards instead of paper certificates increases the chance customers will buy one. 

A well-placed gift card program entices your customers to make their gift card purchase from your store. 81% of all shoppers buy at least one gift card during the holiday season. Store branded gift cards drive business directly to your store. Traditional open Visa or MasterCard gift cards do nothing to help you increase your following. 

Presenting your loyal customers with the option to buy that gift card from you, the store they love, will increase your revenue right now. 

Gift card purchasers are also inclined to spend a little on themselves. According to Retail Touchpoints, 72% of shoppers end up spending some cash on themselves when visiting a store to purchase a gift card for friends or family.

Realize additional revenue over and above the value of the gift card.

On average, when consumers redeem a gift card, they spend about 38% more than the value of the card. This is a bonus revenue you may not have even expected to get. On top of that, gift card spenders tend to buy items they wouldn't normally spend their money on. They also buy more expensive items than they normally would, helping you move high-ticket items.

Year round sales- gift card sales jump during other holidays throughout the year. Valentine's Day saw a 57% increase in sales from the week prior, and Mother's Day saw a more than 77% jump in sales over the week prior. This shows that gift cards still remain the gift of choice for celebration, birthdays and graduation.

Enhance customer experience and increase customer loyalty

Give your customers exactly what they are looking for! Gift cards have proven to be a quick and efficient way for busy shoppers to accomplish gift giving needs. Especially when they are buying one from a store that they already know and love.

A store-branded gift card is THE answer to the thoughtless “I didn’t know what to get you” basic gift card. It enables your loyal customers to introduce loved ones to their favorite things. They automatically convey more sentiment than a boring Visa or MasterCard gift card. When your customer can give someone a gift card from your store, they are telling that person they know them and know what they will love! 

This allows your customers to be so much more personal with their gift giving. And it’s an opportunity to show your customers that you’ve got their back!

Gift Cards Increase Brand Awareness

When you sell gift cards in your store you help your customers Think Big And Shop Small !

Personalized gift cards are like walking billboards for your brand. Because your gift cards are uniquely designed to speak to your own personal store, they are a traveling advertisement for you. They help people recognize your brand. 

Gift givers, then, are inadvertent ambassadors of your brand. Not only are they already loyal to your brand, but now they’re introducing a new patron who trusts their opinion to your brand. This is an incredibly cost-effective form of advertising. And when marketing a retail business, branding is everything.

Broaden Market Reach and Increase Customer Base

The best way to combat natural customer erosion is to find ways to bring in and gain the loyalty of a continuous stream of new customers. Every current customer is an opportunity to gain a new, loyal customer.

Since we know customers are loyal to brands they love, and that they intend to spend the bulk of their budget (77%) at the stores they’re used to shopping at, why wouldn't you want to reach into their contact list? And Gift cards can help you do just that!

Your loyal customers already love you and your products. Store-branded gift cards not only present quick and convenient gift-giving for your current customers, but also represent a much more personal gift choice. They also help to avoid the awkwardness that can sometimes come with just giving cash. Gift card programs usher in deeper customer engagement, as well as additional marketing opportunities.

Gift card recipients can ultimately turn into your next loyal customer, who will undoubtedly perpetuate the cycle. A well-planned gift card program serves as an avenue to entice new customers to join your loyalty program (assuming you have one). This is the perfect time to entice them to join your loyalty program or buy a gift card for one of their loved ones.

The value of the gift card can be stored in the customer’s account eliminating the need to carry the actual gift card adding to the convenience. 

E-gift cards help to broaden market reach and help marketers improve omnichannel capabilities.

The rise of eCommerce has given rise to a substantial increase in e-Gift card buying, mostly driven by Millennial and Gen Z consumers. E-gift cards currently make up over 21% of all gift card sales, according to Square Data. Not to mention they remain the most popular option with Younger Millennials and Gen Z. 

However, that number would be much larger if more retailers offered digital gift cards.  88% of retail e-Gift cards still cannot be sent through text. And at many retailers, there is no option for omnichannel redemption of digital gift cards. 

Consumers expect a seamless shopping experience. E-gift cards help merchants create a more integrated experience across physical, mobile, and digital channels.

Think about that present from grandma far away. Instead of some outdated sweater they are never going to wear, grandma can give them a digital gift card to their favorite store. And they can add it right to their mobile wallet and use it next time they are browsing the store.

Open up new and unique marketing avenues

Both brick and mortar and Ecomm can benefit from selling store branded gift cards.Because gift cards can be used in your marketing promotions, they give merchants the opportunity to reach out into their local community.

Charity donations and fundraising events are perfect places to showcase your brand and grow your business. Attendees and recipients view your business as one that supports their community, which only serves to boost brand loyalty.

They can also be used for both customer and employee appreciation. Merchants can use gift cards to show customer appreciation and to incentivize repeat visits. They can be used in email promotions, customer contests and giveaways. 

Gift card promotions can also serve as a way to increase sales during slow periods. Entice customers to come in during slow times or after big holidays by offering “bonus” gift cards for certain dollars spent. This not only increases sales currently, but ensures a future sale when they come back to redeem the bonus.

Gift cards a safe, convenient, and increase ways customers can spend with you

Paper gift certificates can be lost, stolen and destroyed. They can also be fraudulently duplicated. Gift cards are much safer, they fit in a wallet so they're less likely to end up in a back pocket. 

Both physical and E-gift cards can also be added to mobile wallets for even moree customer convenience. And cards stored in mobile wallets or online accounts are less likely to get lost or stolen.

They can be spent just like a credit or atm card, in-store, in-app, and online.

Gift cards provide an alternative approach to managing returns, refunds, and rewards.

Instead of cash back or store credit when processing a return, offer customers a store branded gift card. According to a study by First Data, customers and employees alike enjoy getting gift cards. When returning an item for store credit, 81% of customers would like it in the form of a gift card. In addition, those same customers indicate they would even take a rebate at time of purchase as a gift card. 

Get your store branded gift card program started today

Of course you already accept all open gift cards, but what will really drive consumers to purchasing from you? Offering your own store-branded gift cards means that your loyal customers have an easier way to share their favorite store with loved ones. It also ensures those loved ones, aka new loyal customers, experience your goods!

Anyone can give a Visa gift card, but that gift card does nothing to drive consumers to your store! Only your own store-branded gift card can do that! Small Business Saturday on November 21st is right around the corner. What a great way to engage your customers and provide them an option to extend their small business shopping into the future with your beautiful gift cards!

The holidays are a time of year when merchants hope to make a bulk of their annual sales. But, they also have an overall desire to continue to increase sales and grow year round. 

A well-designed gift card program can not only bring more upfront revenue but also new customers well beyond the holiday season. Gift cards are still the most popular choice for all other holidays, birthdays, and graduations,  all year round.

A properly planned and executed gift card program can be just what makes the difference and sets you apart from the crowd. Increase holiday sales, create almost free brand recognition, and begin attracting new loyal customers now and for the year to come.

Whether you have a brick-and-mortar, Ecommerce store, or both- we have the gift card option for you! 

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