In today’s digital world, retail customers have come to expect real-time customer service, easy-to-use websites, and a wide choice of payment methods. As a retail merchant, if you are not yet offering a branded gift card as an option for shoppers to make purchases, you may want to reconsider that stance right now.
Make it Easy
It’s a well-known fact that the vast majority of Americans prefer physical gift cards to electronic ones. Despite all the hype surrounding mobile payments, having a little plastic card in their hand when they enter a store is a big motivating factor for many shoppers. Your store stands to benefit from offering a store-branded traditional gift card to your shoppers.
One thousand U.S. shoppers were recently surveyed by the Retail Gift Card Association and it was found that 73 percent of shoppers plan to buy at least one, and possibly up to 5, specifically branded retail gift store cards to be redeemed in store or online for this year’s holiday season.
Traditional Gift Card Programs
So how does one go about getting a store-branded gift card? On-demand card production is one option. “Traditional card production companies often require brands to forecast card volumes and types ahead of time, and then invest in and store costly inventory, which is especially difficult around the holidays,” says Render Dahiya, CEO of Arroweye Solutions. “This sort of advanced ordering of cards may increase a retailer’s operating costs, risk, and reduce flexibility, which can have significant opportunity cost if you’ve made the wrong bet on seasonal trends or consumer demands.”
On Demand Cards
However, there is another path to take, and that’s using an on-demand card production model. Dahiya notes, “on demand card production is the most efficient way to offer physical cards and provide myriad personalization options. Retailers can build customer affinity by personalizing the gifting experience, using options like a greeting card with custom gift tags, labels or other creative packaging.”
Arroweye offers a gift card studio where retailers can design and produce gift cards in a multiplicity of sizes and shapes, tailored to their store or to a specific product promotion. Custom photos, custom designs and even personalized greetings are all available.
Integrating a gift card with a digital gift card campaign is also an option retailers should explore. Multi-channel gifting programs provide a seamless brand experience for your customers. “By providing physical cards in addition to a digital gifting option, this multi-channel approach offers your customers more choice and improved ability to personalize their cards, thereby making them more satisfied and more likely to recommend your brand,” Dahiya adds.
The holidays are around the corner and every smart retailer wants to make it as easy as possible for their customers — both new and old — to make a purchase in their store. If you don’t yet have a gift card with your store’s name on it, now might be just the perfect time to start.