Sunday, October 13, 2013

Digitize & Personalize Gift Cards

The “2013 RSR Digital Gifting Report” gives top honors to retailers The Home Depot, Sephora, and Starbucks. Among the criteria used by CashStar to grade the electronic gift card programs were rich personalization capabilities.
     Starting in year 2007, gift card sales by retailers dropped sharply. This was disappointing, since gift cards are good moneymakers. The shopper with a gift card is more likely to browse your aisles than is the shopper without a gift card. At the least, they become better acquainted with the scope of your merchandise selection. At best, they’ll see a great many items they want, so they’ll spend some of their own money in addition to the gift card allotment. In addition, research indicates that when a customer purchases a product with a gift card rather than with other types of payment, the probability of her returning the item is lower.
     The gift card browsing does have a danger. Many gift card shoppers enter the store without a clear idea of what they want. Their objective is to buy something rather than to acquire the benefits of a particular sort of item. Help the shopper funnel alternatives. Otherwise, the shopper’s too likely to leave your store without making a purchase. Then, because of the frustration, he becomes at least a bit less likely to return to your store.
     It was the introduction of e-cards which rejuvenated gift card sales. They can be purchased and given all online. They can make use of mobile technologies. And personalization is easier for the retailer with a digital than with a plastic platform.
     Remember to allow gift card purchasers to individualize with a selection of themes—such as sports and travel—a range of colors, and enough space to write a message to the recipient.
     Then at the time of redemption at your store, remember to notice the customization. Use the information to guide the shopper toward the right items. Never miss an opportunity like this to learn more about your customer.
     CashStar explains that they’ve released their fourth annual report at this time because many gift cards are purchased as holiday gifts. However, industry surveys find that the most common occasion for gift cards is not the holidays. It’s in second place. First place is birthdays, and birthdays come on every page of your retailing calendar. Develop digital gift card programs with rich personalization capabilities for year-round profitability.

Click below for more: 
Redeem Gift Card Profitability 
Help Customers Personalize Gift Cards 
Influence Who Uses Gift Cards

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