Why You Should Be Offering Gift Cards to Customers
The holidays are at our heels again, and ‘tis the season to – offer gift cards! Odds are, you’ll get a gift card as a present from a friend or family member this year. Whether you personally like the gift or not, the benefits that your business gets from selling gift cards can’t be ignored.
There can be some resistance when thinking about selling gift cards for your business. Some small business owners might hesitate, thinking that their product or service isn’t a good match for a gift card system.
But the truth is offering gift cards for your business gives you unique value in the eyes of your customers. Don’t believe us? We’ve outlined three of the top benefits for offering your customers gift cards.
Gift Cards Can Build Brand Awareness
As a small business owner, you know how important word of mouth can be. Think of gift cards as a natural extension. When a customer buys a gift card, they are telling someone they know, “Hey, check out this store. I think you’ll enjoy it!”
A gift card takes your customer and turns them into a brand ambassador for your business.
Furthermore, there’s a reason large retailers sell gift cards and often offer them as promotions. Gift cards are essentially pocket-sized billboards that work to keep your business top of mind.
And if that wasn’t enough, a gift card is a reminder for a customer to come back and visit you. Think about the last time you received a gift card. Whether you used it or not, it increased that brand’s visibility and piqued your interest in what they had to offer.
Implementing a gift card system for your small business will get more eyes on your brand while building customer loyalty.
Gift Cards Help You Retain Customers and Build Loyalty
Speaking of brand loyalty…
Gift cards also offer some unique customer loyalty building opportunities. Here are a few ways you can work gift cards into your loyalty building:
- Use them as rewards for a customer going through your loyalty program
- Improve customer engagement by holding a contest with a free gift card as the prize
- Leverage gift cards for promotional activities for preferred customers
For example, offering a free $20 gift card for every $50 spent builds loyalty with your customers. The gift card has high perceived value to the customer, while giving your business an increased chance of customers returning.
Gift cards can also help when dealing with returns. Returns are dreaded transactions for small business owners. Gift cards can turn that process around since they can be used as credit. By using gift cards as credit for returns, you can make sure that none of your sales are lost in the return process. Customer retention gets a boost, since customers who are returning items are more incentivized to come back.
Gift Cards Help to Increase Your Sales
While it’s common sense, when someone receives a gift card, they have a strong incentive to spend it at your business. But the benefits don’t stop there. Customers are more likely to buy higher priced items when they have a gift card. Here’s a quick example:
- You have an item in your store that costs $50. For some customers, that might be too high a price point. Throw a $25 gift card into the mix and that changes. Suddenly, that item is within reach.
According to giftcards.com, roughly 70 percent of gift card customers will spend more than the value on the card. In addition, there is less risk on the business side, since you get paid in advance for anything that the gift card is used for. That revenue is counted regardless of if the gift card holder ever comes in to use it.
Put your gift cards on display near the register. Not only are they great add-on products during the checkout process, but they’re also the perfect last-minute gift for anyone hard to shop for.
EMS Can Help You with Gift and Loyalty Cards
At Electronic Merchant Systems, our services don’t end with credit card payment processing. We also offer gift and loyalty card services to help keep your customers engaged with your brand. Call (888) 672-3490 or request a quote today to learn more.