Gift Cards – the Perks they Present to Your Business

Did you know that 8–10% of purchased gift cards remain unused?

Gifted vouchers are often forgotten into wallets, left in the pocket of a jacket hanging in the closet, or thrown in the trash by accident.

This may sound cynical but it is practically free money for a retailer, so investing in gift cards is definitely a sure-shot.

There are multiple reasons to why every retailer should implement gift vouchers, but the main three arguments are that they:

  • Increase turnover;
  • Increase gross margin;
  • Bring in new customers.

Let’s take a closer look to how your business can benefit from gift cards.

Immediate gain

When you sell a gift card, you immediately receive a payment without even providing a service or product. It doesn’t actually matter when the voucher is redeemed – whether it is the next day, in five months or never – you have already made a successful sale.

Research confirms that customers’ spending habits change significantly when gift vouchers are involved – they buy more expensive items or services from you than they normally would, according to ID Superstore claims. Gift Card Granny states that 72% of the shoppers who come in with a gift card choose a product or service that exceeds the card value. Statistically, the average additional payment is 30% of the voucher’s value.

Of course, there is the small portion of people who won’t use the voucher’s full amount – in those rare cases approximately 20% of the card’s value remains unspent. This is pure gain for the retailer. 

Customer loyalty and newcomers

Gift cards are directly tied to the business, and only redeemable at the company or center where they were issued. For your store, this means when a customer that comes in with a gift card has the intention of buying something and spending money in your store. A good trick to keep them coming back would be creating a customer account or offering a discount on the next purchase. 

Since the voucher holder chooses a product or service of their liking, there will be no hassle with returning or exchanging the item – an excess burden that retailers often face after the holidays.

According to ID Superstore’s research, 11% of people receive a gift voucher from a store that they rarely or never visit. Considering this statistic, it is high time to implement gift cards for those who still haven’t done it. It is an effective and zero-cost way to bring in new customers who could potentially become patrons of your business.

Also, gift cards help promote your company; it is just like a business card in the customer’s wallet, reminding them to stop by your store sometime.

Return alternative

Speaking of the burden of returns, one way to make sure customers will come back to your shop is to offer gift cards instead of doing full returns. 

Full returns mean that a purchase has been undone, something that companies do not enjoy doing – and for good reason. 

Offering gift cards at returns means that you don’t necessarily lose the money from the original purchase, you may even earn more, since people often go over the amount of the gift card.

This also helps reduce the possibility of retail fraud.

Popular gift cards

The boom of gift cards being purchased during the holiday season doesn’t seem to be fading. Their popularity is unrivaled among both gift givers and receivers, and it has been for years. 

How to promote gift card sales?

Integrate gift cards with your reward system. For example, give bonus points to the buyer of the gift card – that way they are motivated to come back as well.
Let your customers design the vouchers. Gift cards with a desired picture or custom design make them more personal as a present, and hold a greater emotional value to the receiver as well.

It’s worth remembering that gift cards are not only purchased as gifts – it is also an investment or savings method in a way for a lot of customers. This means a gift card for shares in some of the most successful companies. So recipients can start their investment journey.

Market that grows 10% per annum

According to the world’s largest retail business association, National Retail Federation’s (NRF) last year’s survey, 80% of people buy some kind of a gift voucher during the holiday season. An NRF survey in 2015 stated that 58.8% of the respondents wanted this as a present – and it has been the most requested gift for the past 9 years.

Blackhawk Newton’s statistics states that 95% of American households have bought or received gift vouchers. Every year each household purchases 5 gift cards totalling $256 on average.

Reasons for giving gift cards (% of all the presents)

Source: Gift Card Marketing Guide, First Data

In another intriguing survey back in 2010, Consumer Insights listed the gift cards that get used the fastest. According to this, the gift vouchers that are put to use in less than a month are those for gas stations, grocery stores, and discount stores. Gift cards for cafés, restaurants, fast food places get used approximately 1-6 months after the card was received.

Global Market Research estimates a formidable 10% growth per annum for the entire gift card market – and for this trend to continue at least until 2025. The unstoppable growth is caused by the substantial innovations that have seized the entire commerce sector. For instance, there is now a digital gift voucher available on the market, as well as e-cards and web platforms where unwanted gift vouchers can be cashed in on the secondary market.

Retail stores, spas, beauty salons, restaurants, cafés, stores selling furnishings, and many others, use gift cards to improve sales and attract new customers. This is no longer an advertising stunt that was once the privilege of bigger companies – today, this has become the growth strategy for every business.

How to create gift cards for your store using Erply?

Now that you have mapped out the gift voucher market, and you have the overview of its magical statistics, it is easy for you to start devising your own system. Implementing the card system becomes a hassle-free experience with Erply POS software that does most of the work for you.

Three easy steps for introduction

  • Create a new product group “Gift Cards” in Erply POS.
  • You have two options, either set a price for the card or leave it open – in case you want to do it during the sale.
  • Assign the variable “Product is a gift card with a serial number” to the card. POS system will ask this during the sale. The serial number can be printed on the card or found on the magnetic card’s stripe, or it can be the unique combination of the date and time of the sale that gets manually added or written on the card.

Erply will take care of the rest

  • The program automatically saves the card’s status, value and information into Erply system, under “Inventory –> Gift Cards”.
  • When the person who received the gift card comes to the store and pays with the voucher, the program deducts the necessary amount. If the bill amounts to less than the card’s value, there is available balance left that can be easily found and checked later on as well.
  • POS also keeps an eye on the gift card’s validity.

We also have integrated solutions with both Givex and Vii gift card providers!
Givex offers a gift card solution globally, in addition to other solutions. It’s being used by the biggest franchises that use Erply, so you know it’s superb.
Vii is Australia’s leading gift card provider. They are widely used there and offer great service!

Meanwhile, you are left with the joy of developing your own gift card system and designing beautiful vouchers. Erply POS makes sure that it all works smoothly.

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