Just about everybody loves receiving a gift card — more so if it’s from a favorite retailer or brand, and even more so if given a choice of retailer or brand. In this current age of digital rewards, an increasing number of smart businesses are switching to gift card programs to reward and incentivize both their customers and employees.
There’s no doubt that gift cards are a burgeoning business and that implementing a successful gift card program can play a crucial role in building relationships with customers and rewarding employees. Let’s look now at why gift cards are so popular and why more businesses are making the switch.
Top reasons businesses are switching to gift cards
There are many benefits to businesses, both large and small, to implementing a digital gift card program. Here are some of the key reasons gift cards are a good idea for businesses:
- As a gift, gift cards are preferred over cash - Gift cards or cash are both great gifts. However, behavioral scientists have studied how we perceive gifts of cash vs. other forms such as gift cards. The studies showed that upon the receipt of cash as a gift, the recipient first thinks of “needs” vs. “wants” in terms of what to do with a cash gift. If the cash is spent on a “want” vs. a “need” there is guilt as part of the purchase process. Gift cards on the other hand, do not carry the heavy perception of “cash”, which gets recipients to see it as a gift and spend it on what they actually want.
- Easy to track and report – Regardless of the size of your program, gift card softwares makes reporting easy and actionable. By offering gift cards as an incentive, you can easily get insights from your customers and employees on which brands they most care about and understand how gift cards are being used – from received, opened and redemption. This type of easily accessed information is important and actionable to many different teams from marketing to human resources to finance and more.
- Fast, flexible purchase and delivery – Gift card software platforms and their associated APIs are fast! It is quick and easy to choose from 1000s of gift card options and digital gift cards can be sent in just seconds. Whether you're sending 1 digital gift card or 1,000,000. And the sending options are infinite - You have the flexibility to use the software platform to send the gift cards for or you can use your own email platform and send the gift cards yourself.
- More secure — When it comes to employee and customer rewards, digital gift cards are one of the most secure options available. Unlike cash and physical gift cards, digital gift cards are not vulnerable to loss or theft. And compared to discount codes and links that can be broadcast or shared across networks, e-gift cards pose a much lower fraud risk.
Why are gift cards so popular with consumers?
There are many reasons why gift cards are so popular with consumers, and so many businesses are switching to gift cards to enhance employee and customer satisfaction levels. Here are some of the reasons why gift cards are so popular today:
- Gift cards offer the recipient choice — In many ways, digital gift cards are more thoughtful and personal than regular gifts, where the recipient has no say in what they are given.
- Gift cards are convenient — Digital gift cards can be redeemed with just a few clicks. This makes them a perfect gift choice in today’s fast-paced and increasingly digital world.
- Gift cards are versatile and flexible — Some digital gift cards, or reward cards such as prepaid visa cards, can be redeemed just about anywhere. They can be used to pay bills or for everyday items such as gas and groceries.
What types of gift cards can be used by businesses?
Digital gift cards offer businesses a world of choice when incentivizing customers and employees. Choosing the right gift card type for a gift card program will ultimately depend on the nature of the program and the intended recipients:
- Retail gift cards — Retail digital gift cards from leading brands such as Amazon, Apple, and Uber are an ideal choice when there is a level of personalization data available on the recipient while offering broad appeal for most recipient types.
- Debit or generic gift cards — Generic type gift or reward cards such as prepaid Visa cards are ideal for delivering a personalized experience to a recipient, even when there is little personalization data available. Being versatile, they are suitable as both a significant reward and as a simple gesture of thanks.
- Travel gift cards — Travel gift cards from outlets such as airlines, hotels, resorts, and transport companies provide an ideal way to provide the recipient with the power of choice while also creating a genuine connection.
Gift cards for customer rewards and incentives
There’s little doubt that businesses implementing a practical gift card incentive program enjoy many benefits, not least the ability to influence customer purchasing decisions throughout the marketing funnel.
Gift cards help increase new customer acquisitions by offering incentives that make your offer enticing — and difficult to ignore. At the activation stage, gift cards help drive and accelerate customer activity by offering motivating rewards.
Once your customer is on board, gift card rewards help to boost retention and promote healthy, long-term customer relationships. Finally, gift cards reward existing customers for referring your business to their friends and family.
More than anything, digital gift cards provide the ultimate tool for delight, transforming everyday transactions into lasting and meaningful interactions!
Gift cards for employee incentives
Gift cards are effective when used as part of an employee incentive program. Through positive psychological principles, employee incentive programs encourage staff to continue their excellent work on behalf of the company, improve cohesion within teams and departments, and create a feeling of connection between the employee and the business.
Gift cards allow you to recognize outstanding performance, highlight accomplishments, and ultimately reward behaviors that lead the business towards better outcomes. The best part? With digital gift cards, you can reward your teams with something they actually want to receive — a real-time reward from their favorite brand. What better way to incentivize valued employees?
Choosing a gift card program for your business
Choosing the right gift card program for your business is easier than ever. The first and most crucial step is to define your desired outcome — once you clearly understand your intended goal, the program’s structure should become clear.
From there, you need to outline criteria that will help your participants carry out the required actions to meet that goal and receive their reward — for example, referring a certain number of people to your business. It’s also essential that you communicate your program through multiple channels and analyze the results of your campaign once you have sufficient data.
Automating digital rewards with a reliable gift card API
Thanks to modern, reliable gift card APIs, such as Runa’s scalable and on-demand API, it’s now easier than ever for businesses to implement, automate and manage a successful digital gift card reward program.
By connecting the gift card interface to your organization’s internal system, your business will effectively gain access to a range of small business gift cards and large enterprise gift cards from industry-leading brands and retailers. From this point, sending gift cards to recipients globally is a seamless experience, with all data being managed by the gift card API.
Revolutionize your gift card program with Runa
Runa has made it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes to implement a successful gift card program. Our intuitive API instantly lets companies send bulk gift cards from thousands of popular brands, including Amazon, DoorDash, Starbucks, and Uber.
Integration is both simple and fast and works with most e-commerce platforms. Further, multiple customization options mean you can personalize each gift card experience — choose the gift card brand, denomination, order description, email template, and delivery details.
Ready to make the switch to a powerful gift card program to drive your business forward? Request a free demo today!