What is an e-gift card platform?
An e-gift card platform is a cloud-based tool that allows users to create and send gift card campaigns to any number of recipients. Using a platform like this, you can create multiple campaigns and craft them according to your budget, recipient list, and desired outcomes.
While there are many options out there, and not every platform will be right for your corporate gifting programs. Today we’re taking a look at the difference between a consumer gift card site and an e-gift card platform, as well as the specific use of an API versus a full platform with intuitive UI for the everyday user.
And we’ll answering the questions: What is an egift platform? And how can I be sure I’m using the best option for my business?
What are the different kinds of card platforms?
People use gift cards for different purposes, and not every gift card site suits every purpose.
For consumers looking to use gift cards for personal gifts or small business purposes, there are plenty of options available on the internet. Some of these sites are traditional gift card reseller sites such as gift card granny or Raise.com. These are essentially peer-to-peer warehouses where individuals can sell unused gift cards or unwanted gift cards to other customers of the site in order to recoup their value and put the money towards something more desirable. Typically, you are dealing in individual, physical gift card purchases when buying in this manner.
The benefit of these types of platforms is the discounts you can expect When shopping. Consumers on secondary market websites can typically save 5% to 15% off the face value of their card.
While the majority of gift card sales that take place on secondary sites are legitimate, there is a small chance of gift card fraud when you purchase resale cards from these types of platforms.
Corporate gift card platforms
Another type of gift card site for commercial users is an e-gift card platform. Unlike reseller sites where you might buy a handful of cards, corporate gift card platforms offer gift cards in bulk from a number of retail partners.
The goal of these corporate digital gift card platforms is to streamline a high-volume gift card sending program. Corporations and enterprise businesses use incentive gift card platforms to offer rewards for internal and external stakeholders, such as employees, prospects, and leads. All of these purchases are verified and secure, and the digital gift cards are issued directly through the gift card merchant using the platform as a clearinghouse.
These programs offer many benefits, including increased customer loyalty, better overall revenue, more stable cash flow, and improved recipient redemption metrics. To fully realize the potential of these platforms, a robust program is needed.
What are the benefits of an e-gift card platform?
Using an e-gift platform you can fully optimize the gift card platform process for customers, prospects, and employees. An e-gift card platform allows all of your departments to take advantage of the power and rapport-building possibilities of giving gifts.
There are several major benefits to using a fully automated cloud-based e-gift card platform for your campaign administration:
Electronic gifting platforms allow you to ship out digital gifts to your customers by any channel you need. Gifts can be sent via email, chat platforms such as slack, social media, or even via mobile phone. This ease-of-use not only makes it a breeze to get your campaign rolling, but it also allows your recipients to receive and enjoy their card in the manner that makes the most sense for them.
Using an e-gift card platform allows you to fully automate campaigns that have triggers or dependencies. For instance, if you offer a sign-up bonus for new customers, integrating digital gift cards delivery and tracking into your larger marketing tools can allow the systems to identify the new customer, match them to the offer, and initiate delivery of their reward without any human interaction. These touchless systems save thousands of dollars in employee wages by removing time-consuming manual tasks in administering your gift programs.
Advanced reporting capabilities
Centralizing your gifting program into an electronic gift card platform allows you to fully harness the data that every digital gift card campaign produces. Using a robust platform, you can visualize and analyze data from across your organization’s campaigns, allowing you to realize better returns on your investment, streamline budgets, and improve the outcomes of your future campaigns by examining what is working in your current campaign.
Gift card platforms also integrate budgets and actuals for your e-gift cards with your other vital sales systems such as your marketing platforms, accounting platforms, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms in order to fully integrate your gift card program into your larger financial planning structure.
The difference between a gift card platform and an API
While there are multiple ways to acquire gift card platform cards through an online platform, not all methods are created equal. So what’s the difference between gift card platforms and gift card APIs? It’s a matter of technology.
Some large brands, including Amazon gift card services and American Express, offer an API in order to facilitate volume card purchases. While an API can be useful for large marketing departments administering gift cards or incentive campaigns, APIs are not suited to every user.
Typically you need to have some amount of technical expertise in order to interact with an API - which can be a difficult ask for small businesses just getting started. These systems can integrate into larger marketing platforms such as Marketo or HubSpot, but typically cannot be directly accessed and do not have a simple user interface.
Alternatively, an e-gift card platform will have an easy-to-use interface that allows users to quickly and efficiently set up a campaign. A gift card platform still offers the same API integration capabilities, but with intuitive features that allow anybody to set up online gift cards delivery with only a few keystrokes.
While it’s beneficial to have API integration from a retailer, using an e-gift card platform gives you that same ease of use with every card option in the catalog. Using a platform, you can have access to hundreds of options that make personalizing your gift card and incentive campaigns quick and easy.
How to get started with an e-gift card platform
If you’re ready to step up and take your gift cards program and incentive campaigns to the next level, getting started is a simple process.
The Runa platform is designed to get you quickly up to speed and deliver your first incentive gift cards. It’s as easy as following these steps:
- Identify your gift card recipients and your method of delivery.
- Decide your options for selecting gift cards. Using the Runa system, you can send every customer a single brand, or curate options from a catalog of thousands of available partner brands. You can even offer rewards in the form of a credit that can be used across several brands of your recipients' choosing.
- Send out your gift cards campaign. Send hundreds or thousands of gift cards to recipients simultaneously. You only pay for the gift cards you send, and your campaign can be paid with an easy payment method such as a corporate credit card.
- Analyze the success of your campaign with real-time reporting and analytics tools.
Take the first step to a better gifting experience with Runa
Runa strives to make sending gift cards in your customer and employee campaigns as simple as possible, allowing you to harness the power of incentive marketing and the data available with every customer touchpoint.
Are you ready for a fully integrated e-gift platform that scales with you? Schedule a demo and find out if Runa is right for your business.