Wondering how can a small business provide gift cards while generating revenue and boosting engagement? What are the key advantages of a gift card strategy for your business, and how can you get more from your loyalty and reward programs? Read on to discover more in our guide.
Gift cards are ubiquitous. You may have received one as a thank-you present, or perhaps you've had one given to you at Christmas or as a birthday gift. We all know how great these cards can be and the exciting feeling when using a gift card at checkout.
Perhaps you haven't considered setting up an electronic gift card for your business. Or maybe you are considering how your small business can provide gift cards, but you're unsure if it's the right option. Let's take a look at a few advantages of this strategy.
Gift cards lock in consumer interest
Gift cards are a great way to excite your customers and lock in their interest. Since they can be used with your products and in your store, there's a strong chance that your customers will find other things in your store as they shop. This can be the beginning of a strong relationship as they get to know your brand more.
Gift cards incentivize your customers
The gift card offer is a great incentive for your customers. With the right balance, this can be a win-win deal — your customer is getting a discount off their next purchase total, and you are acquiring a motivated customer who is encouraged to make other purchases in the future.
Gift cards engage your customers
There are many situations that require careful customer management. For instance, if a customer has had a bad experience, you may wish to offer a gift card to alleviate their frustrations. You can also offer a gift card as part of a reward program to keep your customers engaged and help retain those at risk of losing interest in your brand.
Options for creating your gift card
It can be challenging to know where to start when creating a gift card system for your small business. Without the right software platform, it can be a lot of work to create a program from scratch, and maintaining and keeping track of card inventory, distribution and reporting. This is why so many businesses work with existing platforms and service providers who can help them get started.
There are several options available to create your gift card program.
Via your eCommerce provider
You can create your gift card via your eCommerce provider. This can be a useful way of setting up an electronic gift card for your business. You will already have a relationship with this provider, making the process smoother and more straightforward.
Many small businesses select this option simply because they do not have the resources to create or manage their own eCommerce space. Instead, they turn to online turnkey providers, where they can create simple online stores and then host them on their servers. The eCommerce provider may offer a gift card option as an additional feature.
One potential problem here is scaling. As your small business grows, you might look beyond your current eCommerce provider in search of something more scalable. You may need to overhaul your gift card strategy if you move to a different eCommerce provider or start using a proprietary platform.
Via a dedicated gift card provider
Dedicated gift card providers specialize in helping clients develop and distribute gift cards to their customers. These providers can offer physical gift cards and digital versions, helping you expand your strategy to meet customers' online and offline needs.
Small businesses that maintain a physical presence alongside their eCommerce strategy may benefit from working with a dedicated gift card provider. In addition, this type of gift card provider may be better suited to businesses looking to scale soon and want their gift card strategy to grow alongside them.
Via an incentive and engagement platform
Creating gift cards via an incentive and engagement platform is another way to produce cards for your online business. There are many different advantages to this approach. For example, you'll be able to track gift card usage and draw valuable insight from this, and you'll also be able to expand the reach of your promotional offers.
Runa is a great platform you can use to organize your gift cards. The Runa platform also offers automated features that support you with gift card distribution and management tasks, saving you time and effort.
How a gift card system benefits a small business
Creating a gift card system for a small business does not always mean supporting direct purchases from your store. In fact, you may decide to distribute gift cards from other businesses to your customers. Why would you do this? This strategy can enhance engagement in a big way. Here's why:
Leverage the popularity of big brands
Offering gift cards from big brands helps you leverage these brands' popularity. For small businesses that may still need to build a strong customer base, this can be crucial in boosting awareness for their products and services.
Customers may place a high value on these big-brand gift cards. When you distribute these cards to your loyalty program subscribers, you are giving customers precisely what they want and reaping the rewards of improved engagement in the process.
Provide a wonderful experience to subscribers
When customers subscribe to your loyalty or membership programs, there has to be a hook that pulls them in. This hook is the experience you offer — and this needs to include many different aspects and factors. For instance, you need to offer great service across every interaction, and your products and services need to be of high quality.
Gift cards have a big part to play as well. These cards give customers the rewards they want, and they can be a highly effective way to say “thank you” to customers.
Maintain your own eStore revenue
Providing gift cards puts your business at the top of your customer’s minds. This is a valuable tool as you develop interest and engagement for your audience.
By selecting the right gift card platform, you can maintain your eCommerce revenue as your customers take advantage of the gift card benefits. You can even augment this revenue stream in the future, as your customers associate you with great customer service and customer care.
Achieve all of this with ease — with Runa’s help
How can a small business easily provide gift cards to their customers? How can your business boost revenue and generate engagement from a gift card strategy? Runa provides the answer.
The Runa platform is designed to help you do all this and more. With the API feature built into our platform, you can gain access to the world's largest library of gift cards, providing the latest cards and offers to your customers directly from your site.
Runa lets you send eGift cards directly to your customers, stakeholders, or partners. This is the world's largest gift card library and one of the best apps to organize gift cards — we serve a range of international markets with cards that cover 1,300 brands across 30 countries, as well as 18 currencies and 16 languages. Integrate gift cards with your eCommerce store or reward programs via our API, and manage strategy conveniently and effectively from the platform.
Ready to learn more about the difference Runa can make? Get in touch with our team today, or check out the Runa platform with our demo.