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How to Buy Gift Cards for Customers and Employees

How to Buy Gift Cards for Customers and Employees

Buying gift cards for corporate use

Are you looking for a flexible, impactful, and scalable way to show appreciation for customers and employees?

Before you send cash, or pack up and mail another water bottle or t-shirt, you might want to reward their loyalty and hard work with a gift card. It’s a great way to make a connection while getting it right every time. It’s also easy to send a digital gift card with a personalized touch, whether you’re sending ten, or ten thousand cards. Let’s take a look at how to send your next gift at scale.

Shameless plug: Runa makes it super easy to buy gift cards at scale for corporate use. If you're trying to find a better way to send gift cards on behalf of your company, we'd love to show you how Runa works. 

Click here to schedule a demo of Runa today.

Why gift cards make a perfect gift or reward

What makes gift cards such a great option for gifting or customer rewards? In a word: preference.

Studies of consumer habits over the past few years have shown a growing preference for gift cards over traditional gifts. This trend is driven by younger employees and customers, who value the flexibility and convenience of receiving an eGift over a physical one. 

When gifting at scale, cost is a natural consideration. This is another aspect of flexibility that makes gift cards a useful part of your toolkit. Gift cards can be issued in any amount, from $5 for a cup of coffee to large sums for a more expensive or customizable incentive - for instance, an Apple card that can be applied to an iPad or a laptop.

This flexibility allows you to suit the gift to the mission, without spending time hunting for the right physical gift that meets your marketing or HR budget while still making a positive impact on your recipient.

So, while there’s a real cost associated with using a gift card delivery platform for your customer and employee incentives, savings and benefits of reduced shipping, increased loyalty, and the potential to recapture unused gift cards value make delivering gift cards at scale a great solution. Your marketing and retention teams will be as happy sending a card as the recipient will be to receive it.

How to buy a gift card - best delivery options

If you’re sending a reward to a large or distributed group, a physical gift card or cash gift isn’t always efficient. First, you’re looking at a lot of manual work for prep, delivery, and tracking of each shipment. 

This is where eGift cards shine. You can buy gift cards and deliver them in a variety of ways: by email, by delivering a promotion code digitally through a marketing campaign, or even a Slack message. You can also track the success of your gift campaign and get confirmation when recipients redeem gift card offers, so you know your customer or employee rewards program is delivering great ROI. 

Gift cards are also easy to deliver. If you have a name and a valid email address, you’re ready to send. This cuts down on the amount of personal information a customer must share with you in order to receive your gift or benefit from special offers. 

When sending a large number of gift cards to customers or employees, there’s another angle to consider: usage. With traditional gift certificates or physical gift cards, once you send them out the door, that value is gone for good (whether or not your recipient uses their gift). Here, understanding gift cards and how consumers use them can save your budget. 

Reports reveal that people don’t always cash in on their gifts. In fact, 10% or even 20% of a gift card’s balance goes unused - with a total of $15B in unused gift card balance for US gift card holders. That’s a huge chunk of cash gathering dust on a digital or physical card. With a digital delivery solution, an unwanted gift card or unused gift card balance can be recaptured, potentially saving you thousands of dollars over a single marketing or retention campaign.

Get a demo of Runa to find out how it works.

Most popular types of gift card to buy

When deciding on the best type of eGift card, a few popular choices that stand out. With a gift card delivery platform, you’ll have access to all of them, tailored to budget, geography, and the desired outcome for your campaign.

Food and drink

For a customer loyalty reward, or attendance incentives, small gifts such as a coffee eGift card or a food delivery gift card are always appreciated. These gifts are great when you want to surprise and delight, or bring your distributed team together (virtually) for lunch-and-learn. Even a small purchase item can impress your recipient.

Big name brands

For a bigger reward, consider a gift card from a big or popular retail store. This way, you can treat recipients to options from stores like Apple, Walmart, Amazon, Starbucks, or other popular reward options. Gift cards for these brands are especially effective when delivering to people in a certain geographic area, where you’re sure everyone will be able to take advantage of them. And who doesn’t love having some extra cash to use at a favorite store?

Using a platform with an extensive list of brand relationships is the best way to deliver a useful gift to anyone, anywhere.

“Open loop” cards

Another popular gift card option is an “open loop” gift card option such as Mastercard gift cards and Visa debit cards. These prepaid cards are good-for-anything gift cards. They spend just like a debit card, and can be used online with nearly the ease of cash. A Visa gift card is a great option when you want to provide your recipient maximum flexibility. These types of digital gift cards also allow you to deliver value to recipients across the world, so they’ll be able to benefit for recipients any location.

Why choose Runa for your gift card needs?

If you’re considering a gift card delivery platform for your employee rewards, customer incentives, or any sort of corporate use, Runa can help you easily manage your gift card distribution process.

Runa offers a powerful API that allows companies to send gift cards automatically at scale. We have partnerships with over 1,000 brands and counting.

Want to see how it works? Get a demo of Runa today.