If you provide solutions to B2C businesses, you probably have a gift card solution in your portfolio. However, after a few turbulent years due to the pandemic and changing consumer behaviors, it may be time to reevaluate your gift card offering and offer something new.
Gift cards continue to be a go-to purchase for consumers, and since the COVID-19 pandemic began, about one-third of consumers have bought gift cards more frequently than before. As a result, the global market for gift cards is expected to reach $584 billion by 2026, with digital gift card sales expected to increase by 26 percent annually. In the U.S., the gift card industry is forecast to grow at an 8.3 percent CAGR from 2022 to 2026 to reach nearly $30 billion by 2026.
How Do the Gift Card Solutions You Offer Stack Up?
Value-added resellers (VARs) and other IT solutions providers have primarily based the choice of a gift card solution on whether it integrates with the merchant’s point of sale (POS) and payments system. Integration creates efficiency at checkout and the ability to provide real-time balances to consumers. However, gift card solutions should offer more than integration. To meet the needs of merchants focused on increasing revenue, your clients may benefit from gift card solutions with features such as:
E-gift card options: Your clients who are strengthening their e-commerce presence may also benefit from a gift card solution that aligns better with their new omnichannel strategies. Research by Blackhawk Networks found that about 20 percent of consumers will send digital gift cards directly to recipients in 2022.
Gift cards for promotions: The gift card standard operating procedure is for the consumer to choose the amount, and the merchant loads it onto the card. But what if your client wants to increase gift card solution ROI by using cards in other ways? Gift card solutions allow your client to leverage them for promotions. For example, your client can issue them when a consumer spends a certain amount or buys particular products. Additionally, these solutions allow the merchant to set a date range during which the card can be used.
Multilocation cards: You may have clients who could benefit from offering gift cards that can be used in various locations. Find solutions for these clients that enable processing gift card transactions on multiple systems.
Features for the Back Office
In addition to evaluating gift card solutions based on consumer-facing features, consider the flexibility they provide to your client’s back office. For example:
● Customization: Ensure your clients can easily customize their cards and revise designs without additional charges.
● Online ordering: An online portal can make reordering cards faster and easier.
● Reporting: Analysis of gift card activity can give your clients an edge. Analysis can provide insights into where consumers buy the gift cards, average stored value, how much additional consumers spend when they redeem them, and whether gift card purchasers become loyal customers. This information can help merchants build gift card businesses and develop stronger customer relationships.
● Support: Top solutions offer merchants design, marketing, order and sales support.
Deliver Added Value
For years gift card solutions have been a standard value-add that VARs and IT solutions providers have offered merchants. However, one option with limited features may not provide the value your clients need.
Listen to your clients and prospects, help them define their goals, and find the gift card solutions that can help reach them. You will be providing your clients with the ability to differentiate their brands – and you may also find a way to differentiate yours.