The Gift Card is a dynamic marketing tool that gives publishers access to the purse of the consument. The most coveted place for product marketers!
Each sold gift card usually affects 2 customers include: the buyer and the recipient.
This is why some see gift cards as a great advertising tools which can be compared to “mini – billboards” for your business.
Given the importance of gift cards, it is crucial for the publisher to keep aware of industry trends and understand how consumers experience the use of gift cards. This is where Cards Unlimited can help.
Gift Cards are used in many categories
Retailers, restaurants, hotels, websites or special shops offer their gift cards, which can often be used both online and offline, at many locations. The entire year and especially during the holidays, retailers experience gift cards as a valuable source of income. Gift Cards lead consumers to a store, restaurant, hotel, entertainment venue or web site to make a purchase, and many exceed the value of the card.
Retailers also benefit from brand exposure among consumers when they receive a gift card from a store where they are not familiar with yet. Just one example of the many benefits that gift cards have.
On the gift card market
Over the past decade, gift cards proved an increasingly popular gift for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions. Recent research indicates a doubling in sales. 1 billion in 2011 to 2 billion in 2014.
When asked why consumers choose to buy gift cards instead of a gift 83 percent of the respondents said that its easier and time saving.
Half of the respondents find it an easy alternative when the product what they originally intended to buy is not available or when it’s nor really clear what “flavor” to go with for example. This is good news for retailers on multiple fronts. First, consumers who receives the gift card will look comprehensive at purchase options in a store or on a website, increasing their exposure to the retail environment.
Second, the majority of gift card recipients (71 percent) will spend more than the amount of the card.
Types of gift cards
Gift Cards are divided into “open loop” and “closed loop” cards. The open loop are brought onto the market by, for example supermarkets, petrol stations or websites and can be redeemed at various institutions. The closed loop cards can only be redeemed by the issuing carrier.
Gift Cards can be tailor produced to meet specific needs. By adding a custom message or image on the front of the card, it can make a personal gift or employee incentive show how strong they are being appreciated.
Technical Specifications gift cards
A gift card usually comes in the format of a credit card. This allows the card to be easily carried in the pocket. Other formats are also possible, for example the M6 format. This is a cheaper alternative for a beautiful store presentation. The card is personalized with a unique number and / or code. They are supported by an on-line system for the electronic authorization.
Cards are usually provided with a unique barcode or magnetic strip, which is read by a barcode reader or connected as terminal to a POS system.
The gift cards represent no value until they are sold, where consumers often can determine the amount they wish to give. This amount is seldom stored in the card, but will be saved in a database linked to the POS system.
About Cards Unlimited
Cards Unlimited is a leader in gift cards and played a key role in the introduction of gift cards and related services in the Netherlands.
In 2014 Cards Unlimited was supplier for more than 60 million personalized cards to its customers, which Your Gift, Gift for 2, Dinner gift card, Kruidvat Fashion Cheque, National Tuinbon, Hunkemöller, Beehive, Etos, Bruna and V&D are just some of the many relationships which we produce the gift cards for.
Cards Unlimited has a solid track record in order to reduce costs and increase efficiency. We provide timely and accurate deliveries, our goal is to provide you with the best performance including:
- Project Management; one contact
- Existing network; relevant stakeholders in various disciplines
- Knowledge of the market; Cards Unlimited is a leader and has daily contact with many customers / retailers operating in the gift card industry
- Experience ‘go – to-market process for different retailers
- The production of cards, packaging or mailings
- Knowledge of the specific needs of retail outlets and distribution centers
Our customers are very important to us. For this reason, we visit many fairs and companies worldwide to be constantly aware of the latest trends and latest developments and needs in the market.
Our consultants will make an appointment with you to see how the gift card can create an explosive sales growth in your organization.