Sep 09, 2022

How Mid-Market Businesses Can Have Big-Time Gift Card Programs

For years, Blackhawk Network has worked with NAPCO Research to take a comprehensive view of merchant gift card offerings. By looking at what other programs are doing (and not doing), we help companies like yours see how your gift card program compares, and what you can do to make things better.

This year, for the first time, we assessed the gift card programs of 25 mid-market companies.

Let’s take a look at the findings.

Online Gift Card Programs Only

First of all, we’ll give you a little glimpse behind the scenes. We actually began our mid-market assessment with a list of 50 mid-market companies. But upon further inspection, only 25 of them had an online gift card program-our minimum qualification.

So, here’s your first stat:

Only 50% of the mid-market companies
we surveyed have online gift card programs.

You may ask: Does a company your size really need a gift card program? Well, let’s look at your second, third and fourth stats:

For the 15th year in a row, gift cards are
the #1 most requested holiday gift.1

Our clients’ gift card programs average 3–5% of their
overall revenue, with some programs netting 8% or more.2

75% of shoppers spend
more than the gift card value.3

In other words, people love gift cards, they generate additional annual revenue and they often drive more revenue on top of that. And these numbers look just as good for small companies or multinational corporations.

That sounds like a win-win-win to us.

The Lows of the Mid-Market Assessment

As you might expect, the mid-market companies in the NAPCO report didn’t score as well in certain areas as their larger counterparts. In fact, overall scores of their digital programs were significantly lower.

  • Many lacked a B2B element to their gift card program.
    Only 6% of the mid-market companies in the research had a B2B program vs. 49% of the larger companies. If you have a gift card program, but don’t offer bulk gift card purchases for corporations, you’re missing out on big chunks of revenue.
  • Many lacked digital gift card design options.
    This may seem like a small thing, but providing choice makes a big difference. A generic branded gift card just isn’t as rewarding to give (or get) as one that says, “Happy Birthday,” “Congratulations” or “Happy Holidays.” Fun designs make fun gifts.

The Highs of the Mid-Market Assessment

While mid-market companies fell short in certain areas, there were a few assessment categories where they downright excelled.

  • They’re great at selling gift cards in their mobile apps.
    Surprisingly, mid-market companies were twice as likely to sell gift cards in their mobile apps than the rest of the retailers in the NAPCO report.
  • They’re great at creating aesthetically pleasing landing pages.
    Both in their apps and on their websites, mid-market companies had nice, clear, simple, pleasing landing pages. 25 out of 25 scored well in this area-a perfect score.

Are these strong showings due to mid-market companies being more consumer-focused? Are they more nimble, making it easier to accommodate newer technologies? Does their size enable them to be more personal and personable?

You’re a mid-market company-what do you think?

The Big (Company) Picture

This is just a taste of the findings in the complete NAPCO Research report. If you’d like to learn about the gift card programs of larger U.S. companies, too, download the 2022 Merchant Gift Card Omnicommerce Evaluation-U.S. Edition.

It’s filled with information and best practices that can help any size company grow their gift card program.

Talk to Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network is a pioneer and global leader in gift cards and gift card programs. And we’re just a phone call away.

So, when you’re ready to grow your program, let’s talk. We can help you get started, optimize your program or manage the entire thing from start to finish-whatever you need. Just click here or call 866.219.7533.

1. 2021 NRF Holiday Report, 2021

2. Blackhawk Network data

3. First Data Prepaid Consumer Insights Study,2017