Blackhawk Network https://blackhawknetwork.com Optimizing Commerce And Engagement Through Branded Payment Solutions Fri, 14 Jun 2019 17:55:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Top Take-Aways from the 2019 Blackhawk Network Summit https://blackhawknetwork.com/top-take-aways-2019-blackhawk-network-summit/ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 19:50:21 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11424 By Theresa McEndree, Vice President of Marketing at Blackhawk Network We just wrapped the 2019 Blackhawk Network Summit which brought together the world’s top brands and retailers to share actionable insights to address rapidly changing consumer dynamics. More than 25 experts in payments, customer experience, digital engagement, generational behavior and futurists joined us to address […]

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By Theresa McEndree, Vice President of Marketing at Blackhawk Network

We just wrapped the 2019 Blackhawk Network Summit which brought together the world’s top brands and retailers to share actionable insights to address rapidly changing consumer dynamics. More than 25 experts in payments, customer experience, digital engagement, generational behavior and futurists joined us to address our theme: Transforming together: the relationship between brands and consumers as they discover, shop and buy in the digital age.

Here are the top take-aways from our keynote speakers:

Tech is the key driver of anytime, anywhere personalization and engagement. Michelle Evans of Euromonitor showed us that of all the massive trends facing consumers—population change, the environment, changing consumer values and shifting economic power—tech is by far the most important driver of consumer engagement. Michelle laid out the case that consumers are becoming more active in commerce, instead of being passive, and they want to simplify their lives at the same time. This is something we have seen at Blackhawk and is why we launched our suite of Happy Cards bundled-brand gift cards. Happy Cards allow consumers to actively experience the fun of choosing where to spend, while still making it simple and personal.

Gen Z looks different up close and personal and they know what they want. We brought in a generational research expert, Giselle Kovary, and a live consumer panel of young 20 somethings (Gen Z aren’t all tweens!) and they gave us a candid view of their day-to-day lives and shopping habits. They are currently 26 percent of the population and a rapidly growing market for our business.1 Fifty-six percent have purchased a gift card in the last year and it’s moving to a 50/50 split whether they chose a card in-store or online.2 They know which brands they love and the experiences they crave. This is a cohort that is active in commerce – they research and shop around both online and in-store. And, it is no surprise that they are most likely to embrace retail innovations while shopping, such as pop-up stores, mobile shopping, voice shopping and virtual reality. Gen Z will make up 40 percent of all US consumers by 2020.3 They already have strong direct buying power, but what’s most important is that 93 percent of parents say their Gen Z children influence family and household purchases.4

Blackhawk CEO Talbot Roche brought it all together by helping us make sense of the transformation of retail, payments and consumer behavior and what we can do to harness the power that comes from transformation. Instead of worrying about detriments of change, attendees came away energized at the opportunities there are to harness this transformation. The best-performing retail brands are using technology-driven experiences and personalization and 47 percent of consumers are comfortable with AI in business interactions.

She also put to rest the myth that physical retail is dying. It’s not. Eighty-one percent of consumers make in-store purchases at least once a month and 63 percent are making the same amount or more in-store purchases as last year.5

Brand loyalty is steady. Across generations, approximately two-thirds of consumers are loyal to their favorite brands. And omnichannel isn’t a channel – it the only way to do business.5

Overall, it is up to us to capitalize on what has stayed true – brand loyalty and strong physical retail experiences – and use technology to make consumer’s experiences more engaged and simpler. Personalization and targeting must continue to get crisper and AI will help us better harness our data and give consumers a better experience. 

Blackhawk will be taking all of this into account as we shape the future of global branded payments. Collaborating with our partners as we translate these market trends will help them increase reach, loyalty and revenue. The speakers provided a good reminder that we must always have reliable scalable infrastructure and technologically-advanced programs to help our clients and partners meet the needs of customers today and the new ones coming up tomorrow.


Sources:

1 Nielsen 2017

2 Blackhawk Network Summit Study, Gift Card State of the Union, March 2019

3 Forbes 2018

4 Cassandra 2015

5 Blackhawk Network Summit Study, Retail Trends and Transformation, March 2019

6 Blackhawk Network Consumer Segmentation, March 2019

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Branded Payments Leaders and Innovators Recognized at Blackhawk Network’s Thirteenth Annual Hawk Awards https://blackhawknetwork.com/branded-payments-leaders-and-innovators-recognized-at-blackhawk-networks-thirteenth-annual-hawk-awards/ Thu, 23 May 2019 12:16:21 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11303 2019 winners announced at Blackhawk Summit in San Antonio, Texas PLEASANTON, Calif. – May 23, 2019 – Global branded payments leader Blackhawk Network has announced the winners of its 13th annual Hawk Awards, which recognize leaders and innovators in the U.S. branded payments industry. “Every year, the Hawk Awards give Blackhawk the opportunity to celebrate collaborative innovation with […]

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2019 winners announced at Blackhawk Summit in San Antonio, Texas

PLEASANTON, Calif. – May 23, 2019 – Global branded payments leader Blackhawk Network has announced the winners of its 13th annual Hawk Awards, which recognize leaders and innovators in the U.S. branded payments industry.

“Every year, the Hawk Awards give Blackhawk the opportunity to celebrate collaborative innovation with our partners as we shape the future of global branded payments together,” said Talbott Roche, chief executive officer and president of Blackhawk Network. “Our partners continue to push the boundaries of innovation in the industry year after year and we are thrilled to once again honor the Hawk Awards winners and finalists who have distinguished themselves as a source of inspiration for the whole industry.

Category winners were announced at the Hawk Awards Gala on April 17, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas during Blackhawk’s 2019 Summit—an acclaimed three-day partner event featuring informative content and networking activities. Summit attendees were invited to cast their votes for several categories on-site via the event app.


The 2019 Hawk Awards categories and recipients are:

Industry Achievement: Recognizes a company or individual making an outstanding contribution to the branded payments industry

Google Play: Honored for making it easy for people to connect with branded payments globally. Whether through music and movies, games or books, Google Play enables consumers to purchase their branded payment products though brick-and-mortar, first party sales, and B2B platforms. In addition to rapidly growing its distribution network globally, Google Play continues to capitalize on digital solutions and to bring the story of gaming to retail.

Industry Innovation: Recognizes a company or individual making the greatest contribution to the advancement of the industry

Archway Marketing Services: Honored for transforming gift card logistic management through a multi-year project developed to custom engineer automation for gift card delivery to stores. An industry first, Archway Marketing Services’ innovative system has been designed to double the daily capacity of shipped gift cards and support dramatic business growth.

Best Customer Brand Engagement: Recognizes the most powerful use of gift cards to engage more deeply with customers

Chase: Honored for providing participating merchants with extensive and targeted marketing support. With over 100 of its Ultimate Rewards® promotions executed in 2018, Chase continues to drive merchant sales while providing consumers with the branded payment of their choosing.

Best Multichannel Strategy: Recognizes the most effective use of multiple channels to optimize gift card distribution

Kroger: Honored for leveraging deep data and cutting-edge analytics to build an effective program across multiple verticals. Kroger drives acquisition and increases purchasing among loyal users by communicating directly with the consumer via email or targeted offers, providing access through its gift card mall and various touchpoints throughout its stores, and engaging consumers through its new digital solutions.

Best Omnichannel Strategy: Recognizes the best use of omnichannel to create a seamless customer experience

Giant Eagle: Honored for launching its mobile wallet to provide consumers with a seamless experience in using its fuel rewards program. Giant Eagle makes it easy for consumers to add their coupons, track their rewards and store their gift cards all in one place.

Best Use of eCommerce: Recognizes the most innovative use of ecommerce to increase gift card sales

Subway®Honored for its “Gift-A-Cookie” initiative whereby the purchaser and recipient feel like they are giving and receiving a cookie, a personalized approach to distributing eGift Cards. Subway® will continue to drive this successful, product-based gifting program through 2019.

Best Collaborative Marketing Program by a Distribution Partner: Recognizes the Distribution Partner that created the most innovative or effective promotion

Samsung Pay: Honored for offering innovative B2C connections and promotions including push notifications, geo-targeting, and in-app placement. In Spring 2018, Samsung Pay created a promotion that rewarded customers with a $10 gift card when they used their Mastercard via Samsung Pay three or more times, generating considerable value in actionable data and sales results.

Best Collaborative Marketing Program by a Content Partner: Recognizes the Content Partner that created the most innovative or effective promotion.

Olive Garden®: Honored for its partnership with Giant Eagle to create an innovative program in which the consumer received an Olive Garden Salad Dressing with the purchase of a $25 Olive Garden gift card. This promotion not only showcased the strong partnership between these two teams, but also highlighted how working with another grocery category can help promote gift cards in a fun, innovative way.

Best Branded Payments Innovation: Recognizes the most innovative use or development of branded payments

Starbucks: Honored for continuing to keep its consumers engaged by appealing to everyday gifting moments and occasions. Starbucks ensures its brand is available across brick-and-mortar, digital, ecommerce (including a mobile app), and B2B platforms.

Best Reward-Based Incentive Program: Recognizes a company with the most powerful use of branded payments in an incentive program.

Discount Tire: Honored for utilizing reward cards to acquire new customers, retain current customers and ultimately grow top line sales. Discount Tire’s dedication to the customer experience allows for an online rebate submission process that is easy to follow and allows rebates to be processed within days.


About Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network delivers branded payment programs to meet our partners’ business objectives. We collaborate with our partners to innovate, translating market trends in branded payments to increase reach, loyalty and revenue. With a presence in over 26 countries, we reliably execute branded payment programs in over 100 countries worldwide. Join us as we shape the future of global branded payments.

Blackhawk is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. For more information, please visit blackhawknetwork.com.

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Insightin Health Creates Comprehensive Solution Aimed at Cutting Healthcare Costs and Creating a Healthier Medicare Advantage Population https://blackhawknetwork.com/insightin-health-creates-comprehensive-solution-aimed-at-cutting-healthcare-costs-and-creating-a-healthier-medicare-advantage-population/ Tue, 21 May 2019 13:36:38 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11296 Using rewards provided by Blackhawk Network, solution aims to boost members’ health at an individual level via targeted outreach efforts that reward healthy behaviors quickly and efficiently Baltimore, Maryland and Pleasanton, California — May 21, 2019 – Insightin Health has announced a new comprehensive solution expected to help lower the cost of healthcare for health plans, […]

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Using rewards provided by Blackhawk Network, solution aims to boost members’ health at an individual level via targeted outreach efforts that reward healthy behaviors quickly and efficiently

Baltimore, Maryland and Pleasanton, California May 21, 2019 – Insightin Health has announced a new comprehensive solution expected to help lower the cost of healthcare for health plans, providers and consumers by creating a healthier Medicare Advantage population. Using the AI-driven inGAGETM  platform created by Insightin Health and enabled in part by rewards partner Blackhawk Network, health plans can more actively engage members by using rewards to encourage proactive behaviors that may improve their overall health, reduce symptoms of chronic diseases and boost health plan satisfaction.

“Research[1] found that 60 percent of Medicare Advantage members surveyed say their health plan doesn’t encourage actions to improve health and only 25 percent say their plan provides personalized incentives. Insightin Health is aiming to solve both of those pain points,” said Bill Warshauer, vice president of sales at Blackhawk. “Insightin Health is closing the gap in educating members about opportunities to improve their health and program benefits available to them—and Blackhawk is supporting these efforts by fulfilling designated rewards for participation with personalized incentives that are delivered seamlessly. This comprehensive approach is unparalleled in our industry.”

Insightin Health, a leading provider of data-driven decision-making technology for health care member acquisition, retention, and engagement, is using its artificial intelligence (AI)-driven platforms, inSIGHTTM, inQUEUETM, and inGAGETM, to leverage data, including social determinants, which helps identify the best possible ways to communicate with Medicare Advantage members on a one-to-one level. By understanding how to best motivate and reach each individual, Insightin Health helps health plans across the country identify potential gaps in care and which proactive health screenings members would be willing to complete as part of a long-term health improvement plan. The data helps health plans set measurable goals for each member and develop structured promotions offering rewards to encourage goal completion.

Blackhawk, a branded payments provider, complements these data insights and helps facilitate the integration of tailored rewards chosen by health plans into promotions to drive participation. These comprehensive rewards enable health plans to encourage members to complete preventative care activities such as health risk assessments, mammograms, colorectal screenings, A1C screenings and more. Once an action is completed and the supervising health plan officials have confirmed a reward has been earned, Blackhawk delivers the reward selected by the plan from options of open- or closed-loop content so the health plans can reinforce the member’s actions—oftentimes quickly at the plan’s discretion. Incentives can be customized to each individual based on their personal communication preferences; for instance, digital cards can be emailed to members that do not want a physical card mailed to them.

“Using data analytics to extrapolate behavioral trends for specific individuals is invaluable and rare. Drilling down an individual’s likelihood of completing a screening helps health plans identify when it makes sense to provide an extra incentive to drive healthier choices. It can also help catch chronic diseases sooner and preventatively manage diseases before they take hold,” said Jereme Ayers, vice president of Health Plan Solutions at Insightin Health. “Accompanying these valuable data insights with personalized education materials and incentives is a one-two punch. We can help facilitate higher, long-term program engagement, a healthier population and cut healthcare costs for plans, providers and members alike.”

Insightin Health works with Medicare, Medicaid and commercial groups within various health plans to increase member engagement and positively impact CMS STAR and HEDIS ratings (quality performance metrics). Blackhawk Network contributes to these endeavors by tailoring the right rewards to drive specific behaviors. For more information, visit insightinhealth.com.

About Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network delivers branded payment programs to meet our partners’ business objectives. We

collaborate with our partners to innovate, translating market trends in branded payments to increase reach, loyalty and revenue. With a presence in over 26 countries, we reliably execute branded payment programs in over 100 countries worldwide. Join us as we shape the future of global branded payments.

Blackhawk is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. For more information, please visit blackhawknetwork.com.

About Insightin Health

Insightin Health is the industry’s only single platform that provides data-driven decision-making technology for the complete life-cycle of the health care member journey to improve member acquisition, retention, and engagement. The artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technology leverages health data and social determinants of health information to identify consumer behavior to make recommendations to improve participation. Health plans gain quality membership and lower churn with increased measure adherence. For more information, visit https://www.insightinhealth.com.

[1] The “HealthMine Medicare Survey” was a survey conducted by Survey Sampling International (SSI) in June and July 2018. The sample size of 781 was comprised of insured American consumers ages 65+ with a chronic condition who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

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Gen Z and Millennial Shoppers are Driving Urgency for Gift Card eCommerce Optimization https://blackhawknetwork.com/gen-z-and-millennial-shoppers/ Wed, 03 Apr 2019 17:40:36 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11216 Blackhawk Network research finds an increasing use of egifts as branded payments by younger generations amid growing interest in innovative shopping PLEASANTON, Calif. – April 3, 2019 – New research* reveals a generational divide in the way younger consumers shop, pay and engage with gift cards in an evolving shopping landscape. Although brick-and-mortar retail still has a […]

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Blackhawk Network research finds an increasing use of egifts as branded payments by younger generations amid growing interest in innovative shopping

PLEASANTON, Calif. – April 3, 2019 – New research* reveals a generational divide in the way younger consumers shop, pay and engage with gift cards in an evolving shopping landscape. Although brick-and-mortar retail still has a strong foothold in the market, demand for egifts from Gen Z and Millennial consumers is beginning to rapidly catch up with physical gift cards as interest in innovative shopping and branded payments continues to grow. While gift card merchants are increasingly embracing omnichannel gift card options, there is still much room for progress in their offerings. These are among the findings of the latest research commissioned by branded payments provider Blackhawk Network.

“With the digital age continuously transforming the shopping landscape, our research allows us to pinpoint key differences in behavior and payment adoption across generations,” said Theresa McEndree, vice president of marketing, Blackhawk Network. “As interest in innovative shopping and payment tools continues to grow among younger generations, our findings indicate that the gap between egifts and physical cards is quickly closing for Gen Z and Millennial consumers. We anticipate demand for egifts from these generations to continue to rise in the near term. By optimizing their digital gift card solutions, retailers can keep these younger consumers engaged by giving them the digital experience that they crave.”

Key findings from the research include:

Purchase of egifts is more frequent among younger generations and is catching up with physical cards.

Forty-one percent of Gen Z consumers and 39 percent of Millennials surveyed purchase egifts at least once every three months, compared to 26 percent of Gen X consumers and 14 percent of Boomers. In comparison, purchase of physical gift cards is only slightly higher with 51 percent of surveyed Gen Z consumers and 47 percent of Millennials shopping for a physical card at least once every three months. Frequent egift usage by younger generations has also been impacting egift purchase of older generations, with 20 percent of Gen X surveyed choosing to buy egifts for their children.

Younger generations, led by Millennials, are open to using egifts as branded payment tools.

The majority of Millennials surveyed (72 percent) have used egifts and have also tried other mobile payment solutions, including mobile apps (60 percent), gift card in mobile wallet (44 percent), and mobile wallet (42 percent). Gen Z consumers are not far behind with 63 percent of those surveyed having used egifts to make a payment. Surveyed consumers from both generations purchased four egifts over the past year for self-use compared to three physical cards, indicating a growing tendency to use digital branded payments.

Younger generations are more receptive to innovative shopping.

Fifty-one percent of Millennials surveyed are likely to shop online for egifts compared to 46 percent of Gen X, 42 percent of Gen Z, and 30 percent of Boomers who generally tend to be more interested in traditional shopping methods. Younger generations are also more frequent users of mobile commerce with 42 percent of Gen Z consumers and 46 percent of Millennials surveyed placing monthly orders on their mobile phones for delivery—a habit less common among Gen X (29 percent) and Boomers (13 percent). Moreover, surveyed Gen Z consumers are significantly more likely than any other generation to use the latest shopping innovations on a monthly basis or more including voice shopping (20 percent), pop-up stores (21 percent), and virtual reality shopping (17 percent), compared to an average of eight percent across generations.

Gift card merchants have made improvements in their omnichannel gift card offerings, but more can be done.

According to the 2018 Merchant Gift Card E-Commerce Evaluation** report conducted by NAPCO research and sponsored by Blackhawk, 51 out of 100 brands evaluated were found to offer both egifts and physical gift cards across desktop, mobile and mobile app (when applicable). Though this marks an improvement over the previous year’s study, which found that only 36 merchants evaluated had incorporated such omnichannel offerings, more progress can be made particularly in mobile. Only eight out of 87 brands evaluated offer a commerce app with an in-app experience that tallies with their desktop purchase experience. The report also highlights the need to make gift cards more easily accessible across each of the brands’ channels.

*About Blackhawk Network Consumer Research

The consumer research includes two online surveys conducted by Murphy Research on behalf of Blackhawk Network between February 4 and February 12, 2019. Retail Trends and Transformations included a sample size of 3,381 respondents between the ages of 18–75. Gift Card State of the Union included a sample size of 3,389 respondents between the ages of 18–75.

**About the 2018 Merchant Gift Card E-Commerce Evaluation

The 2018 Merchant Gift Card eCommerce Evaluation was an analysis conducted by NAPCO Research on behalf of CashStar in July–August 2018. The analysis included 100 top merchants determined by industry rankings and measured against more than 100 criteria.

About Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network delivers branded payment programs to meet our partners’ business objectives. We

collaborate with our partners to innovate, translating market trends in branded payments to increase reach, loyalty and revenue. With a presence in over 26 countries, we reliably execute branded payment programs in over 100 countries worldwide. Join us as we shape the future of global branded payments.

Blackhawk is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. For more information, please visit blackhawknetwork.com.

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Blackhawk Network Appoints Nick Samurkas as Chief Operating Officer https://blackhawknetwork.com/blackhawk-network-appoints-nick-samurkas-as-chief-operating-officer/ Tue, 05 Mar 2019 17:14:11 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11185 Veteran payments executive assumes newly-added role PLEASANTON, Calif. – March 5, 2019 – Branded payments provider Blackhawk Network today announced that Nick Samurkas has been appointed as the company’s first chief operating officer. In this newly-added role, Samurkas will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations and solutions delivery processes across the company. Samurkas holds more than 20 […]

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Veteran payments executive assumes newly-added role

PLEASANTON, Calif. – March 5, 2019 – Branded payments provider Blackhawk Network today announced that Nick Samurkas has been appointed as the company’s first chief operating officer. In this newly-added role, Samurkas will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations and solutions delivery processes across the company.

Samurkas holds more than 20 years of experience in the payments industry in senior management roles. Before joining Blackhawk, he served as chief operations officer at Moneris, one of North America’s largest providers of payment processing solutions. Prior to that, Samurkas led the Canadian business at Chase Paymentech, where he oversaw sales, account management, operations and product teams. He is also the former senior vice president and chief operating officer of Global Payments Asia Pacific, where he established and managed operational centers in the Asia Pacific region.

“We are delighted to welcome Nick to Blackhawk’s senior leadership team,” said Talbott Roche, Blackhawk Network CEO and president. “The new chief operating officer role supports our ongoing effort to enhance operations and delivery functions as we continue to grow our business both domestically and internationally. Nick’s strong skillset in payments coupled with his extensive global experience make him the perfect choice to lead our operations group and drive our aggressive growth strategy.”

As chief operating officer, Samurkas is now based out of Blackhawk’s corporate headquarters in Pleasanton, California and reports directly to Roche.

About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. is a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions. Blackhawk platforms and solutions enable the management of stored value products, promotions and rewards programs in retail, ecommerce, financial services and mobile wallets. Blackhawk’s Hawk Commerce division offers technology solutions to businesses and direct to consumers. The Hawk Incentives division offers enterprise, SMB and reseller partners an array of platforms and branded value products to incent and reward consumers, employees and sales channels. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., Blackhawk operates in 26 countries.

For more information, please visit BlackhawkNetwork.com, CashStar.com, HawkCommerce.com, HawkIncentives.com or our product websites GiftCards.com, GiftCardMall.com, GiftCardLab.com and OmniCard.com.

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Blackhawk Network Research: Loyalty Members Want More Redemption Opportunities https://blackhawknetwork.com/loyalty-members-want-more-redemption-opportunities/ Tue, 22 Jan 2019 22:50:44 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11150 Consumers want to redeem well before they hit $100 in rewards; most prefer reward cards over other reward options, especially younger generations PLEASANTON, Calif. –  Jan. 22, 2019  – According to recent research*, loyalty program members surveyed want more accessible redemption opportunities and prefer to redeem their points at least once a year. Furthermore, they want […]

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Consumers want to redeem well before they hit $100 in rewards; most prefer reward cards over other reward options, especially younger generations

PLEASANTON, Calif. –  Jan. 22, 2019  – According to recent research*, loyalty program members surveyed want more accessible redemption opportunities and prefer to redeem their points at least once a year. Furthermore, they want to redeem well before they hit the $100 mark in reward earnings and prefer a reward card over any other reward option, especially younger generations. These are among the findings of the latest research commissioned by global financial technology company, Blackhawk Network.

The research findings were published in an ebook, “A Heart-to-Heart About Increasing Loyalty” and were based on a survey of more than 1,500 American adults on their preferences and attitudes toward loyalty programs across a range of categories, including retail, airline, hotel, food & beverage, online retail, bank, gym, telecom and utility.

Other key findings of the research include:

The average consumer belongs to six loyalty programs, but is only active in four: Most consumers surveyed (87 percent) belong to at least one loyalty program with respondents estimating that they belonged to 6.2 loyalty programs, on average. However, respondents report that of the loyalty programs they participate in, they are only active in 3.9, on average.

Consumers want more redemption opportunities:  Loyalty members in food & beverage, online retail, gym and retail programs report the highest engagement; roughly nine out of ten surveyed loyalty members in each category report redeeming their loyalty points at least once a year. Additionally, a majority of surveyed loyalty members in those categories consider themselves frequent redeemers, cashing in their loyalty points four or more times throughout the year.  When examining when loyalty members redeem their points, only surveyed members of an airline and/or hotel chain loyalty program usually wait until they have at least one hundred dollars in rewards to redeem their points. For members of the other surveyed categories, most members would rather redeem well before that threshold—especially members of online retail (85 percent), utility (76 percent), phone (75 percent) and bank (68 percent) programs.

The digital divide in reward preference: Overall, loyalty program participants prefer reward cards over other reward options with more than half of surveyed consumers in most categories studied opting for a prepaid or gift card. Reward cards are most popular for online retailers (70 percent), phone companies (65 percent), utility companies (61 percent), retailers (56 percent) and banks (56 percent). However, when examining whether consumers prefer physical or digital rewards, participants were generally divided. The research shows there is a desire for both physical and digital rewards, and gift and prepaid cards.

“Effective loyalty programs keep participants engaged and continuously coming back for more. Our research found that participants in programs with the highest engagement are redeeming their loyalty points at least once a year, and in some categories, the majority of consumers are redeeming at least four times a year,” said Theresa McEndree, vice president of marketing, Blackhawk Network. “Combined with the fact that most consumers want to redeem their rewards well before the $100 mark, our findings suggest that retailers and organizations can increase consumer engagement with their loyalty program by simply offering the right rewards at the right values.”

To download the complete “A Heart-to-Heart About Increasing Loyalty” ebook, click here.

*About Consumer Loyalty Verticals Research
The consumer loyalty verticals research was an online survey conducted independently by Leger on behalf of Blackhawk Network between February 5 and February 15, 2018. The sample size included 1,500 American respondents ages 18+. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. is a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions. Blackhawk platforms and solutions enable the management of stored value products, promotions and rewards programs in retail, ecommerce, financial services and mobile wallets. Blackhawk’s Hawk Commerce division offers technology solutions to businesses and direct to consumers. The Hawk Incentives division offers enterprise, SMB and reseller partners an array of platforms and branded value products to incent and reward consumers, employees and sales channels. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., Blackhawk operates in 26 countries. For more information, please visit BlackhawkNetwork.comCashStar.comHawkCommerce.comHawkIncentives.com or our product websites GiftCards.comGiftCardMall.comGiftCardLab.com and OmniCard.com.

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2018 Holiday Shopping Preview: The Gift Cards Topping Wish Lists This Holiday Season https://blackhawknetwork.com/2018-holiday-shopping-preview-the-gift-cards-topping-wish-lists-this-holiday-season/ Fri, 21 Dec 2018 15:00:09 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11119 Blackhawk Network recently released its latest research, 2018 Holiday Shopping Preview, which examines consumers’ top gift card preferences and offers a look at the top gift card categories people want for the holidays. Gift cards have been the most requested gift among U.S. consumers for 12 years and counting, according to the National Retail Federation. […]

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Blackhawk Network recently released its latest research, 2018 Holiday Shopping Preview, which examines consumers’ top gift card preferences and offers a look at the top gift card categories people want for the holidays. Gift cards have been the most requested gift among U.S. consumers for 12 years and counting, according to the National Retail Federation.

The top gift card category findings include:

  • The most popular holiday gift card categories are: dining (movie and a meal), movie, sporting goods, beauty supply and specialty home goods.
  • Physical gift cards are still the first choice among consumers overall, but egifts are growing in popularity. Four categories where egifts are gaining traction include: office supply, grocery, general entertainment and travel.
  • The gift card categories that are growing the fastest based on our year-over-year sales data are; gaming, travel, upscale/fine dining, beauty supply and ticket services.
  • The gift card categories that shoppers are most frequently purchasing online based on our data are: online retail, casual dining, home center and hardware, clothing and books and movie and music apps.

For the full research findings, check out additional insights published in our “Top Gift Card Preferences” infographic.

About Blackhawk Network 
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. is a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions. Blackhawk platforms and solutions enable the management of stored value products, promotions and rewards programs in retail, ecommerce, financial services and mobile wallets. Blackhawk’s Hawk Commerce division offers technology solutions to businesses and direct to consumers. The Hawk Incentives division offers enterprise, SMB and reseller partners an array of platforms and branded value products to incent and reward consumers, employees and sales channels. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif.Blackhawk operates in 26 countries.

For more information, please visit BlackhawkNetwork.com, CashStar.com, HawkCommerce.com, HawkIncentives.com or our product websites GiftCards.com, GiftCardMall.com, GiftCardLab.com and OmniCard.com.

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Blackhawk Network Executive Shares Gift Card Sales Tactics in Dealerscope https://blackhawknetwork.com/blackhawk-network-executive-shares-gift-card-sales-tactics-in-dealerscope/ Wed, 19 Dec 2018 15:00:08 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11114 A leading source of consumer technology news, Dealerscope recently published an article by Theresa McEndree, vice president of marketing at Blackhawk Network, about effective gift card sales strategies that retailers can use around the holidays. In the article, McEndree recommends several creative tactics for gift card promotions that can help retailers grow sales, direct shopper […]

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A leading source of consumer technology news, Dealerscope recently published an article by Theresa McEndree, vice president of marketing at Blackhawk Network, about effective gift card sales strategies that retailers can use around the holidays.

In the article, McEndree recommends several creative tactics for gift card promotions that can help retailers grow sales, direct shopper behavior and create more long-lasting customer engagement.

A few top suggestions include:

  • Offering incentives to shoppers for participating in certain gift card promotions through a rewards or loyalty program
  • Assembling a smart gift card mix to cover the spread between stocking stuffers and standalone gifts
  • Pairing gift card promotions with merchandise to provide shoppers with added rewards for buying specific products and also encourage higher spending
  • Designing unique and fun holiday-inspired displays that attract attention and invite interaction
  • Encouraging online gift card sales to drive web traffic and reach more digitally-savvy shoppers

Read the full Dealerscope article here.

About Blackhawk Network 
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. is a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions. Blackhawk platforms and solutions enable the management of stored value products, promotions and rewards programs in retail, ecommerce, financial services and mobile wallets. Blackhawk’s Hawk Commerce division offers technology solutions to businesses and direct to consumers. The Hawk Incentives division offers enterprise, SMB and reseller partners an array of platforms and branded value products to incent and reward consumers, employees and sales channels. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif.Blackhawk operates in 26 countries.

For more information, please visit BlackhawkNetwork.com, CashStar.com, HawkCommerce.com, HawkIncentives.com or our product websites GiftCards.com, GiftCardMall.com, GiftCardLab.com and OmniCard.com.

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2018 Holiday Shopping Preview: Gift Cards Can Alleviate Frustrations of Post-Holiday Returns https://blackhawknetwork.com/2018-holiday-shopping-preview-gift-cards-can-alleviate-frustrations-of-post-holiday-returns/ Mon, 17 Dec 2018 15:00:30 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11105 Post-holiday returns can be a sore point for retailers. In a perfect world, people are completely satisfied with the purchases they make and the gifts they receive. In reality, nearly two-thirds of consumers returned at least one item this past holiday season and 27 percent bought items specifically with the intention to return them later, […]

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Post-holiday returns can be a sore point for retailers. In a perfect world, people are completely satisfied with the purchases they make and the gifts they receive. In reality, nearly two-thirds of consumers returned at least one item this past holiday season and 27 percent bought items specifically with the intention to return them later, according to the National Retail Foundation*. Fortunately, gift cards can help alleviate some of these frustrations for retailers.

Blackhawk Network recently released its latest research, 2018 Holiday Shopping Preview, which examines consumers’ top gift card preferences and provides marketers with useful insights to consider for their own holiday gift card and marketing programs.

The report revealed that:

  • Forty-two percent of consumers surveyed use gift cards they receive right away.
  • Fifty-nine percent of consumers surveyed often spend more than the amount on the gift card, with 15 percent doing so every time, especially men and younger generations.
  • Sixty-three percent of consumers surveyed show interest in receiving a gift card in exchange for a returned retail item.

For more information and additional insights, click here.

*The NRF 2018 Holiday Spending Survey was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The survey of 7,313 adult consumers was conducted October 1‒11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

About Blackhawk Network 
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. is a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions. Blackhawk platforms and solutions enable the management of stored value products, promotions and rewards programs in retail, ecommerce, financial services and mobile wallets. Blackhawk’s Hawk Commerce division offers technology solutions to businesses and direct to consumers. The Hawk Incentives division offers enterprise, SMB and reseller partners an array of platforms and branded value products to incent and reward consumers, employees and sales channels. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif.Blackhawk operates in 26 countries.

For more information, please visit BlackhawkNetwork.com, CashStar.com, HawkCommerce.com, HawkIncentives.com or our product websites GiftCards.com, GiftCardMall.com, Cardpool.com, GiftCardLab.com and OmniCard.com.

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Blackhawk Network CEO and President, Talbott Roche, Recognized on 2018 “Bay Area Most Admired CEOs” List https://blackhawknetwork.com/blackhawk-network-ceo-and-president-talbott-roche-recognized-on-2018-bay-area-most-admired-ceos-list/ Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:00:36 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11108 Top business media outlet San Francisco Business Times has honored Blackhawk Network CEO and President, Talbott Roche, as one of its 2018 “Bay Area Most Admired CEOs.” This exclusive list celebrates executives across a multitude of industries who demonstrate a track record of exceptional leadership, business performance and philanthropic contributions. Roche is credited for her […]

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Top business media outlet San Francisco Business Times has honored Blackhawk Network CEO and President, Talbott Roche, as one of its 2018 “Bay Area Most Admired CEOs.”

This exclusive list celebrates executives across a multitude of industries who demonstrate a track record of exceptional leadership, business performance and philanthropic contributions. Roche is credited for her extraordinary leadership and strong business acumen which has led Blackhawk through significant change and growth, particularly in third-party retailing of gift cards, digital payments and incentives.

When asked to reflect on her leadership approach, Roche responded that, “The business values I try to promote, instill and demonstrate as a leader are a sense of commitment, accountability and a bias for action. We encourage our employees to embrace these essential business values to help Blackhawk Network maintain its position as one of the largest third-party distributors of gift cards in the world.”

The full list of the 2018 “Bay Area Most Admired CEOs” is available here. To read the profile on Roche, click here.

About Blackhawk Network 
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. is a global financial technology company and a leader in connecting brands and people through branded value solutions. Blackhawk platforms and solutions enable the management of stored value products, promotions and rewards programs in retail, ecommerce, financial services and mobile wallets. Blackhawk’s Hawk Commerce division offers technology solutions to businesses and direct to consumers. The Hawk Incentives division offers enterprise, SMB and reseller partners an array of platforms and branded value products to incent and reward consumers, employees and sales channels. Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif.Blackhawk operates in 26 countries.

For more information, please visit BlackhawkNetwork.com, CashStar.com, HawkCommerce.com, HawkIncentives.com or our product websites GiftCards.com, GiftCardMall.com, Cardpool.com, GiftCardLab.com and OmniCard.com.

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