Blackhawk Network https://blackhawknetwork.com Optimizing Commerce And Engagement Through Branded Payment Solutions Wed, 14 Aug 2019 16:03:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Retail Marketers: Top Shopping Behaviors for Gen X and Boomers https://blackhawknetwork.com/retail-marketers-top-shopping-behaviors-for-gen-x-and-boomers/ Mon, 12 Aug 2019 19:15:53 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11601 New research uncovers shopping behaviors and preferences of these generations wielding substantial buying power Pleasanton, Calif. – DATE, 2019 – Many businesses are hyper-targeting marketing efforts to millennials and Gen Z, but new research1 released today highlights the shopping patterns of the older, larger core generations: Gen X and baby boomers. Both generations regularly buy […]

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New research uncovers shopping behaviors and preferences of these generations wielding substantial buying power

Pleasanton, Calif. DATE, 2019 – Many businesses are hyper-targeting marketing efforts to millennials and Gen Z, but new research1 released today highlights the shopping patterns of the older, larger core generations: Gen X and baby boomers. Both generations regularly buy via multi-channel experiences, with 82 percent of Gen Xers and boomers surveyed buying in-store at least monthly, and 46 percent of Gen Xers and 40 percent of boomers surveyed shopping online at least monthly. They love to research, are the least likely to be influenced by online reviews and the most likely to have groceries delivered. These are among the findings of the latest research commissioned by global branded payments provider, Blackhawk Network, an authority on retail and consumer insights.

“While marketers should keep their eyes on Gen Z and millennials, they shouldn’t abandon Gen X and boomers. According to research from Epsilon, Gen X and boomers combined still have almost triple the buying power of the younger generations,” said Theresa McEndree, vice president of marketing at Blackhawk Network. “Older generations prefer well-established shopping channels like in-store and online but are willing to try newer options. For instance, they outpace younger generations in buying groceries online for at-home delivery. Considering these preferences helps retail marketers understand how to best reach Gen Xers and boomers regularly and create positive experiences that drive sales.”

Key findings on Gen X and boomer shopper behaviors include:

Gen Xers and boomers love tried-and-true shopping methods.

  • Brick-and-mortar is far from dead; 82 percent of Gen Xers and 82 percent of boomers surveyed buy in-store at least monthly. Sixty-six percent of Gen Xers and 72 percent of boomers surveyed shop at brick-and-mortar stores all the time—and the majority reported being satisfied with these experiences.
  • Older generations surveyed were more likely than younger generations surveyed to research before they buy (50 percent of Gen Xers and 48 percent of boomers).
  • Top shopping influences on Gen Xers and boomers include store circulars. Among those surveyed, Gen Xers and boomers are less likely than Gen Zers and millennials to be influenced by personal recommendations and online reviews.
  • Of the four generations surveyed, Gen Xers and boomers reported the lowest likelihood to use newer shopping, purchase and payment options such as voice recognition (VR) or cashier-less checkout in the future.

They’re not afraid to shop online.

  • Nearly one in three Gen Xers and one in three boomers surveyed report shopping online via a computer “all the time.”
  • When it comes to online shopping, the Gen Xers and boomers surveyed are more likely to use laptops and desktop computers than mobile devices; 74 percent of Gen Xers and 76 percent of boomers surveyed report an interest in shopping online for at-home delivery in the next six months.
  • Sixty percent of the Gen Xers and 60 percent of the boomers surveyed have ordered groceries via a laptop or computer with at-home delivery—outpacing younger generations.

In addition to these shopping behaviors, Blackhawk examined generational preferences for and usage of gift cards, a form of branded payment that can help retailers increase reach, loyalty and revenue.

“Retail marketers may not realize they can reach people through payments tools—including branded payments—and gift cards stand out as one of the most effective,” continued McEndree. “Gift cards act like mini billboards in customers’ wallets and can reach people on a very personal level. They can also inform marketing strategy by helping identify touchpoint opportunities, drive specific behaviors and create long-lasting relationships.”

Additional study insights into Gen X and boomer attitudes and preferences toward gift cards include:

Older generations are “traditionalists” and know what they want.

  • During gift giving occasions, older generations surveyed remain the top demographics to whom retailers and merchants can market branded payments, like gift cards. Gen Xers (70 percent) and boomers (71 percent) surveyed report purchasing gift cards in the past year and buying them for gift-giving purposes at high rates.
  • Gen Xers and boomers surveyed stick to what they know and are comfortable with. When it comes to using gift cards, Gen Xers (86 percent) and boomers (93 percent) surveyed are more likely to stay loyal to the retailers/brands they’ve shopped at in the past versus unfamiliar brands.
  • The older generations surveyed are less interested than younger generations surveyed in innovative gift card options like personalization and customization.
  • The Gen Xers and boomers surveyed are likely to go to a store knowing the type of gift card they intend to buy. Only four percent of Gen Xers and one percent of boomers surveyed purchase gift cards on an impulse.
  • Gen Xers and boomers surveyed spend more on gift cards than younger generations surveyed—whether for self-use or gifting.

Talk with Blackhawk Network today.

1 The Consumer Research study was conducted by Murphy Research on behalf of Blackhawk Network between February 4 and February 12, 2019. The sample size included 10,126 U.S. adults between the ages of 18–75.

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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Hawk Incentives Wins IMA 2019 Circle of Excellence Award https://blackhawknetwork.com/hawk-incentives-wins-ima-2019-circle-of-excellence-award/ Wed, 31 Jul 2019 14:52:58 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11591 The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) Circle of Excellence Awards recognize outstanding examples of impactful incentive programs, products and services. We’re proud to announce we have been named this year’s “Employee Incentive Program” winner alongside GoPivot Solutions, LLC and KeHE Distributors, LLC. Here’s the skivvy: KeHE created a safe driving program for its professional trucker driver […]

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The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) Circle of Excellence Awards recognize outstanding examples of impactful incentive programs, products and services. We’re proud to announce we have been named this year’s “Employee Incentive Program” winner alongside GoPivot Solutions, LLC and KeHE Distributors, LLC.

Here’s the skivvy:

KeHE created a safe driving program for its professional trucker driver employees aimed to:

  • Decrease accidents, incidents, or violations
  • Increase positive indicators of safe driving (e.g., successful roadside inspections)
  • Decrease negative indicators of unsafe driving (e.g., hard brakes)
  • Make safety incentives more meaningful and top-of-mind

The new safety program replaced an underperforming, existing program which awarded company truck drivers with a year-end cash bonus for accident- and incident-free driving. The all-or-nothing cash bonus was failing to engage drivers due to the low frequency of reward delivery. And the cash itself wasn’t well-received since its value was added to truckers’ taxable incomes.

To overcome these challenges the new program—launched by GoPivot Solutions—incented and recognized safe driving, accident free driving, and positive behaviors as they happened each day. Company trucks were equipped to measure and track data from truckers’ activities, helping immediately correct or reward behaviors. In near real-time, truckers could receive points for positive behaviors, or de-merits for negative behaviors. These reward points were easy for truckers to track, weren’t taxable, and provided powerful daily motivators.

Here’s where we come in. Truckers redeem their points from an online rewards mall which offers multiple reward categories, including physical and virtual gift cards. The choice of reward rests with each employee. They can decide if they want to save their points for a higher-value gift card or redeem quickly with more frequency. A full one hundred percent of employees chose to participate in the program, with 88 percent of truckers eligible for rewards choosing to redeem points for a closed-loop gift card. These cards are offered in denominations of $25, $50 and $100 from a selection of major retailers and have been a huge hit among recipients.

The results? KeHE saw a 13 percent decrease in accidents and incidents since the program was launched, a 15 percent decrease in unsafe driving behaviors and a major increase in program engagement. With the professional truck driver shortage at an all-time high, this program is now serving as a valuable hiring and retention tool in addition to encouraging safer driving.

If you’re looking for ways to create or manage your own incentive or reward program, drop us a line and let’s chat.

For more information about our big win or to access the full list of award recipients, click here.

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Blackhawk Network’s Alex Barseghian Wins ‘Rising PayTech Star Award’ https://blackhawknetwork.com/blackhawk-networks-alex-barseghian-wins-rising-paytech-star-award/ Thu, 25 Jul 2019 02:02:34 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11571 Alex Barseghian, group VP of retail at Blackhawk Network, was recently honored in London by PayTech as the ‘Rising PayTech Star.’ The inaugural award celebrates driven, inspirational and dynamic payments technology professionals making their mark on the industry.The ‘Rising PayTech Star’ is an innovative role model with ambition to make an impact, hunger for knowledge […]

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Alex Barseghian, group VP of retail at Blackhawk Network, was recently honored in London by PayTech as the ‘Rising PayTech Star.’ The inaugural award celebrates driven, inspirational and dynamic payments technology professionals making their mark on the industry.The ‘Rising PayTech Star’ is an innovative role model with ambition to make an impact, hunger for knowledge and ability to successfully rise to the challenges of the paytech sector.

Barseghian has been making waves in the industry for years. His most recent accomplishment was launching Happy Cards, which are some of the most successful and innovative products in Blackhawk’s history. Happy Cards are Blackhawk’s line of curated gift cards that feature a variety of retailers and restaurants on one card. With a unique understanding of the gift card industry and talent for identifying loyalty touchpoints and customer acquisition opportunities, Barseghian has established himself as a go-to resource for Blackhawk and the larger fintech industry.

In addition to Barseghian’s recognized leadership, Talbott Roche, CEO and president at Blackhawk Network, was also named a finalist for the Women in PayTech award that lauds outstanding women for distinguished leadership and inspiring work that makes a positive impact in the payments industry.

Learn more about the PayTech Awards.

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Tesco For Business Selects Blackhawk Network to Lead its UK Corporate Gift Card Sales https://blackhawknetwork.com/tesco-selects-blackhawk-network-gift-card-sales/ Thu, 18 Jul 2019 15:14:31 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11568 PLEASANTON, Calif. – July 18, 2019 – Tesco For Business has selected branded payments provider Blackhawk Network to lead its UK corporate gift card program. The agreement marks the expansion of Tesco and Blackhawk’s long-standing relationship, which began in 2010 when Tesco partnered with Blackhawk to offer gift cards across its 2,500 retail locations. Working collaboratively with […]

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PLEASANTON, Calif. – July 18, 2019 – Tesco For Business has selected branded payments provider Blackhawk Network to lead its UK corporate gift card program. The agreement marks the expansion of Tesco and Blackhawk’s long-standing relationship, which began in 2010 when Tesco partnered with Blackhawk to offer gift cards across its 2,500 retail locations.

Working collaboratively with Tesco, Blackhawk will manage the program through its proprietary CashStar platform—the first time that CashStar has been used in Europe in a B2B environment.

CashStar provides an end-to-end solution to manage the sales and marketing, production and distribution of digital and physical gift cards across multiple channels and devices. In addition, the CashStar platform delivers advanced security, fully automated delivery, and its highly flexible and configurable approach is easy and efficient to use, ensuring the best customer experience. The platform is used by more than 400 of the world’s most recognizable and innovative brands.

“This is a significant agreement for Blackhawk Network and we’re pleased to extend our very successful relationship with Tesco to its corporate gift card provision,” said Talbott Roche, CEO and president, Blackhawk Network. “With the tried and tested Cashstar platform already powering programs for many of the world’s best-known brands, we have the perfect solution offering both Tesco and its B2B customers a convenient and seamless experience. From a business perspective, this is another positive step for us as we continue to scale up our growth ambitions in the UK.”

Ban Mahsoub, head of gift cards, Tesco Bank added, “We’re delighted to be making this agreement with Blackhawk Network which will see the delivery of our corporate gift card program through the CashStar platform, and we look forward to working together on this exciting opportunity.”

Tesco was the first UK retailer to offer a digital gift card when it launched the service in 2015 to provide corporate customers the opportunity to buy cards in any volume, for a variety of purposes, including employee reward, customer loyalty and marketing programs.

For more information on Blackhawk Network and the CashStar platform, please visit: BlackhawkNetwork.com or CashStar.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.

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Blackhawk Network Study: Consumer Reward Programs Deepen Engagement and Build Loyalty, But More Than Half of Companies are Missing Out https://blackhawknetwork.com/consumer-reward-programs-deepen-engagement/ Tue, 16 Jul 2019 20:51:49 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11558 Pleasanton, California – July 16, 2019 – Reward programs have the largest positive impact on consumer loyalty. New research1 revealed that slightly less than half of U.S. businesses surveyed offer consumer reward programs despite evidence that these programs deepen engagement and build loyalty. These are key findings of new incentives research commissioned by branded payments […]

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Pleasanton, California July 16, 2019 – Reward programs have the largest positive impact on consumer loyalty. New research1 revealed that slightly less than half of U.S. businesses surveyed offer consumer reward programs despite evidence that these programs deepen engagement and build loyalty. These are key findings of new incentives research commissioned by branded payments provider Blackhawk Network that examined businesses that offer different types of reward programs to learn why they are used, how rewards are chosen and how programs vary across industries.

“Our research showed that the companies surveyed that offer reward-based promotions report higher year-over-year revenue growth and average profit margin per customer compared to those that offer discounts. Interestingly, only half of the companies we surveyed offered consumer rewards programs,” said Theresa McEndree, vice president of marketing at Blackhawk Network, which researched consumer incentive programs across the health and wellness, travel, financial, retail and telecom industries. “Businesses have long seen the value in rewards programs, but many are overlooking the measurable demand for consumer reward programs. Today, rewards programs are easier to implement with fully digital, personalized and customizable options that can be simply managed and quickly delivered.”

Blackhawk Network’s research found that, though consumer rewards’ value is known, 47 percent of those surveyed offer reward programs to consumers. Paradoxically, 87 percent of program managers surveyed report reward programs being highly valued by customers and 79 percent report that rewards programs positively impact business performance. Additionally, some industries value consumer rewards programs more than others. Fewer than half (49 percent) of the wellness program managers surveyed report consumer reward programs as being “very important” to their business; conversely, 78 percent of the telecom industry program managers surveyed report consumer reward programs as “very important” to their company.

The new incentives research also examined how and why businesses that do utilize consumer reward programs do so. Key findings include:

  • Rewards programs serve many purposes. According to the businesses surveyed, the main reasons rewards programs are offered are to deepen engagement, build loyalty and show recipients they are valued and appreciated. Overall, 91 percent of consumer reward program managers surveyed believe rewards make consumers feel valued; 88 percent report that the rewards program encourages customers to be more loyal; and the same percentage feel rewards programs build loyalty. Other positive attributes of consumer reward programs include how rewards motivate recipients and show that companies care about customers.
  • Reward selection is based on specific criteria. Convenience, cost-effectiveness and speed of delivery are key drivers of reward selection by businesses for their incentives programs. Reward program managers report appreciating ease of management and instant validation as top attributes of prepaid cards, and also report that recipients’ ability to use prepaid cards virtually anywhere is the most important reward feature that supports their business objectives.
  • Prepaid cards are the most popular reward options. Across the industries surveyed, open-loop prepaid cards were the preferred reward of choice by 68 percent of businesses, but certain industries were more likely to offer them than others. The retail and telecom industries more commonly offer prepaid card rewards. Plastic closed-loop gift cards and checks are the second most popular types of rewards across industries.
  • Digital rewards are impactful. Of the rewards program managers surveyed, the majority reported that digital rewards successfully motivate consumers. According to 92 percent of respondents, digital gift cards are the most powerful digital incentives, followed by unique codes for online gift card catalogs (90 percent), online gift card catalogs where points can be exchanged for rewards (89 percent), digital open-loop prepaid cards (87 percent) and reward cards that can be added to mobile wallets (86 percent).
  • Reward programs serve different purposes across industries. When asked what is most important to them in a consumer rewards program, businesses responded differently across industries. Retail and telecom program managers were most likely to cite “creating customer loyalty” as the most important aspect of a consumer reward program. Financial, travel and health and wellness program managers cited “attracting new customers” as the most important aspect of a consumer rewards program.

More information on how to develop a consumer rewards plan and drive your business forward is available here.

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

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1 The “Blackhawk Network Incentives Study” consisted of an online survey conducted by Murphy Research on behalf of Blackhawk Network between February 4 and February 12, 2019. The sample size of 1,002 was comprised of U.S. reward program managers who have full or partial responsibility for purchasing rewards or managing incentive programs at companies that offer employee, customer or channel incentives. Industries included in the survey include health and wellness, travel, financial, retail and telecom. The “Gift Card State of the Union” study included a sample size of 3,389 respondents between the ages of 18 and 75.

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Forbes Publishes Article by Blackhawk Network’s Theresa McEndree https://blackhawknetwork.com/forbes-article-blackhawk-network-theresa-mcendree/ Wed, 10 Jul 2019 21:49:25 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11545 Nationally recognized media outlet Forbes recently published an article by Theresa McEndree, vice president of marketing at Blackhawk Network. The piece explores how branded payments can be valuable marketing vehicles—not just as payments tools—that can help brands better reach saturated target audiences and hit marketing objectives. Evidence of this concept can be found in Blackhawk’s […]

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Nationally recognized media outlet Forbes recently published an article by Theresa McEndree, vice president of marketing at Blackhawk Network. The piece explores how branded payments can be valuable marketing vehicles—not just as payments tools—that can help brands better reach saturated target audiences and hit marketing objectives. Evidence of this concept can be found in Blackhawk’s “2018 State of Consumer Gift Card Preferences” report, in which 80 percent of consumers surveyed said that gift cards are more influential on their purchase decisions than other incentives, such as bonus dollars or coupons.

McEndree laid out four key ways branded payments can go beyond traditional payments tools, including:

  • Driving specific desired behaviors. Offering a variety in prepaid and gift card reward mix is a surefire way to satisfy many tastes and preferences and drive specific behaviors that benefit brands.
  • Engaging customers. Marketers can use branded payments tools like prepaid and gift cards or virtual rewards to engage customers on a regular basis, keep the lines of communication open and tailor future promotions informed by previous shopping behaviors.
  • Creating long-lasting relationships. Prepaid and gift cards are effective ways to let your customers know you care about them and can open the door for long-term communication.
  • Reaching new people. Brands can offer gift cards and other forms of branded payments as promotional rewards or to new customers who try a brand, enroll in a loyalty program or sign up for special email offers.

Be sure to check out the full article in Forbes and take a deeper look into the 2018 State of Consumer Gift Card Preferences.

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Mark Singer Joins Blackhawk Network as Managing Director, Asia Pacific https://blackhawknetwork.com/mark-singer-joins-blackhawk-network/ Tue, 25 Jun 2019 18:26:03 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11525 Singer is a seasoned leader with proven success in global business entry and expansion PLEASANTON, Calif. – June 25, 2019 – Branded payments provider Blackhawk Network today announced that Mark Singer has joined the company as managing director, Asia Pacific. In his new role, Singer will lead Blackhawk’s operations in Asia-Pacific markets. A payments industry veteran, Singer […]

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Singer is a seasoned leader with proven success in global business entry and expansion

PLEASANTON, Calif. – June 25, 2019 – Branded payments provider Blackhawk Network today announced that Mark Singer has joined the company as managing director, Asia Pacific. In his new role, Singer will lead Blackhawk’s operations in Asia-Pacific markets.

A payments industry veteran, Singer has nearly two decades of experience in senior management roles, including eight years of experience in the Asia-Pacific region. Before joining Blackhawk, he served as senior vice president Asia at the payment technology company, InComm. Prior to that, Singer played a key role in establishing Coinstar’s gift card distribution business in Europe and managed European operations for Marriott Hotel’s global incentive and gift card marketing division.

“Mark is an accomplished leader, and we are pleased to welcome him to Blackhawk,” said Greg Brown, Blackhawk senior vice president of international. “His extensive payments experience and proven track record leading businesses in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific markets make him a strong addition to our international leadership team.”

Talbott Roche, CEO and president added, “As demand for branded payments continues to increase across the globe, Mark will help us continue our successful expansion in this key region.”

As managing director, Asia Pacific, Singer will be based out of Hong Kong and report to Brown.

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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The Motley Fool Features Blackhawk Network Generational Research https://blackhawknetwork.com/motley-fool-features-blackhawk-network-research/ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 21:32:43 +0000 https://blackhawknetwork.com/?p=11475 Nationally recognized media outlet The Motley Fool, read by millions, recently published an article spotlighting Blackhawk Network research, which examined the generational divide in the way consumers shop. The piece shared Blackhawk’s findings that younger consumers—Gen Zers and Millennials—are more willing to try innovative shopping options such as virtual reality shopping apps, pop-up stores and […]

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Nationally recognized media outlet The Motley Fool, read by millions, recently published an article spotlighting Blackhawk Network research, which examined the generational divide in the way consumers shop. The piece shared Blackhawk’s findings that younger consumers—Gen Zers and Millennials—are more willing to try innovative shopping options such as virtual reality shopping apps, pop-up stores and voice shopping on smart speakers. It also provided insights into what these habits could mean for household name retailers and brands such as Amazon, Walmart and Facebook.

Additional key findings from Blackhawk’s 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.
  • Younger generations, led by Millennials, are open to using egifts as branded payments 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.
  • 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, 51 out of 100 brands evaluated 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, more progress can be made particularly in mobile.

Don’t forget to read more in-depth generational research findings from Blackhawk and read the full The Motley Fool article.

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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 recently wrapped the 2019 Blackhawk Network Summit which brought together the world’s top brands and retailers to share actionable insights can 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 recently wrapped the 2019 Blackhawk Network Summit which brought together the world’s top brands and retailers to share actionable insights can address rapidly changing consumer dynamics. More than 25 experts in payments, customer experience, digital engagement, generational behavior and futurists joined us to address this year’s Summit 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 rather than passive in commerce 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 Zers aren’t all tweens!) and they gave us a candid view of their day-to-day lives and shopping habits. Gen Z currently makes up 26 percent of the population and is a rapidly growing market for our business.[1] Sixty-seven percent of Gen Zers surveyed have purchased a gift card in the last year and I believe we are moving closer to seeing 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 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 and currently influences $600-billion of family spending.[3]

Blackhawk CEO and President Talbot Roche brought all of these learnings 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 available to harness this transformation. The best-performing retail brands are using technology-driven experiences and personalization and 47 percent of consumers surveyed are comfortable with artificial intelligence (AI) in business interactions.[4]

She also put to rest the myth that physical retail is dying. It’s not. Eighty-one percent of consumers surveyed 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.[6]

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 consumers’ 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.


[1] “The Nielsen Total Audience Report” was published by Nielsen in July 2017.

[2] “Gift Card State of the Union” is an online survey conducted by Murphy Research on behalf of Blackhawk Network between February 4 and February 12, 2019. The sample size of 3,389 U.S. consumers was comprised of respondents between the ages of 18 and 75.

[3] “For Generation Z, iPhone, Apple have most buzz while Coke, Pepsi fizzle” was published in USA Today in August 2018.

[4] “Artificial Intelligence and the Confidence Gap” infographic is based on an online survey conducted by SAS in March 2018. The sample size was comprised of 500 U.S. consumers.

[5] “Retail Trends and Transformations” is an online survey conducted by Murphy Research on behalf of Blackhawk Network between February 4 and February 12, 2019. The sample size of 3,381 U.S. consumers was comprised of respondents between the ages of 18 and 75.

[6] “Blackhawk Network Consumer Segmentation” is an online survey conducted by Murphy Research on behalf of Blackhawk Network between February 4 and February 12, 2019. The sample size of 10,126 U.S. consumers was comprised of respondents between the ages of 18 and 75.

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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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