Having a gift card programme in place for your business is a low maintenance and affordable option that allows you to have the flexibility to customise rewards and incentives for your customers and employees alike. With the rise of digital, eGift cards are an additional range of products that can be added to your repertoire.
For retailers, working with providers who are efficient and understand the market well is key to having a successful gift card system in place. The benefits of having eGift card systems is that it allows retailers to have an extended marketing strategy without the additional effort involved – all at the click of a button.
Why choose eGift cards?
There are plenty of reasons to use digital rewards and eGift cards as an incentive strategy for your business.
One such reason is a shifting demand for digital communications. With many consumers constantly connected via their smartphones, the digital space has become a valuable touchpoint for brands. This is only reinforced by the growing spending power of millennials, a generation heavily shaped by technology, who make up over a third of the UK population. Digitally native Gen Z’s are also now beginning to enter the workplace, giving them a greater disposable income and an entrance to the marketplace.
But it’s not only the younger generations that will favour digital engagement. With 96% of UK households connected to the internet, it’s now a cultural standard and an industry expectation. The gift card market proves to be no exception, with digital eGift cards far outperforming physical products according to research by the UK gift card and voucher association. This points to a growing preference for instant rewards, available through digital channels. If today’s consumers prefer digital rewards, it’s essential to find new ways to engage and retain them. This may mean that businesses will need to pivot their strategies to meet growing trends.
Much like regular gift cards, eGift cards offer customers the easy decision with regards to their purchasing habits as well as those that they are gifting to. Depending on the choice of retailer and products offered, eGift cards can be a great way of personalising and customising experiences for their loved ones, and ones that can be sent easily and digitally.
- Are a guaranteed way to boost sales. Studies show that customers are willing to spend more with a gift card versus spending their own money and, on average, spend more than the value of their gift cards.
- Can have a positive impact on sales as it can give ease of access and choice to customers, who can make more informed decisions and gift experiences and products to their loved ones.
- Can be used in a variety of customer and employee engagement programmes, for incentives, one-time rewards or as part of a long-term engagement strategy.
Having an eGift cards programme in place can also help in:
Attracting a strong customer base
Like any incentive and reward, eGift cards help you make a stronger connection between the incentive and the action you want recipients to take, thanks to the ability to offer near-instant delivery and variety of choice.
Connecting instantly and with ease
eGift cards also encourage users to connect with your brand on a deeper level thanks to in-store and online engagement, and exposure to your product offering. Online plays a huge role in today’s version of “location, location, location” and brands’ visibility.
Save retailers time and cost
eGift cards help put money back in your pocket with reduced costs for production and delivery. The cost associated with digital reward fulfilment is significantly less than physical card production and mailing, and encourages users to spend instantly, meaning it can be lucrative to have them as part of your offering.
Building customer loyalty through eGift cards
Introducing an eGift card programme into your roster of offerings to engage your customers, is a great way to make yourself stand out in the market. Creating a flexible and dynamic eGift cards system can help support you with your marketing strategy as well as acquiring and retaining customers.
Stand out above competitors
Not every business has both physical and digital gift card options, which is why by offering both, buyers can customise what works for them, which can be especially important during seasonal events and special occasions.
This can be a particularly effective strategy when trying to differentiate yourself from competitors who may not have the same offering.
Boost brand awareness
eGift cards offer an opportunity for customers to share their favourite retailers and brands with their friends and family, who may not have experienced that brand or a product before. Word of mouth marketing is an extremely effective tool to acquire new customers and having a digital option that can be sent instantly and effectively, can support with that.
eGift cards can also easily convert into customer loyalty cards if you have a loyalty programme in place for your business. By loading and gifting an eGift card, your customers could automatically be signing their friend up for your loyalty programme, which can then boost several options for revenue coming into your business.
Reach your customers where they are
With phones only a reach away, many people use their phones and wearable tech to make payments through their Digital Wallets, such as ApplePay or SamsungPay, and also use it to manage their gift cards and loyalty cards. By having an efficient digital system in place, you can create a positive buying experience for your customers, who are likely to return time and time again.
Building employee engagement through eGift cards
As we have seen above, eGift card programmes are a great way to improve customer retention and build customer loyalty. But they are increasingly effective as a way to support and reward employees. At Blackhawk Network, we’ve future-proofed our rewards for employee engagement by digitalising our offering to meet the needs of employees in the office and at home.
Here are three ways your business could employ digital rewards and eGift cards to increase engagement in a digital world.
Create effective engagement opportunities
When given in low denominations, such as £5 or £10, we’ve found that eGift cards can create opportunities for high-value marketing touchpoints. These products provide an opportunity to surprise and delight large groups, creating higher engagement and driving retention. These micro rewards can be sent swiftly via email, and even personalised with unique messages for each recipient when sent through our self-serve Reward Your Employees platform.
Make a speedy service recovery
Quickly turn a negative customer service experience into a positive one. Enabling your team to issue digital gift cards or eGifts immediately will ensure a timely and relevant response before matters escalate. This reactive control can help to limit brand damage and prevent negative perceptions from forming and spreading. Speedy service needn’t be rushed; ensure your customer isn’t disappointed by placing the choice of reward in their hand. With Select you’ll be able to send an instant eCode that your customers can exchange for their choice of branded eGift, ensuring the right reward every time.
Refer-a-friend programmes are one of the easiest ways to drive new sales. The benefits of referral schemes are almost endless: prospects buy faster, buy more and show greater loyalty. By incorporating digital rewards into your referral programme, you could decrease lead time by rewarding faster. Customers will be more inclined to refer your business if they can expect an achievable and instant reward. Again, there’s no need to compromise on choice. If you reward with One4all Digital you’ll be able to send an instant, customisable reward straight to the recipients’ phone. They’ll be able to claim their reward in their choice of thousands of stores nationwide or online, all using their mobile phone.
The digital age is affecting every aspect of modern business, even down to your incentive strategy. Now is the time to assess your offering and evaluate whether your eGift cards offer the same mobile and digital experiences you’ve worked hard to create in other areas.
How do eGift cards work?
Ideal for online shopping, eGifts offer almost instant delivery, no production or shipping costs, plus data-gathering opportunities and flexible redemption. eGifts can include single-and multi-retailer cards or discounted options, and our range features a number of well-known high street brands in addition to our own Blackhawk Network content. Delivered digitally, they can also be bought in bulk as eCodes from Gift Card Store for Business.
Multi-retailer cards – One4all Digital Gift Card
One4all is a multi-retailer gift card that can be spent at over 140 high street and online brands. There are a variety of designs available to suit different audiences and messages, such as ‘Thank You’, ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Congratulations’. It’s also possible to custom design a bespoke card for bulk delivery.
Our multi-retailer gift card can now be added to an employees’ digital wallet where they can spend it in-store or online. Employers can also send a personalised message or video with the reward.
Accepted at over 55,000 stores throughout the UK and online, the One4all Gift Card covers the biggest brands across fashion, electronics, homeware, restaurants and more. You won't find a gift card that offers your recipients more choice.
Discounted gift cards and eGifts – Voucher Store
Voucher Store is a closed user-group platform that allows members to purchase their choice of gift card or eGift at a discount of the face-value. Providing access to instant savings, Voucher Store can be used as a bolt on to existing benefits packages for both employees or customers. With a secure payment and login process, there are additional optional features such as customer branding, single sign-on and communications available.
Adding an online gift card mall is a smart way to sell gift cards and eGift cards to today’s mobile-savvy customers. We offer a full white-label solution that can easily be integrated into your existing website—or act as a stand-alone gift card shopping experience.
With so many reward types, customisation options and delivery mechanisms available, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. At Blackhawk Network, we have a team of experts ready to help you build a reward strategy that will produce real results.
Interested in finding out how you can create and offer your own eGift card offering? Fill out the form on your right and one of our customer loyalty experts will be in touch.