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"Digital Age" gift card predictions

Cutting edge technology is top of mind for companies who provide gift cards in their programs. Here are a few predictions from CashStar and GCP for how the Digital Age will affect gifting: 1. Instant Communication: The email channel will grow and become a primary means of sending and distributing gift cards. Speed, convenience and cost will drive the transition from plastic to digital. Technologies like QR Codes will merge offline marketing and advertising to accommodate retailers’ need to bridge online and offline and consumers’ need for instant gratification. 2. Social Gifting: We have all heard the buzz about “Facebook Commerce.” As consumers become more comfortable socializing and communicating through social networks, this channel will continue to grow in importance for retailers: first as an engagement tool, primarily, and then as a commerce channel. Retailers who have active, engaged Facebook fans will witness the most growth for their digital gift cards. Smart retailers will also utilize the social channel as a means of acquiring customers and deepening relationships. “Social gifts” and incentives are valuable tools in this milieu. 3. Mobile Gifting: Mobile is an emerging channel that will develop as smartphone penetration (and supplementary technologies like mobile wallets) increases and retailers begin the process of enabling point-of-sale redemption. Retailers will want to make sure their customers’ mobile purchases – and the recipients’ experiences, especially – are as friction free and convenient as possible. So retailers: build or partner wisely. 4. A richer gifting experience: In the digital world the customer experience becomes king. Simply offering a “plastic-like” alternative or a message with a “code” will not impress the savvy, discerning digital consumer. They will want digital personalization options and a friendlier, easier user experience. This is only the tip of the technology iceberg, follow our blog to stay on top. Do you have your own digital age predictions? Post them if you've got them. Source: David Douglas Stone is co-founder and CEO of CashStar, digital gifting and incentives company.

Topics: Gift Card Incentives & Rewards, Gift Card Technology, Gift Card Trends, eCommerce, Social Marketing, Digital Gifting

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