Rachel Merkin is the lead content writer for GiftCard Partners and is passionate about all things marketing. Getting effective messaging from a company to its audience gets her out of bed in the morning. When she’s not finding innovative ways to discuss the gift card industry and how it might affect your business, she could be running, or spending time at the beach.
The Dads and Grads season is again upon us. So this year, before you dig out the checkbook, think about personalizing your gift a little further. Checks and cash can be easy, and might save you a trip to the store, but personalizing a gift for a dad or a grad can mean more, and involve you spending less. Gift cards are more personal than cold hard cash, and give your gift receiver a better idea of the giver’s intentions for how the money should be spent. For example, it is fun for a college grad to think of being able to splurge on some new clothes, or a spa day instead of thinking of their impending loan payments. Adding some personalization in a gift can go along way. So before you whip out the checkbook, think of your recipient, and add some value without spending more money.
Here are some creative ways to motivate, and engage your employees as the weather gets warmer, and the vacation days more tempting. Remember, the people who "thank-you's" mean the most to are the ones who work for you! 1. Sales and performance recognition 2. Health and wellness reward programs 3. Worker safety incentives 4. Fundraising 5. Loyalty programs 6. Gifts for holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries 7. As a reward for your next sales promotion 8. Door prizes 9. Employee appreciation
Gift cards are a great gift, whether for colleagues, employees, friends, or family. They allow the recipient to choose their own gift, and takes the pressure off the giver of the card to find that “something perfect.” Plastic gift cards are versatile, but e-gift cards are growing in popularity due to their convenience and ability to be accepted unconditionally on the internet. Studies have shown that when consumers receive gift cards, 60% of them spend 40%-100% more than the face value of the card. So selling gift cards for your business could not only make gift and reward giving easy, but boost revenue and sales in the process. Learn more about the importance of e-gift cards here.
As the technology involved in the gift card business becomes more common, and well known in the consumer based retail industry, thefts of gift card balances have also become more prevalent. Gift card thieves use simple technology of scanning the unique gift card numbers, or writing them down on a piece of paper in a retail outlet and using the customer service line to discover when cards have been purchased and charged, at which time the thief uses the numbers to make purchases for themselves. It is important whether you have received a gift card, or are buying them for others, that you prevent yourself from falling victim to these types of scams. Here is a website where you can learn more about how to avoid scams.
A sign that the economic crisis is showing signs of improvement came out of the First Data Holiday Gift Card Performance Report this week. The report indicated that both dollar amounts of gift cards and number of total gift cards sold increased during the 2009 Holidays season. The report indicated that several specific industries including Specialty Retail and Restaurant gift cards had increased their sales. This is a positive indicator that both the industry and the economy are back on the upswing. A good 2009 holiday season is sure to indicate expanded business throughout the 2010 fiscal year. For more information on the report or the specific figures visit http://www.loyalty360.org/research_statistics/holiday_season_gift_card_activation_dollars_grew_2.1_in_2009/
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