One of the most effective ways to increase employee engagement and customer loyalty is sending an eGift Card as a reward or thank you.
Customers and employees are consumers first, and more than ever, consumers are concerned with easy, touchless transactions.
According to Invesp, 62% of US consumers with Internet access shop online at least once a month on average, and that number has increased to 76% in the recent months due to more people staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This growth in online shopping is an opportunity for companies to use eGift card rewards to increase employee retention, drive long-term business, and increase the lifetime value of customers.
Employee Engagement Trends
Employee loyalty and productivity is intertwined with employee engagement and recognition. According to a Gallup analysis, employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they'll quit in the next year; however, companies with engaged employees see a 21% greater profitability. If companies want to increase employee loyalty, they need to address the engagement challenges employees are facing today and recognize them for their efforts.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused many employees to adapt to a remote workplace this year, and employee engagement and recognition programs have needed to change as well to accommodate for the unique challenges of working from home. However, these changes might stick around longer than we think. About 25% of employees say they want to continue working from home if given the choice, according to a recent survey by CNBC and Change Research.
Furthermore, the Economic Policy Institute estimates there are 55 million essential workers who have been working through the pandemic. Given the stressful circumstances of their jobs, essential workers are most at risk for burnout—a condition that causes up to 50% of employee turnover in all size companies, according to a Kronos research study.
Companies already use gift card rewards to engage and recognize employees, but these tools are crucial right now to overcome these specific performance challenges, demonstrate commitment to their workforce, and lead to increased retention and reduced flight-risk.
Customer Loyalty Trends
If businesses want to build strong customer loyalty and relationships, they need to pay attention to their existing customers: according to research from Invesp, it costs 5-10 times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing ones. Many companies already use rewards in a loyalty program by rewarding for repeat transactions and encouraging larger share of wallet. However, to strengthen customer loyalty more quickly, eGift cards can be used to provide a “surprise and delight” for the customer, which increases the likelihood and effectiveness of loyalty.
In general, consumers are staying home and purchasing more online and businesses are following suit and adapting their operations to the digital space. According to a recent Adobe Analytics study, online sales grew 76% in June year-over-year, with sales during April and May tracking above 2019 holiday levels. Even with phases of re-opening and consumers starting to venture outside to purchase in stores again—leading to a small decline in online sales in June—we are still seeing 130% increase year-over-year from May to June due to more consumers shifting to online shopping in order to practice social distancing.
These new behavior trends for shopping online need to be considered when choosing customer loyalty rewards in order to increase sales revenue and decrease variety-seeking behavior, and eGift cards are the perfect reward to address the new trends.
Why Employees and Customers Want eGift Cards
Incentive Magazine reports that eGift card usage has consistently risen since 2019. It has continued to grow this past quarter as well, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic shut-downs which prompted businesses and individuals to shift to digital operations.
Here’s why employees and customers love eGift cards:
eGift cards offer a variety of options to choose from, so there’s something for everyone. When it comes to employees, they can choose the brand that best fits their wants and needs, taking the guesswork out for companies. Whether it’s to reduce their stress, help cover every day costs like groceries, or to finally purchase an item they’ve been saving up for, it’s in their hands to decide. For customers, companies can choose from a variety of digital brands which one(s) will have the most impact for customers.
Through our Engage2Reward ordering portal, companies can select the brands they want to offer to recipients, or offer the Engage2Reward Choice Card, which allows individuals to choose the gift card they want from over 250 digital brands
They provide a seamless experience for both the sender and recipient. eGift cards are flexible because bulk orders can be placed on any device, they can be delivered directly via email or text, and easily spent online or in store, which means it’s convenient for both the sender and recipient. For customers, it’s important to be able to redeem a reward online or in stores to fit their comfort-levels and what level of social distancing they are adhering to. For employees, eGift cards make it easy to reach them where they are at, whether working remotely or going to an office or workplace, and still be able to redeem their reward.
eGift cards offer a memorable experience. More than cash, eGift cards are memorable. You can’t remember where you spent your last $10, but you will remember getting a $10 gift card to your favorite brand. For employees, eGift cards offer a positive, memorable experience that will be linked to your company, and given the stress of the pandemic, boosting morale for employees is paramount for reducing burnout. For customers, they will delight in being rewarded for their loyalty, remember the experience, and be more likely to engage with your company, make more referrals, and promote your brand to their networks.
With consumers and businesses alike affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations should take advantage of eGift cards to sustain and grow their employee reward and customer loyalty programs right now. eGift cards make it easier for your employees to purchase what they need online, never leaving the safety of home, while strengthening their loyalty to the company by rewarding them in ways that count.
Gain access to leading brands and a full-service incentive suite, complete with everything you need to connect and support your customer and employee loyalty programs, with Engage2Reward.