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Humanizing Beacon Technology to Improve Consumer Experience

Beacon technology has the potential to change the way we all shop. However, there is a "creepy" factor to knowing that stores are tracking your movements around their retail locations. So, some retailers are mixing a human element into beacon technology, and the results are surprisingly pleasant. Some retailers testing out beacons with messaging in either a native app or push messaging are using their employees as part of the beacon experience. Training employees on the beacon messaging and positioning employees in critical areas of the store allows employees to gain extra responsibility while improving the customer experience and removing the intrusive factor that beacons can present. Employee training on cutting edge technology provides professional development opportunities for your workforce and a unique chance for growth in the critical customer service area of your business. Offering small incentives like gift cards to employees who volunteer to step up and receive the training and take on extra responsibility is a great way to reinforce innovation at your organization. Think of beaconing as an opportunity to advance your workforce as well as advancing the technology in your stores. Head over to
MediaPost for more information.

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Gift Card Trends for Holiday 2014

Holiday season will be quickly approaching and as gift cards are still a growing part of most retailers businesses, they will be paying close attention to their gift card business and new gift card trends for 2014. By 2016 the gift card business is expected to grow by close to $20 billion. Of course this varies by industry, but it’s not all that unusual for a retailer to see as much as 50% of their fourth quarter business come from gift cards. There are several new gift card trends that retailers need to be aware of as they begin preparing for the holiday season.

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Delivering Winning Strategies for Loyalty Program

It's the ultimate question that marketers would love to have the answer to, how can retailers deliver winning strategies for their own loyalty programs?  Loyalty drives sales, today, tomorrow and in the future, but how does a retailer keep loyalty fresh? Currently, U.S. households participate in over 20 loyalty programs, but less than 10% are actively using their accounts. Retailers need to produce winning strategies to have a successful loyalty program.  Based on the existing loyal customer base, 37% of retailers believe that customer retention will be the #1 contributor to growth in the next 3 years.  This customer retention correlates to same-store sales. 73% of smartphone users would like to connect their loyalty programs directly to their mobile devices. Recognition and rewards need to be differentiated. There is no one size fits all with rewards. In fact, lack of differentiation hinders program adoption. 69% of loyalty program members want to receive personalized discounts. Tracking technology allows retailers to gather shopper purchase history, spend, and browsing behaviors, allowing for retailers to offer personalized discounts. Lastly, well-planned implementation for loyalty programs is critical; the first 6 months of the launch being the most critical time for a loyalty program.  Almost 30% of retailers rank store loyalty as a top 5 technology-related challenge in their industry.
Read the infographic “How Sweet It Is: The Satisfaction of a Successful Loyalty Program” here!

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Innovation Project 2014, discussing the future of the payments industry

The GiftCard Partners team is a week away from packing up again and heading to Cambridge, MA to attend the
Innovation Project. The payments industry event is sponsored by
PYMNTS.com. GCP had the opportunity to attend last year and we are looking forward to this years event. The show will attract power players from all aspects of the payments and commerce world to discuss the future of an industry that is constantly being transformed by mobile devices, the cloud, big data and emerging technologies.

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The All Payments Expo: Where Great Minds Come Together

The All Payments Expo
(APEX) is already in full swing this morning in Las Vegas and the GiftCard Partners team is looking forward to taking part in the discussions, collaboration, and merging of minds throughout the payments industry this week. The APEX allows a forum for Alternative Financial Services, Emerging Payments, Omnichannel Retail Strategies and Prepaid to come together to focus on areas of growth and convergence in payments. GCP was excited about the opportunity to sponsor a unique luncheon and joint session between
Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA) and
Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC), of which we are members of both. The IGCC
stated, “Both associations share goals in promoting best practices and helping the industry grow and believe collaborating on the topic of B2B will create a powerful learning opportunity and one that will eliminate redundancy and streamline our message between groups.” Let the collaborations begin!

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