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Summer Gift Cards are the Go-To Gift

Summer gift cards are gaining popularity in the gift market this spring and summer. As individuals look for gifts for moms, dads, grads and newlyweds, gift cards continue to be the catch-all gift that's easy for the gifter and always a pleasant surprise for the giftee. The  infographic below from the Retail Gift Card Association reveals that 80% of gifters want their recipients to have the option to redeem online or in-store, showing that omnichannel flexibility is an overwhelming consumer concern. Since gift cards are flexible in nature, consumers want to ensure that recipients have as much flexibility in how and where they redeem as they do in what merchandise they redeem for.

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Gift Card Popularity Continues to Rise

According to a new survey from the Retail Gift Card Association, up to 70% of consumers will buy gift cards for friends and family by the end of the summer. This is an important finding for B2B gift card programs as well. Why's that? Because the survey also revealed that 95% of consumers are hoping to
receive gift cards this spring and summer. While this directly applies to celebrations like birthdays, graduations and weddings, the popularity of gift cards can also segue to employees recognition programs, health and wellness programs and employees rewards. Here are key findings from the study:

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Personalizing Gift Cards

The biggest drawback consumers (and employers) have with gift cards is that some say they are impersonal. The stigma is, when giving a gift card, you are essentially giving cold hard cash, only good at one location. However, with the mainstream advent of digital gift cards and digital gifting, personalizing gift cards is easier than ever, not to mention a big hit with recipients.

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Ensure Your Third-Party Gift Cards are Properly Merchandised and in Stock

The third-party gift card segment has consistently been one of the fastest growing gift card distribution channels for the last seven years. Third-party can easily be your largest sales channel outside of your own stores. Actively engaging in third-party sales can increase your brand footprint, reaching consumers that may have not known about your brand otherwise. Having ongoing, frequent dialogue with your third-party aggregator is key to understanding what exactly their retail partners are doing to drive your gift card sales. The aggregators provide you with access to your sales, but do you know why your sales may be trending up or down? Ensuring that your third-party gift cards are properly merchandised and in stock is one of the most critical components to why your sales may be trending positively or negatively. If your gift card is not available when a customer wants to buy it, you have a lost a sale and a visit to your establishment. Here is a list of additional questions to consider when analyzing your third-party program:

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Wearables Embed Employers in Health and Wellness Initiatives

Wearable technology is gaining popularity in the consumer market and has the potential to transform the way employers structure their employee health and wellness initiatives. The transformation will have an effect on the price tag of these initiatives, but the direct effect of incorporating wearable technology will ease the time it takes for employers to track employee wellness activity. 

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