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Digital Gift Cards: The Omnichannel Answer?

86% of digital marketers agree that investing in implementation of omnichannel strategies outweighs the challenges. The outcomes can yield a great success story, but the challenges are many. Supply chain management, product availability, and now payments and gifting are all components of the customer experience that need to remain consistent across both online and in-store buying experiences. However, as retail marketers look for new innovative solutions to omnichannel adoption there may be one sitting right in front of them, ready to go. Digital gift cards can't solve all of the omnichannel questions but in terms of payments and gifting they offer an already packaged solution. Digital gift cards are flexible by design, making sending, delivery and redemption easier for the gift giver, the gift receiver and the retailer administering the card. The flexibility and ease of use of digital gift cards helps accelerate

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The Secondary Gift Card Market

The secondary gift card market is a delicate topic in the gift card industry. It's sort of like a dirty little secret that’s extremely helpful for consumers. In this market, consumers can recycle, regift or exchange their unwanted or unused gift cards for something that is of more use to them. It's a free market, or markets and with the access to internet today these exchange sites are literally at consumers' fingertips. While this new market may leave unwanted gift card holders jumping for joy, retailers are as thrilled. Secondary gift card markets can be seen as devaluing retail brands. These markets essentially allow consumers to trade in one brand for another, making the currency that was previously brand specific, brand agnostic. Currency no longer gets funneled into a retailer's business, but rather commoditized on the open market. Diane Freeland, GiftCard Partners' VP of Client Relations, comments on the commoditization of the secondary gift card market stating, "These secondary marketplaces offer consumers the opportunity to trade unwanted gift cards that they were received as a gift at a less than face value for the cards they are trading." Selling a retailer's brand for less than face value can have unforeseen consequences that only time will tell. Secondary gift card markets are a sensitive subject in the gift card industry, and it is certainly something we will keep an eye on. Check back to this space for more information on this subject as we track the industry’s response.

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Take Your Sales Incentives to the Next Level

We've talked a lot about
gamification and
sales incentives over the years. From a cutting edge concept to an integral part of some sales organizations, gamification works to motivate salespeople through friendly competition and achievable metrics set by employers. Gamification is great but it can create a lot of work for the employer and sales management. Organizations like Chattanooga-based
Ambition, seek to take your gamification platform to the next level, integrating both digital and automated aspects. As Jared Houghton, one of the co-founders of Ambition, says in a recent Inc.com
article, they are working to "transition from whiteboards to dashboards." These platforms don't like the word "gamification" so let's use sales motivation instead. Automated sales motivation platforms simply allow employers to define their metrics for success and track each salesperson's goals and productivity. The platforms also provide a healthy dose of competition by tracking salespeople against each other and comparing numbers. Every organization does sales incentives their own way, and there are reservations that this system could get too public, giving salespeople too much access to their peers' performance. That being said, it’s important that employers look closely at both their employees and the dynamic within the company before launching in to this type of open platform. Supporters stand firm that in a world where business systems are increasingly digital, giving employees the self-motivation to take their own performance to the next level through digital tracking that can be monitored by the employer really automates what can be a tedious process. Self-motivation associated with sales incentive platforms can also boost employee autonomy which furthers the desired motivation outcome. These technologies are new, cutting edge and have the power to transform how sales motivation and sales incentives happen. The GiftCard Partners team can't wait to see how gift cards and virtual gift cards play into systems like Ambition. Imagine having a system where when a team member met or exceeded personal benchmarks, they were automatically sent an eGift card straight to their inbox?      

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CVS/pharmacy Sweetens Valentine's Day

Love is in the air, or it will be tomorrow. As we prepare for a holiday full of chocolates and roses,
CVS/pharmacy has both classic and non-traditional gift options available. With everything from perfumes, photo cards, razors and male grooming equipment on sale, to bonuses for ExtraCare rewards members on certain purchases and purchasing thresholds, it's easier than ever to make your special one feel special this Valentine's Day. While some may view the holiday as hokey and only meant for the love birds, Valentine's Day can be used as a unique opportunity to show gratitude and appreciation for the employees in your office. Your support staff, your junior level employees, the people in the mail room (heck, even the person who delivers the mail!) are great people to thank on Valentine's Day. Simple "Thank You's," especially during these dark, cold winter months, can be a great morale boost. Thank you gifts don't need to be big either. A
$10 gift card to retailers like CVS/pharmacy can be a great way to say thanks without breaking the bank, especially with the variety of merchandise on sale. For healthier options that can support new year's resolutions and employee's healthy lifestyle the
CVS Select® Gift Card can help with the temptation by limiting the merchandise the card can be redeemed for (so skip the chocolate when using this gift card!). So who do you want or need to thank this Valentines Day? Think beyond the cupid interpretation and show "love" as gratitude to the people who make your business great!

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Scaling Your Business Successfully

Scaling your business can be challenging. It can affect everyone from the executive management team to the most junior employee.
Growth and scaling can provide instability, lack of faith in leadership and employee turn over. All of these events can have a negatively impact your business. Here are a few tips on how to
scale successfully for your employees and your business to provide stability and success.

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